SAMPLE CASE STUDY OF BENCHMARKING: 360-FEEDBACK

Introduction:

The main impetus in today's business world is competition. In order to survive, companies must be able to adapt to changes in the market. Those who do adapt will continue to operate and prosper, those who do not will quickly fall behind their competit

360-degree feedback is becoming more and more popular as a management tool because it provides feedback to individuals from both superiors and subordinates. This information is pivotal to the growth and change of that particular individual. Customer-

BACKGROUND ON 360-DEGREE FEEDBACK

Definition:

360-degree feedback is the process where data is gathered from multiple sources or multiple "raters". After the data has been collected it is then evaluated and the results are given back to the person being rated. The point of the whole process is

Pros of 360 Degree Feedback:

There are many reasons why organizations use 360-degree feedback. The main reason is that it is very simple to implement. The most important benefit that comes from it though, is that it helps to keep all levels of the company informed about what upp

Cons of 360-Degree Feedback:

360 degree feedback has its shortcomings, though, the biggest of which is the problem with the mental states of those being evaluated. Most high-level positioned managers have a difficult time receiving criticism from subordinates. Even though the pr

Another problem with this system is that it is expensive and time consuming. There are costs associated with developing the questionnaires or using management consulting firms to develop questionaires. In addition, there is the cost to evaluate the q

The biggest problems with this system occur in highly competitive situations where people try to "sandbag" one another. For this reason, customers of the company will often be asked to fill out the forms instead.

Finally, there is a problem with the perspectives of the raters. It is often difficult to get objective opinions from personnel that work closely with the person they are rating. Then again, it is also difficult to get a legitimate opinion from someo

EXAMPLES OF 360-DEGREE FEEDBACK

Johnson & Johnson:

A few years ago, Johnson & Johnson began to experience major changes within the company. One such change was the transformation of several of their decentralized companies into team-based organizations. Johnson & Johnson felt that the implementation

In order to implement and develop this best practice, Johnson & Johnson used a combination of external consultants and internal resources. The end result was a product which was tailor-made to the specific needs of the operating companies. The way i

Johnson & Johnson feel that this process has been extremely successful to the operating companies, especially to the more team-based environments because of the specific feedback that they provide.

AT&T:

When AT&T started using 360-degree feedback, the hope was that all of the constructive feedback would help managers' leadership abilities, relations with people, and ultimately, help produce a more successful manager.

The feedback process starts with a 90 question survey that is developed to assess leadership and interpersonal skills. The questionnaire is then distributed to the subordinates, peers, and bosses of the manager who is being evaluated. The questionnaire is then audited by an outside evaluator,who reports the results to the manager being evaluated. The manager then meets one on one with all of their employees in order to address any concerns.

The success of the program has mixed reviews. For the most part, the success of the evaluation process has been determined by the attitude taken by the manager. If the manager is open to criticism and suggests comments, then the feedback seems to work. However, if the manager is not open to others opinions, often times the feedback results in a defensive attitude, making the process a failure.

CIGNA:

CIGNA decided to implement 360 degree feedback in response to the pressure to better understand the problems associated with team management. In addition, 360 degree feedback was created to develop better managers, which, in turn, would create a better employee base. In fact, it is tied to the overall performance appraisals of the employees at CIGNA.

The development and implementation of the feedback process was begun by determining the qualities of a good manager. From this list of qualities, a list of questions was developed to assess the existence of these qualities amongst managers. These questionairres were distributed to all levels of Cigna employees. An outside firm was used to evaluate the results in order to insure impartial analysis of the data.

Currently Cigna is still evaluating the results of the new program. Management believes that this program can be developed to both better understand the ramifications of team management, as well as develop the the skills of their team managers.

CONCLUSION:

This guide is far from complete. The internet changes on a daily (if not hourly) basis. However, this summary should provide enough information to make the incredible breadth and complexity of the internet a mite less imposing. Coupled with some exploration and experimentation, every user has the potential to be a competent net citizen, using the facilities that are available to their fullest.

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