Advocates for the use of feedback results exclusively for developmental purposes argue that ratings become tainted by bias if raters know the results could have an affect the recipient’s position in the company. On the other side of the debate, proponents of the use of feedback results for decision making believe that if feedback recipients are not held accountable for making behavioral changes based on the results, the 360 degree feedback program will lose some of its effect on the organization’
According to David Bracken Ph.D., author of The Handbook of Multisource Feedback, the 3D Group report provides “compelling evidence of ongoing efforts by organizations to improve important components of 360 feedback processes in supporting their use in both leadership development and personnel decision making.”
3D Group’s study found that 63% of organizations in the United States and Canada use 360 feedback results for some type of decision making, development and/or personnel. The types of talent management decisions include succession planning, high potential identification and training and curriculum planning. Furthermore, a startling 47% of companies report using their 360 degree feedback results for some part of performance management.
Career development still remains the most popular use for 360 degree feedback with 70% of companies reporting it as a use for feedback results. Dale S. Rose, Ph.D., President and co-founder of 3D Group stated “one of the most encouraging findings was that while some companies see coaching about the feedback results as an option that can be skipped, more than 70% of companies make executive coaching available as an important aspect of their 360 degree feedback process.”
Dr. Rose explained the purpose of the study, “We’ve found over the last decade of conducting these studies that there is a tremendous amount research on best practices but very little on how 360 degree feedback actually plays out in the workplace.” Rose continues, “Our data clearly indicates that companies plan to continue investing in the growth and development of leaders. 74% of companies indicated they plan to maintain or increase spending on 360 degree feedback.”
Current Practices in 360 Degree Feedback: A Benchmark Study of North America also covers a wide range of information about 360 degree feedback practices from design decisions to rater selection. According to Bracken the study is “an invaluable resource that can inform the dozens of decisions that are required in designing and implementing a successful 360 degree feedback process.”
More information about 3D Group and available research can be found at http://www.3dgroup.net/
Limited press copies available on request by calling 510-463-0333. Dale Rose, Ph.D., President and Co-Founder of 3D Group is available for interviews.