360-Degree Feedback in the Appraisal Process – the Present Need for Banks in India

360-Degree Feedback in the Appraisal Process – the Present Need for Banks in India

360-DEGREE FEEDBACK IN THE APPRAISAL PROCESS – THE PRESENT NEED FOR BANKS IN INDIA * Dr. J. SRINIVASAN Introduction Tremendous changes have taken place world-wide in the last decade. These changes have had a strong impact on service sectors in India. The world is very different today from what it was a decade ago.

Today’s corporate world can be characterized as highly competitive, technology and systems-driven, customer-centered, quick, cost and quality conscious, to survive, one has to compete with those who have technological advantages, financial advantage, systems advantages, communication advantages, and above all, those with people advantage. Success of the individual in the work place demands collaborative relationships with superior, colleagues and subordinates, and can seldom be adequately assessed solely by the superior.

Further, an individual’s personal development process requires objective and constructive feedback on one’s strength and weaknesses. The 360-degree feedback or Multi-rater assessment has become a worldwide phenomenon. It was extensively used as the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad in India form mid eighties though the term 360-degree feedback was coined in USA in early nineties. This tool has become a popular change management tool and leadership competence-building tool. This is evident from the increase in the number of Indian companies adopting it.

Performance appraisal has come to occupy a pivotal place in human resource function. The traditional merit rating which focused on personality traits was replaced by performance appraisal with focus on work results. In order to make appraisal more __________ * Assistant Professor of Commerce, Arignar Anna Government Arts College, Cheyyar – 604 407. E-mail: [email protected] co. in objective, transparent and participative, concepts such as self-appraisal, pear appraisal, subordinate appraisal and appraisal by customers both internal and external were introduced. Meaning 60-degree feedback is a process by which an individual gets his/her aggregated feedback from different categories of individuals- seniors (boss, reporting officer, reviewing officer), subordinates, direct and indirect reporters, peers (colleagues and internal customers), external customers and suppliers, and other role/set members with whom he/she is interacting. The 360-degree feedback process is an important development to enrich human resources, organizational development and training and development. Traditional performance assessment has generally been limited by the perspective of the immediate reporting and reviewing superiors.

In contrast, the 360-degree feedback broadens the canvas dramatically. It provides a wider and more realistic forum for frank evaluation by direct reports, peers and others, resulting in new motivation and direction for the people. As a result of this, people can move towards company’s goals more quickly and with greater precision. Though people may express initial apprehension of being assessed by superiors, subordinates, colleagues and others, in actual practice many prefer to be assessed by a group who see their performance from a variety of perspectives, rather than from the limited perspective of their immediate superiors.

They find 360-degree feedback as more accurate and fair. The 360-degree feedback process involves collecting perceptions about a person’s behaviour and the impact of that behaviour from the person’s superiors, direct reports, colleagues, fellow members of project teams, internal and external customers, and suppliers. Multi-source feedback encourages openness and raises expectation, leading people to believe the organizational values, continuous learning and honesty. The 360-degree feedback process should be integrated with the strategic perspective measures derived from the balance scorecard framework.

Most organizations appear to be using this process for: ? Leadership development (implementing their leadership models or reinforcing the same) ? Individual growth and development ? Competency building ? Rarely or never for: Performance Appraisals, rewards and recognition, collecting data on employees, succession planning and career development. Considerations before starting 360 degree feedback 1. Purpose It is important that people are clear about why this process is being used and what it is being used for.

The purpose needs to be clearly and consistently communicated to all those involved. 2. Culture Organizations need to consider whether the organisational culture supports this process and allows open feedback. The 360-degree feedback process relies heavily on the inputs of others so participants and raters need to feel comfortable and supported when taking part in this process. 3. Timing Identifying when to introduce 360 degree feedback is an important consideration. It is not appropriate to introduce it during periods of downturn or when redundancies or re-organizations have been announced.

