ARTICLES & CASE STUDIES:

Client Case Study 1:

Industry: Medium Size Manufacturer

Tool: Using web-based 360 Feedback in Performance Management by Judy Schultz

Need:

A tier-one, tier-two automotive supplier nearly doubles in size within a yearís time, promoting many employees to their first leadership position. The company needed an effective way to bring 50 new leaders up to speed quickly, create a leadership team and develop a path for perspective leaders with a second and larger wave of promotion to follow. This effort was challenged by on-going production demands remaining high

Solution:

The automotive supplier partnered with Quantum Services, Inc to develop a leadership training curriculum that began with a 360 feedback survey to assess development needs on an individual basis. Each new leader received feedback from at least five direct reports, at least 5 peers and his/her supervisor. They also used the 360 feedback system to complete a self evaluation. 360 feedback results were used to set the performance goals of the group as a whole and measure individual development needs.
Training was adapted to respond to the needs identified by the 360 feedback survey and then offered in modules repeated over a three week period to accommodate the demanding production schedule. 18 modules were offered covering a wide range of topics from policy compliance, business practices, leading change, coaching, dealing with performance issues and handling conflict. Key individuals were recommended for leadership development by current leaders and invited to attend. Each training module provided opportunities for participants to bring real situations into the class for open discussion and skill practice. Skill practices were video taped and reviewed by instructors and participants in order to coach toward and reinforce desired behavior. Quantum Instructors remained available during and after completion of the courses to serve as coaches for issues arising outside of training.
Graduation was based on a combination of attendance, scoring on a twelve-page final exam and completion of all homework assignments. 360 feedback surveys were reissued on a 6 month basis providing ongoing feedback to the new leaders and documenting training effectiveness. Supervisors of the participants incorporated leadership skills developed in training into performance reviews as key measurable.

Result:

Over 80% of the participants graduated from the program. 360 feedback results showed an across the board increase in leadership skills. The 360 feedback results were supported by participant comments expressing a higher level of confidence in dealing with difficult issues and an appreciation for the network developed among the leadership team. Employees noted a significant improvement in communication with their leaders and the consistency with which company policies were applied company wide. Requests to HR to mediate issues was reduced by 38%.

Judy A. Schultz, Training Manager, Grand Rapids Michigan

Client Case Study 2:

Industry: Medium Size Hospital

Tool: Using web-based 360 Feedback in Performance Management by Tim Nieboer

A current customer for training, team building and organizational development projects approached us with a need to retool their performance management system for middle level managers and above.

The President had heard a speaker talk on 360 feedback and decided that it might fit his organizationís needs. He asked his HR team to research a new, more performance driven, appraisal and bonus system that would include a 360-feedback component.

After a number of needs analysis sessions with the project team we settled on pursuing a two-part performance management process. One part would be evaluating managers on their performance to operational goals. They call these operational goals dashboards and they set them through their annual strategic planning process.

The next component involved evaluating their managersí ability to build cooperative and collaborative relationships as well as to provide positive leadership to subordinates. The organization wanted leaders who could achieve the business objectives without harming working relationships. The web-based 360plus Feedback product was a great fit for their needs.

After strategically synthesizing appropriate leadership competencies, the 360plus Feedback system was used to build a custom web-based 360 survey. This customer chose to have us be the administrator initially for the 360-survey process. A feedback session was held with managers to gather their input and suggestions and to trial run the technology. We also gleaned important information on how to orient and train those being evaluated (Participants) and those providing feedback through the 360plus Feedback process (Respondents). All this input and participation proved to be invaluable.

Next, a series of training sessions for Participants and Respondents was initiated. The biggest work culture challenge was handling the confidentiality reservations of subordinates who were now being asked to evaluate their superiors.

So far, because of the thoughtful due-diligence by the implementation team, the reasonable connection of the process to organizational success, and the support of management, the culture change process and the implementation of 360plus Feedback has been smooth.

Tim R. Nieboer, Partner, Quantum Services, Inc.

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