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Did you know that 360 degree assessments are a great tool to use with your managers?

It’s easy to think that these assessments are only for lower-level, non-managerial employees; however, there’s a subsection of assessments made expressly for the managers in your organization.

In fact, it can be argued that 360 degree feedback may be most needed by your mid- and upper-level leadership.

Why do managers need 360 evaluations?

It’s a known phenomenon: One of the biggest problems faced by a leader is that the higher up the organization you progress, the less honest others will be in their feedback of you. This is especially true of subordinates and peers.

Unfortunately, the more power and influence you wield, the more likely those around you are to tell you what they think you want to hear. This is especially true for the CEO, but it’s also the case for your managers.

Regardless of the propensity of others to say what they think your leaders want to hear, your leaders need to hear the truth.

If they’re looking to grow and progress, if they’re looking to be successful in the long term then they need to hear the truth. They need to receive corrective, constructive feedback, which can only benefit them and the organization.

Do your managers want to hear the truth, and are they committed to growing?

In order to grow, your managers must be open to hearing the truth about how they’re doing in your company. If not, they’ll stagnate and possibly regress. This truth begs the question: Do your managers want to hear the truth? 

Certain groups of employees appreciate receiving corrective feedback; while others like to hear things that tickle their ears. Oftentimes management isn’t open to giving or receiving corrective feedback. Not to say, there isn’t a place for positive feedback; but, corrective feedback is necessary for growth and your managers need to be open to it.

Are your managers ready for the truth?

Research shows that managers who are more effective at giving their employees honest, corrective feedback also tend to prefer receiving straightforward, corrective feedback. Additionally a strong correlation exists between an individual’s confidence level and whether they prefer receiving negative or positive feedback.

  • The greater the confidence level, the more individuals prefer negative, corrective feedback;
  • Inversely, the lower the confidence level, the more individuals avoid receiving negative feedback.

(If you’d like to discover your own personal preferences, you can take the Zenger and Folkman assessment upon which these conclusions are based.)

If your supervisors are ready for the truth, then you’re ready to launch 360 degree leader assessments for managers. Perhaps you already have them in place for your non-managerial workers, but did you know that your managers can benefit from them as well? You simply have to make sure to use assessments specifically designed for them.

Are there 360 assessments for managers?

Absolutely. This sort of assessment operates under the same premise as the general 360 degree assessment. The general assessment is to provide feedback for lower-level employees; however, 360 degree leader assessments are specifically designed to provide valuable feedback to your middle-level managers (upper-level executives have their own type of 360 assessment).

The 360 assessment for managers is designed with questions that target the strengths and weaknesses of your middle-level leaders.

View this Sample 360 Assessment

What is a 360 degree assessment for managers?

A 360 degree assessment for managers goes beyond the typical 360 performance review. But, it works much the same way a 360 assessment should work for most employees. It uses the feedback from several sources who work closely with the individual, in this case the manager. Those individuals are the employee’s:

  • Supervisor
  • Colleagues and peers
  • Clients and customers with whom the manager works
  • Self-evaluation

With each of the respondents, they must interact directly with the manager. The reasoning behind this is that if a colleague or client provides feedback, but no direct interaction happens between that person and the one being assessed, the evaluation can devolve into hearsay and conjecture.

You want your feedback to be true and have a wide-ranging perspective, so you must stick with those people who know and interact with the individual directly.

What does 360 degree feedback from managers measure?

A 360 assessment for managers measures those soft skills, behaviors and competencies that are necessary for an individual to be a successful leader. Some of the competencies measured are:

  • Setting goals and standards
  • Problem solving and decision making
  • Communicating effectively
  • Building trust and integrity
  • Adaptability and innovation
  • Managing change
  • Managing diversity
  • Managing conflict
  • Influence and negotiation
  • Performance Management
  • Team building
  • Coaching and counseling

What happens after the assessment is taken?

All of these competencies are scored based upon the feedback given by the respondents in the assessment survey. This feedback is then compiled in a thorough report of the competencies and skills and shared with the supervisor (and/or coach) so that a plan of action can be developed.

The report provides a launching pad for undertaking a path of growth if the manager accepts the feedback and is committed to seeing the growth process through to the end.

What must a manager do to get the most out of a 360 assessment?

To maximize the results of the 360 degree assessment:

  • A manager must be open to discovering some surprises about themselves
  • They must strive to not take the feedback personally, even though it’s about them personally
  • It helps for them to view the feedback as a learning tool by which they can see real growth
  • A manager must be committed to changing themselves, even with the possibility that it might be difficult and time- and energy-consuming.
  • The manager should feel free to lean upon their coach or mentor, whose job it is to see them grow and develop

360 degree assessments are a useful tool for managers

If the assessment is implemented properly by garnering feedback from various people well-acquainted with an individual’s work, you are on the way to incorporating 360 degree assessments into your evaluation process for managers. If the feedback, both positive and negative, is heeded and acted upon, then 360 degree assessments can greatly benefit your managers.

If you want your managers to grow as employees and as leaders, you must give them the tools and supports necessary to grow and succeed. One of those supports is 360 degree assessments.

Continued Reading: Why You Should Not Use 360 Degree Performance Feedback For Appraisals

Call Edge Training Systems at 800-305-2025 to learn more about adding custom 360 assessments to your organization’s leader development program.