During these periods, staffs are more likely to be feeling threatened and concerned about the organization’s intentions and therefore resistant to new feedback processes. 4. Roll out Consider having a senior manager acting as a sponsor or champion of 360-degree feedback. This can greatly enhance its success and generate buy-in in to the process. It is also important to involve staff as early as possible in the implementation of 360-degree feedback as it prevents secrecy and the feeling that this has been imposed on them. 5. Confidentiality

It is important to guarantee confidentiality for participants – both subjects and raters. Make sure the model you are using ensures this happens so that the feedback is not attributable to individual raters. The 360 degree process 1. Self-assessment Self-assessment encourages the individual to take responsibility for his or her own development and is a useful starting point in the 360-degree feedback process. Consideration needs to be given to the purpose of this information and how it is used as well as who has access to this data and how long is it held for. . The raters Identifying the most appropriate people to rate the performance of the individual is a key part of the process. Ideally the recipient will have full involvement in identifying who they think is in the best position to comment on their performance. The raters must be credible to the recipient for them to act on the resulting feedback. 2. 1 Number of raters The assessment has to be based on a large enough sample to ensure that it is valid. If too small, there is a danger that one rater’s view will have a major impact on the overall results. to 12 respondents are usually sufficient in terms of reliability. 3 The questionnaire The design of the assessment, reporting and feedback process should suit the purpose of the exercise. It needs to describe the behaviours, which relate to actual job performance. It should relate to existing measurement systems within your area, such as competencies. It also needs to be in line with City’s culture and values. The questionnaire needs to be relevant to the raters and their day-to-day involvement with the individual.

A well-designed questionnaire should offer respondents the opportunity to indicate where they have not had the opportunity to observe behaviour, or where the behaviour is not relevant to the job, so as not to force them to guess. Ideally the questionnaire should take between 15 and 30 minutes to complete. 3. 1 Qualitative and quantitative data The most effective questionnaire design is one that encompasses both quantitative as well as qualitative elements. The quantitative elements provide the structure and the qualitative questions provide the context. Feedback strategy It is important to consider what feedback is communicated and how and when this takes place. 4. 1 Feedback report Feedback usually consists of a report. The design of the report should be kept simple and ideally designed to help the individual priorities their relative strengths and development areas. Given that an individual is receiving sensitive information about how their colleagues, direct reports and manager view their performance, sensitivity is essential. Someone must be available to help interpret the results with that person. . 2 Trained facilitators As 360-degree feedback is being used as part of the appraisal process, feedback is communicated face to face. The people giving the feedback (appraisers) must have had the relevant training to give them the skills to support this process. 4. 3 When feedback is communicated Ideally the individual receives feedback as soon as possible after that feedback has been collated. It is important to ensure that people receive it when there is support available to interpret the results e. g. s part of a supportive appraisal process. 3. Evaluation 3. 1 Purpose Evaluating the impact of 360-degree feedback is an important part of determining its success. This is especially important if you have piloted this process and are considering rolling it out to other areas and/or are repeating the process. 3. 2 Measures Impact can be measured at both the organisational and individual level. This can include following up with participants about their views on the process as well as measuring the impact it had on their development plans.

On an organisational level, monitoring key performance indicators will determine whether targets have been met more closely following the introduction of 360-degree feedback. Implementation of 360-Degree Feedback Process in Banks The implementation is typically done by: ? Creating acceptance of the process with the individual to be evaluated. ? Conducting a self-evaluation with the individuals. ? Identifying the appropriate number of persons who will participate in the 360-degree feedback process. ? Conducting the evaluations with the employees, superiors, peers and subordinates. Analyzing the collected information to identify consensus on strength and weakness of the evaluated individuals. ? Meeting with the evaluated individuals to discuss the 360-degree feedback results and to develop a self-development plan to overcome personal deficiencies to meet the challenges. ? Conducting periodic evaluations of the individual. Objectives of 360-degree feedback or Multi-rater Appraisal and Feedback System (MAFs) The assessment is made on a questionnaire specially designed to measure leadership styles, managerial qualities, impact and other behaviors considered critical for performance.

