360-degree feedback case studies 360-degree feedback case studies

Three case studies from organisations who’ve used AdviceSheet’s 360-degree feedback tool

AdviceSheet clients are a diverse group of organisations and businesses of all sizes, including higher education institutions, city councils, SME businesses, consultants, executive coaches and more.

Here are 3 case studies from organisations who’ve used AdviceSheet’s 360-degree feedback tool in conjunction with Steven Rabson Stark of consultancy and coaching partner, Then Somehow:
• A large metropolitan university in North West England
• A large London research university
• Market leading HR software company
360-degree feedback case studies. Image courtesy Pexels

1. Giving clarity to leadership at a large metropolitan university in North West England

The leadership team at this large UK university was implementing a reorganisation and needed some support to help them work together better as a team, and make time for the strategic work rather than just delivering business as usual. 

The support involved strengthening their relationships, building trust, helping them manage conflict more effectively, equipping them with skills for having difficult conversations, and making them more emotionally aware and more confident to be vulnerable.

They undertook an AdviceSheet 360-degree review once they had built some competence in being vulnerable, alongside action learning, and group and 1-2-1 coaching. 

The 360-degree survey went out to their peers, but also to their teams and to other stakeholders in their organisation. 

It was scary for some of the leadership group but also incredibly helpful, because although the 360-degree feedback was mixed for a few, there was also a lot of positive reinforcement, which was good at helping build leaders’ confidence in being able to ask for feedback. 

For a few people, the staff and peer feedback highlighted some blindspots and when the penny started to drop, people realised how their behaviours were affecting the strategic work.

This helped them find some clarity where they had been struggling, and in a few cases people had an epiphany that their instinctive behaviour to hold everything really close to their chest and control everything was not working at all, in fact was actually pushing people away who were offering to help, and was making things worse. 

As a result, people gained clarity in how their behaviour was creating stress for themselves and affecting the work they were delivering - enabling them to work in a different way.

2. Shifting behaviours at a large London research university

The organisational development team at this large London university were running an inquiry into the university’s culture, including a rethink about how they were working, in advance of some proposed structural changes. 

They knew that their culture was not perfect, but if they were going to make the structural changes, then they should really talk about what the culture was like and how they build on it and make it better, to make sure the structural changes didn't make it worse. 

As data started to come in about what the culture was like, including the sticky bits, one of the highlighted areas for improvement was that changes in the way that some leaders were behaving could make a huge difference. 

This presented a really good opportunity to leverage leadership in a new way. So each of the key leaders did a 360-degree feedback exercise to better understand how they were being received, and what people really valued from them. 

The 360-degree feedback made people aware of the impact of their behaviours - as a result there were a lot of stories about shifts in the way they were running meetings and delegating, for example.

3. Scaling up a market leading HR software company

This SME software business had been growing rapidly. As the business scaled and matured, leadership realised that something different was required from their teams.

Up to that point the business had been operating in startup mode. They had some really experienced managers leading all of their teams, but if those managers left it was really important that the next generation could step in. 

This required leaders to start handing down responsibility, to stop controlling people and instead give them room to develop and grow. 

A 360-degree review was used to identify growth opportunities for staff, and give people the confidence to step into them. The company had a really good people-first culture anyway, so it wasn't hard to introduce the 360-degree review to the team. 

At first managers were nervous about asking people to step up: “will that be imposing on people or will they be okay with it? Will they let us down?” they asked. In fact what came through as part of the 360–degree feedback process was a hunger from staff for more responsibility. 

This gave the leaders real confidence to bring those people through. It was also an opportunity for modelling vulnerability, and helped to establish the idea that everyone can get better, and everyone can learn and grow. 

As a result leaders felt confident to devolve more and more responsibility, and it worked.

360 degree reviews can help

A 360 degree feedback review can also be a useful tool here, because it creates a neutral and a safe space for people to articulate what they might not be able to say in person about what their experiences are, without exposing themselves in a dangerous way, for example, when there are power dynamics at work. 

In addition, 360s’ are designed to invite constructive feedback through the way the questions are written and to be balanced: they’re an opportunity to talk about strengths as well as weaknesses and to feel valued and appreciated. Knowing that you are valued makes it easier to hear about things you could improve.

If you’re looking for good 360 review software that supports the growth of your employees and your organisation, and removes the complicated admin that can accompany 360’s, use a tool like AdviceSheet which has:
  • Transparent pricing
  • Automates the process
  • Anonymous participants
  • Confidential reports
  • Free from meaningless metrics
  • Questions that stimulate insightful answers