Thursday, July 28, 2011

360 leadership surveys... Final thoughts

Management guru Peter Drucker said "Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things." The best leaders are highly effective at executing. They make important things happen and they get things done.

Well-designed Leadership Surveys include questions about both the management and leadership roles of your organization’s leaders, from executive management down to first-line supervisors. 360 leadership surveys assess leadership effectiveness from the perspective of your organization’s employees. Successful, highly profitable companies have highly effective leaders, from the top to the bottom of their organization. No other factor can substitute for weak leadership.

Some organizations only conduct a 360 survey occasionally for one individual leader at a time because the leader is highly ineffective and the perception of the leader is low. For more forward looking organizations, 360 leadership surveys offer a significantly greater opportunity to understand organization-wide leadership strengths and weaknesses, and to elevate leadership effectiveness across their organization.

Organizations that want to learn about their leaders and what needs to be done to strengthen company leadership at all levels of their organization can conduct 360 leadership assessment surveys for many or all of their leaders at the same time, or over a narrowly defined timeframe such as a quarter or two.

These organization-wide 360 leadership surveys provide companies with two critical types of leadership effectiveness information and insight:

1. Each leader receives anonymous feedback from their direct reports, their peers and more senior-level leaders including the leader's manager. The 360 leadership feedback is for a comprehensive list of leadership criteria using the same criteria for all leaders. This is important because it enables comparison of leadership strengths and weaknesses across your organization. Leaders receive ratings on their leadership effectiveness along with comments and perceptions based on first-hand experience of the people providing the 360 feedback. Leaders become aware of how they are perceived, providing them with useful information and insight that enables them to strengthen their leadership effectiveness.

Leaders also complete a self-evaluation, enabling them to compare how they see themselves with how others perceive them.

2. Senior management and HR receive comprehensive leadership effectiveness information and insight that identifies leadership strengths and weaknesses by demographics across the organization.

360 Leadership Assessment Surveys typically include feedback on 20-35 leadership and management effectiveness criteria. Following is a sample of the leadership criteria included in 360 leadership surveys: integrity, respect for others, charisma, vision, fairness, consideration for others, leading diverse employees, intellectual stimulation, courage, loyalty, dependability, self confidence, flexibility, judgment, perseverance/tenacity, mentoring and developing, decision making, communications, negotiation, delegation, empowerment, decisiveness, goal setting, assessing risks and execution/getting things done.

Organization-wide 360 Leadership Surveys provide the following benefits for your organization:

  • Increasing organizational effectiveness, employee satisfaction and engagement, and reduced voluntary employee attrition as a result of having stronger, more effective leaders
  • Providing leaders with anonymous feedback for increasing effectiveness
  • Creating and maintaining an organizational leadership competency database
  • Identifying training and development needs for each leader and the organization overall
  • Identifying high-potential leaders for new assignments and to lead or participate in projects
  • Focusing recruiting and hiring based on organizational leadership needs
  • Gaining information for increasing leadership effectiveness at all levels of your organization
  • Identifying weak leaders that need to significantly increase their leadership performance or be replaced
  • Having the ability to evaluate and rank leaders based on their leadership competencies
  • Using 360 leadership survey data for succession planning
  • Using leadership to create a competitive advantage

Final thoughts about 360 degree leadership surveys:

At most organizations, people are their most important and most costly asset. Strengthening leadership across the organization significantly elevates the performance of all employees, boosting the bottom line. For organizations that want or need to become significantly more competitive and profitable, one of the best and most cost-effective things they can do is to conduct organization wide 360 leadership surveys.

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