Such feedback from multiple sources provides a credible picture and can be used for various purposes like: • Providing insights into the strengths and developmental areas of the candidate in terms of the effective performance of roles, activities, styles, traits, qualities, competencies (knowledge, attitudes and skills), impact on others etc. • Enhancing role clarity and establishing increased accountabilities. • Identification of developmental needs and preparing development plans more objectively in relation to the current or future roles and performance improvements for an individual or a group of individuals. Leadership Development. • Generating data for various personnel decisions (provided it is decided initially that the feedback is not meant only for the person but also to be shared completely with the organization) • Culture building and reinforcing other change management efforts and organization effectiveness directed interventions. This may include: TQM efforts, Customer focus or internal customer satisfaction enhancing interventions, Flat structures, Quality enhancing and cost reducing interventions, process changes etc. • Aligning individual and group goals with organizational vision, values and goals. Planning internal customer satisfaction improvement measures. This review generally supplements the traditional appraisal system and does not replace it. Benefits of 360-Degree Feedback 360-Degree feedback offers several advantages. Some of these include:      Benefits to Banks: • It provides a more objective and acceptable feedback. • Very effective for developing leadership and other competencies considered critical for performing various Leadership and Managerial roles effectively. • Serves as a team-building tool as it is more involving and participative • Promotes a culture of openness Promotes total quality with emphasis on internal and external customer orientation • Results in better quality of HR decisions for training and rewards • Helps in identification of competency gaps and planning development interventions • It is a good supplement to normal appraisals but not a substitute to them. Benefits to the individual: • Serves as a team-building tool as it is more involving and participative • Helps to ascertain if your impact on others within the organization is in the desired manner/direction • Enhances self-awareness Helps discover strengths, weaknesses and blind spots • Provides direction for change and development • Focuses attention on actions and behaviours valued by others; thereby improving work relations • Helps discover areas where you have not yet made a significant impact. Ingredients for the Success of 360-Degree Feedback in Banks 360-degree feedback systems can be very sensitive. A person who is not well prepared for it can be thrown out of balance. If not designed and conducted well, it has the potential danger of developing wrong perceptions or notions.

It is therefore necessary and important to manage the process well and make it foolproof. The first important step is to determine if the organization is ready for it. The second important step is to determine if the candidate is ready for it. The following are the indicators of a Bank’s readiness for 360-Degree Feedback. • The top management of the bank is committed to develop the competencies of employees on a continuous basis. • HRD systems operating in the bank being taken seriously in implementation. • The top management is willing to invest their time and effort in giving feedback to their own subordinates. The top management is adequately committed to competency-building through 360-Degree Feedback. • People take feedback supportively and use it for development. • The Bank already is or is in the process of becoming a customer-driven organization. • The HRD department has a high degree of credibility. The following are indicators to assess the readiness of a candidate for the 360-Degree Feedback: ? The candidate has a desire to know himself through the eyes of others. ? The candidate desire to be better. ? The candidate should be a learning-oriented individual. The candidate is receptive and respects the views of others. TVRLS Experience with 360-Degree Feedback TVRLS has covered over 3000 top-level managers so far from various organizations involving around 30,000 assessors. Research conducted by them to study the effectiveness of 360-degree feedback in enhancing overall effectiveness of top & senior management shows the following predominant changes: |» |They begin to focus more on leadership roles such as: | |  |* |Articulating vision and sharing it more systematically |  |* |Spending more time on communicating vision & goals | |  |* |Being more developmental as against benevolent or critical | |  |* |Paying more attention to and showing concern for individual needs rather than being preoccupied with one’s | | | |own ideas and issues. |  | |» |Enhanced Internal customer orientation, which is indicated by: | |  |* |Better interaction with colleagues and subordinates | |  |* |Learning from colleagues and benefiting from their experiences | |  |* |Building better rapport with seniors | | | |» |Increased focus on fostering team spirit which gets reflected in terms of: | |  |* |Setting high goals for the team | |  |* |More participative management | |  |* |Better conflict management | |  |* |Higher mutuality and more receptive to feedback | |  |* |Increased sensitivity to others’ feelings | |  |* |Creating a more collaborative culture | |  |* |Cross-functional review mechanism getting instituted | |  | |» |Marked increase in delegation and subordinates’ development in terms of: | |  |* |Empowering subordinates to take higher responsibilities | |  |* |Leaving routine decisions to lower levels | |  |* |Not nterfering in matters being handled by subordinates | |  |* |Encouraging subordinates to learn from their mistakes and being patient with them | | | |» |Predominant behavioural changes have been reported in terms of: | |  |* |Becoming assertive | |  |* |Clear communication | |  |* |Higher initiative | |  |* |Being more patient | |  |* |Being more proactive | |  |* |Better time management | In terms of the impact on their unit/department/organization, participants who responded felt that the changes they demonstrated post feedback, have generated increased motivation especially among their subordinates.

