360-Degree Feedback Tools Are Pretty Much Commoditised – Right?
Yes and No. Digital technology is leaving behind a lot of the traditional 360 players. More and more people are preferring to work on hand-held mobile devices and unless the 360 provider has optimised their questionnaire screens and their reports for mobile, your people could be losing out.
Many 360 tools are still the same as they were 5 years ago. In technological terms, that’s a lifetime! Now there’s a new kid on the block!
But before I start, let me put this email into perspective. We make no apologies for its length, and we believe you will see why as you read down (but if you get frustrated, there are multiple ‘call to action’ buttons all the way down that invite you to request a call for a free quotation).
The digital marketing fashion today is to get you to opt-in to a content marketing machine which then automatically sends you regular free content that the provider believes you will find of value. The thinking behind this approach is to begin to build a relationship with you over a few weeks which gradually leads to increased trust. You are moved into different ‘streams’ of content depending on your behaviour. For example, if you open an email and click a link in it you may be taken to another stream of content where future emails provide even richer assets.
Examples typically include regular newsletters and articles and white papers of the suppliers’ own origination. From time to time they may send you links to other people’s articles. Alternatives include links to videos, notifications of events you might find interesting and occasionally creative infographics and even reports. Clicking on one or more of these assets may transport you eventually to a stream where the content starts to introduce you to sales messages, hitherto the messages have purely added ‘free’ value.
The psychology, well-proven by now, shows a much higher conversion rate to the sales messages when this methodology is applied (despite this, conversion rates are actually falling – are we not just getting too much of this content marketing now? Maybe we’re just worn out?) But you probably know all this already – right? Your own marketing department is doubtless engaged in something similar?
It is our intention to adopt this methodology in the very near future, using very selective content. We’ve found a software automation partner and we’re currently amassing content that we believe will truly add value. But this email isn’t part of this approach. In fact, it breaks all the rules – it challenges accepted wisdom!
Why Break The Rules?
Because we truly believe that the rest of this email just cannot wait. Technology is marching on at a relentless pace and the way we have harnessed it for 360-degree feedback implementations is just too exciting to hold back until that relationship is established. Of course, you may not be interested at all in a new 360-degree feedback provider but I’m guessing if that was the case you wouldn’t have got this far! So if we use the metaphor of ‘dating’, we apologise in advance for going straight in for the kiss and not shilly-shallying around with the courting process.
If You Are Interested In A 360 Platform Built For The Digital Age…
…prepare yourself for something completely different! As we wrote earlier, digital technology is leaving behind a lot of the traditional players. Truly responsive 360 questionnaire screens and reports are not yet commonplace. Most do work on a tablet or a smart phone – just! But they’re not optimised for mobile. Latest research shows that over 80% of emails are being read on hand-held mobile devices today…if your 360 product is not optimised for mobile, your people could be missing out. Now there’s a new kid on the block! Here are some of the options enabled by the way we have harnessed digitalisation in the construction of our questionnaire screens and our reports:
Briefing invitation emails with embedded videos. Short, punchy videos can include your CEO making participants feel really special. This leads to greater engagement and buy-in to the 360 programme. Animated explainer videos can describe the process, the timings and that all-important contracting around confidentiality. Participants are left feeling clearer and more reassured. A video role-play demonstrating an invitation conversation between a participant and a prospective feedback provider encourages participants to reach out to each rater and talk to them in advance. This solves the problem regards rater briefings. Choose from our library of videos or we’ll help you create your own.
A questionnaire interface optimised for mobile. Funky sliders replace boring radio button or drop-down lists and encourage raters to be far more accurate in their scoring. Effectively we give them a 100-point likert scale, as we score in percentages. This makes questionnaire completion both faster and more engaging. It also makes the resultant report easier for participants to interpret…a figure of, for example, 3.5 is meaningless until you put a context around it (e.g. ‘out of 5’), but showing someone they are 70% along the scale to ‘perfection’ has immediate impact!
Simultaneous rating. This can be selected upon entry to the questionnaire as an alternative to individual rating. It benefits anyone in your organisation who has been invited to provide feedback to more than one colleague. And ironically, these people tend to be higher up the organisation, where time is often poorest.
Traditionally, to complete multiple questionnaires, the rater would have to open up and complete the first questionnaire…submit it…open up the next questionnaire…complete it…submit it…open up the next questionnaire…etc. etc. Simultaneous rating however shows all participants on the same screen with each question above. Not only does this save masses amounts of time, but it also allows raters the opportunity to think in relative terms about the people they’re rating, not just absolute terms about each one – which is all you can do with conventional questionnaire screens as offered by other 360 providers. Ultimately, when combined with the 100-point likert scale, this leads to unprecedented levels of accuracy.
