Major changes are underway in the methods global organizations use to recruit and grow their personnel. Improvements in training needs assessment, career planning, and development are all competitive advantages that can have strategic implications. Research has shown that taking a "promotion-focused" approach to cultivating such advantages during a recession makes companies more likely to be positioned competitively in their market once economic conditions normalize.
To maximize the value each team member can contribute to strategic goals, a data-driven approach is imperative. Luckily, new tools for training needs assessment are becoming available, providing a more holistic view of talent development than ever before.
Employee surveys, feedback, and appraisals are helping enterprises deploy a consistent and effective approach to employee development. "360 degree feedback software" provides a total view of employee development that benefits team members and strategic decision-makers alike.
What are the core benefits of using 360 degree software to drive talent development strategy? To understand the potential, it's important to look at the operational effects of the software from two key perspectives: That of the employees being evaluated and that of the employers.
Employees Benefit Immediately When 360 Software is implemented
Individual contributors are the ones most likely to notice improved assessments first, even before enough data is gathered to make a strategic impact on HR management. Over time, employees enjoy the following benefits of 360 degree evaluation software:
- More Actionable Feedback
360 software makes it easier to develop consistent employee evaluations that can be compared over time. That, in turn, allows employees to gain a better understanding of their own professional growth, providing them with the opportunity to take ownership in response to feedback.
- Clearer Pathways to Growth
360 evaluations are also comparable across any given functional silo, so reports can better understand the strengths they need to cultivate to become more suitable for expanded responsibilities. This reduces ambiguity and frustration while allowing leadership potential to shine through.
- Greater Personal Investment and Employee Satisfaction
Using 360 software for training needs assessment means instilling greater autonomy in team members and fostering collaboration between teams and HR. A feeling of autonomy in the workplace leads to higher energy and morale overall and can help focus an organization's culture on excellence.
- Employers are empowered to Make Better Strategic Decisions through 360 Software
Team leaders and executive decision-makers also have much to gain from embracing the use of 360 degree software. When used correctly, such software can have a transformative influence on the strategic assets of an enterprise – regardless of industry.
Employers laud these benefits of standardized 360 assessments:
- Lower Overall Training Costs
Clear feedback gives team leaders and subject matter experts the tools they need to build their strategic competencies. That means that, when training opportunities are selected, they will tend to be more cost-efficient and "on point," producing better ROI.
- Reduced Turnover of Top-Performing Talent
Leaders understand that, as employees grow in skill and responsibility, cash compensation is a diminishing part of their value calculus. In fact, higher cash compensation can have a depressive effect on candidate quality. Clearer paths to influence and status promote the feelings of mutuality and respect that many technical subject matter experts value highly.
- Higher Productivity across the Organization
360 software helps link performance more clearly to outcomes. As team members realize that their ability to assess their progress and reach stretch goals will be tracked and rewarded, productivity is likely to increase and consistent under-performers will self-select for other opportunities.
360 Software Brings the Potential to Make HR Evaluations Truly Routine and Rational
While there is unmistakably a certain "art" to employee development, business decision-making should always be driven by the best available data. 360 software helps align training needs assessment with the rest of management science by creating a centralized source for that data.
Leaders who wish to render more talent development opportunities visible should consider championing the adoption of 360 assessment software. In the hands of HR innovators, it can represent a significant competitive advantage that reverberates across the enterprise.
This article is a guest contribution by Grapevine Evaluations, a web-based tool provider for 360 degree feedback.