While the traditional 360 is still considered an excellent tool to access workforce performance, the Reverse 360™ has been coined a much more efficient method. As explained by Michael Stewart, Managing Partner of Work Effects, “this tool helps bring together a traditional 360 and a social network analysis. The key is the merging together of the two different models and processes and identifying hidden structures of organizations within the social network.”
Work Effects has over twenty years experience in leadership and organizational development with a mission to align organizational culture with business strategy to create a competitive advantage. The company started using the Reverse 360 about four years ago, and according to Stewart, they are the only company that offers it. Some of their clients include McDonalds, Citigroup, Rice University, Burger King, Pfizer, and Staples.
Stewart feels that the benefits of a Reverse 360 are significant, stating that perhaps the most important one is the faster results that show much more insights than the traditional 360. According to Stewart, who authored the Reverse 360, the tool indicates who the significant influencers are in an organization as well as the positive and negative influencers.
Unlike a traditional 360, a Reverse 360 puts control in the hands of the employees. Individuals are able to choose for whom they would like to provide feedback, rather than being told who they must rate, and feedback is anonymous. The cycle time for a Reverse 360 is reduced from six to two weeks and the survey length is less than five minutes with only approximately twelve questions. The reduced survey time, along with allowing employees to choose who to rate, results in increased participation levels as compared to a traditional 360. Additionally, HR professionals do not have to keep tracking people, nor do they have to send out constant reminders to get the task completed.
The social aspect of the Reverse 360 is what truly makes it effective, offering a wealth of information not typically available with traditional 360 feedback processes. The scoring system in Work Effects’ process reveals “a network map of where informal influencers are within an organization,” states Amy Swenson, Client Consultant at Work Effects. The more frequently someone is rated, the higher their score. Additionally, the visual graph produced allows HR managers a view of how employees within the company are connected with those influencers.
Stewart states that using the color-coding system of the Reverse 360, the scoring reveals which employees are positive and which are negative. “This can be used for succession management, changing initiatives, and indicate those that need to be mentored or managed more closely,” he says. Take this one step further and look at new employees coming into the organization. Who do you pair them with? The Reverse 360 can show you the best leaders for welcoming new employees or individuals within the organization that work well together and can be effectively paired with a new leader.
Feedback to date is exceptional, according to Stewart. Comments range from users who are impressed with its ease of use to executives who are “blown away” with the information they receive. They want to put the information to use immediately, says Stewart, adding that the HR population appreciates the reduction in time and the lower costs overall. The Reverse 360 is an individual tool that provides real information that can be used both in the short term for long term results.