In addition, increased sensitivity to their managerial and leadership roles has resulted in better working relationships and, a more congenial atmosphere. How to prepare for implementing 360-Degree Feedback in Banks It takes a lot of trust in the bank and a lot of preparations before one can more from using 360-degree feedback strictly for development purposes to using it for taking decision on promotions and rewards. Most current literature on making 360-degree feedback effective as a tool for performance and leadership-style reviews has this to recommend. ? Begin with Development ? Link with Company Goal ? Train Everyone ? Follow Up ? Company Culture. Drawbacks Not every process is perfect and 360-degree feedback programs are no exception.

Subordinates may rate bosses high because they are afraid of retaliation. Peers tend to evaluate each other’s positively well, perhaps to avoid disrupting the group. On the other hand, peers tend to rate their colleagues on the lower side. Nevertheless, the number of people and variety of perspectives involved in a 360-degree feedback process should ensure a generally unbiased and accurate view of a person’s performance. Conclusion A 360-degree feedback process in banks gathers information, usually through a questionnaire, about the performance of employees or managers from people all around them-including peers, subordinates and even customers.

This type of multi-perspective evaluation is more complete and accurate than the traditional top-down evaluation. Superiors only see a portion of a manger’s performance. They need other perspectives to fill in the blanks. Subordinates can provide important information on the leadership qualities of a manager. Customers are in a better position, than anyone, to evaluate how employees perform with customers. A 360-degee feedback evaluation is also valuable because people do not act the same toward everyone. The interpersonal skills of a manager are probably more accurately reflected in feedback from subordinates or peers than in feedback from a manger’s superiors. Another important aspect of 360-degree feedback is the inclusion of self-evaluations.

Ratings by others will probably be more accurate, but self-evaluations force employees and managers to sit down and think about their strength and weakness. Finally, 360-degree feedback evaluations have the advantage of confidentiality. Top-down evaluations are usually not confidential. Supervisors must be prepared to defend their evaluations, which may cause them to soften or in some way alter what they might have said anonymously. Since 360-degree feedback involves groups of raters, the results are anonymous. *********** References: 1. Jim Meade. “Visual 360: A Performance Appraisal System That’s Fun”, HR Magazine, July 1999, pp. 119-122. 2. Mishra, Shishir and Nandini Chawla. Deriving Training Needs from 360 Degree Feedback”, TVRLS, Ahmedabad, 2003. 3. Paras Mal Jain. “Human Resource Management in Banks”, IBA Bulletin, October 2004, Vol XXVI, No. 10, Mumbai. p. 17-21. 4. Rao T V & Raju Rao. “The Power of 360- Degree Feedback”, Response Books, A division of Sage Publications, New Delhi. (2005). 5. Rao T V . “HRD Audit”, 9th Edition, Response Books, A division of Sage Publications, New Delhi. (2005). 6. Rao T V. “Making 360 Degree Feedback Work”, Human Capital, August, 1999. 7. Rao T V. “Performance Management and Appraisal Systems-HR Tools for Global Competitiveness”, Response Books, A division of Sage Publications, New Delhi. (2004). 8. Rao T V. Readings in Human Resource Development”, Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi. (2005). 9. Sangwan D S. “Human Resource Management in Banks”, IBA Bulletin, June 2005, Vol XXVII, No. 6. Mumbai. p. 14. 10. Tripathi P C. “Human Resource Development”, 5th Edition, Sultan Chand & Sons, New Delhi. (2006). 11. Udai Pareek and Rao T V. “Designing and Managing Human Resource Systems” 3rd Edition, Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi,1981 (2005). 12. www. appraisal360. co. uk 13. www. city. ac. uk/guidelinesforusing360degreefeedbackintheappraisalprocess. html 14. www. click-360. com 15. www. fullcirclefeedback. com 16. www. tvrls. com