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Using 360 Degree Feedback For Training Needs Analysis

10th Aug 2014
CEO Track Surveys
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At one big company I used to work in, part of our annual training budget process was a Training Needs Analysis - at the end of which we would come out with a plan for what training and development we were going to provide to our people.

What an ordeal that was!  We had to canvass the heads of each department, as well as a sample of managers and learners, to assess what training they were going to need in that year, then put it all together, weed out the priorities from the non-priorities, decide how much it was all going to cost, then submit it to head office.  (HO would then come back with how much budget we would actually get – regardless of what we had said we needed – but that’s another story!).

My point being that our method of data gathering for the Training Needs Analysis was hugely time-consuming, inaccurate, and impossible to replicate and measure year-on-year.  Enter 360 Degree Feedback.

What are the benefits?

A number of organisations we work with are now using their 360 Degree Feedback data to get accurate, up to date training needs analysis for the whole organisation – as well as for supporting management and leadership development, assessment centres and performance appraisal.

1.    If you’re already using 360 Degree Feedback, you already have the data you need for your Training Needs Analysis  – you just need to be able to report it in a way that will make it meaningful (e.g. by department, functional group, role, grade, region, country  etc).

2.    If you’re not already using 360 Degree Feedback, you’ve got a great opportunity to build a 360 based on the key capabilities that you want to develop in your organisation.  The 360 will help you to measure specifically who has those skills, how well they use them, and in what areas of the business they are found.  The 360 will also tell you where the gaps are, help you take action in building those skills, and then allow you to measure the progress you’ve made.

By re-using the 360 Degree Feedback on a regular basis, you can obtain an excellent measure of where skills improvements have been observed and where there are still gaps that need to be filled.

You’ll also be helping individuals and their managers to identify their own training needs, thereby helping them build personalised development plans and set their objectives.

How does 360 Degree Feedback tell you about the training needs in your groups or organisation?

1.    360 Degree Feedback allows every person to give feedback on a colleague’s behaviours and skills as observed by them on a daily basis.

2.    So if everyone is responding to the same statements, and there’s a clear, consistent message about skills and behaviours that are not being displayed often or frequently, then it’s a great starting point for focusing on helping people to develop that skill or behaviour.

To use 360 Degree Feedback for Training Needs Analysis:

•    Re-use any tools you have already developed, such as KPI’s, competencies, skillsets or job specifications, as a starting point for your 360 Degree Feedback.

•    Your 360 Degree Feedback should:

- Focus on a small group of key capabilities (these can be tailored for different groups or areas of the business)

- Contain statements that clearly describe what those key capabilities and behaviours look like

- Measure using a clear rating scale that will help you to see where there is a need for training or development

By aggregating the 360 Degree Feedback results for a group, department or the whole organisation, you can spot trends and patterns that indicate a need for intervention, whether that's  training, development or coaching.

 

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