Individual reports are digital. They can be printed and bound into booklets, but why would you? The whole point about the digital report is that it is optimised for mobile hand-held devices. More and more people are accessing data on their smart phones and tablets (latest research shows that over 80% of work emails are being read on these devices), so our digital 360 report is just fitting into their working styles more effectively (it will of course display perfectly on a desktop PC or Mac).
Moreover, our digital report is integrated with an interactive workbook. The workbook is designed to be used during a debriefing session with a feedback coach, HR/L&D BP or a line manager. Alternatively, although this would not be our recommendation, the report could be interpreted and analysed by the participant alone (i.e. without a coach).
The workbook is cleverly designed to lead the participant down a path of discovery and ask questions of the participant that s/he records into the online workbook. So the reflections made are stored within the digital footprint of the report in real time. As the participant progresses through their report and workbook, they get closer and closer to making decisions about where to start their action planning, and there is a part of the workbook that is laid out like a traditional PDP. This is where the participant captures their development priorities, together with dependencies and timelines. There’s even a section that asks them to think of potential obstacles and how to overcome them! Finally, the workbook links to development suggestions to complete the loop.
‘Checking out’ and ‘Checking in’. Just when you thought this product couldn’t get any better…we introduce you to the wonderful opportunity provided by ‘checking out’ and ‘checking in’! Checking out first: once the participant has chosen up to three development priorities and ticked a box, the platform automatically reaches back out to their rater network and shares those development goals. Raters are invited to offer more clarity and depth to each priority, particularly focused on what behaviours they would expect to see and hear if those goals were being achieved. There is even space for them to offer development suggestions. These comments, more granular in content, are then presented back anonymously to the participant via an email linking to a new page showing this additional feedback.
Now Checking in: as the phrase suggests, this is the opportunity for a participant to see what their raters have noticed about their new behaviours. The platform can be programmed at set-up to reach back out to each participant’s rater network after 90 days (actually the period can be longer or shorter – you decide). This time, raters are invited to comment on what they’ve observed is working well and what could still be done differently in respect of each development priority. Their comments are then presented back anonymously to the participant via an email linking to a new page. Checking in can be repeated at the same time interval until it is switched off, for example after the next round of 360 degree feedback.
So what’s this new product called?
click-360. If you think you’ve heard this name before, you’re right! We’ve simply re-engineered it to take 360 software into the digital age.
Past commissions have included bespoke enterprise platforms for Diageo, TATA and LEGO as well as many smaller organisations globally. This includes consultancies like The Edgecumbe Group and PDW, who then resell 360s to their own clients. The platforms are engineered to your exact specifications and design, and then passed over to you to manage your own 360s.
The alternative for smaller requirements is a pay-as-you-go approach where the whole process is managed by us. We still offer customisation and personalisation, for example we can upload your own questionnaire(s) and white-label the emails, screens and report with your branding.
But Its Much More Expensive – Right?
Not really. On average, the per report cost on an enterprise platform is around £20 but it can fall to below £6 where volumes are significant. Pay-as-you-go prices are higher, to reflect the amount of admin involved, but are still competitive at around £100 per report.
The only sure way to price your requirement is to have a free quotation following a brief scoping discussion. Please press the button below or simply call us on +44 (0)845 313 3357 to talk to one of our team. Alternatively email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is not common for providers in this space to offer a full, no strings attached, money-back guarantee. Buts so confident are we that you will be absolutely delighted with our product and service, that we have no hesitation in offering you a watertight undertaking.
If you are in any way dissatisfied with the click-360 product or the way in which your account has been handled, you will be entitled to a full refund, less the nominal admin fee.
One More Thing…
At TLC Online, the company behind click-360, we have amassed a vast amount of experience in running 360-degree feedback interventions. Together with our parent company, The Learning Curve (TLC), we can rightly be considered 360 geniuses! We have turned this knowledge of what works well and what can get in the way of successful 360 projects into a video-based training programme called 360 Accelerator. We have an amended version for consultancy clients that shows even more ways you can add value to your clients.
360 Accelerator is divided into 7 stages of content and the information contained within each stage is split into multiple short video modules of approximately 10 mins duration each. Video modules are in most cases supported by downloadable materials including transcripts, slides and templates that will help you maximise the value afforded by each video.
This video training is bundled in with the purchase price of an enterprise platform and it is available via monthly subscription to our pay-as-you-go customers at £97 per month.