“If you’re not growing, you’re dying.”

It’s unclear who first said that, but the truth in that statement isn’t in doubt – and it applies to both businesses and individuals. In fact, let’s take that a step further … If your people aren’t growing, your organization is dying. As your people grow, they become catalysts for innovation, excellence and – you guessed it – growth. One of the most impactful tools for individual growth and business success is the 360 degree review. A 360 degree review allows your people to get candid feedback on specific skills – or competencies – that are critical to the company’s mission, goals and culture. That feedback is gathered from a wide group of people including peers, customers and direct reports. Your people can discover how well they communicate, collaborate with the team, contribute ideas, and demonstrate flexibility from a variety of important perspectives.

Why is a 360 degree review so impactful? Because you can have the most intelligent, skilled, creative people on the planet, and all that talent can get lost in the mix of misunderstandings, missed deadlines and thwarted expectations. A 360 degree review gives your people insight into what they may be doing (or not doing) to cause misses. They can then use those insights to make adjustments and use their skills to produce the best possible results. If you already use performance reviews, you may wonder why you’d need a 360 degree review. It may seem like you’d just be rehashing the same stuff. But nothing could be further from the truth. To start with, using a 360 degree review in advance of performance reviews can actually set your people up for achieving higher marks. Also, where performance reviews are important for helping employees advance in terms of their specific job functions, 360 reviews go beyond the performance review with feedback from a more diverse group of people. 360 reviews drive greater effectiveness and productivity when working with others across the organization. Let’s illustrate with an example.

Sam’s Breakthrough

Sam is in business development. No one is better than Sam at building relationships with clients. When it comes to achieving business development goals, he’s unstoppable. He’s tenacious when it comes to uncovering new prospects, detailed when it comes to writing proposals and polished when delivering presentations. Sam’s boss, Andy, can’t find much to complain about. Andy has always been impressed with Sam’s capabilities, experience and performance. There is one problem, however. When Sam brings in the business, a string of issues often follows. The projects can be stressful and deadlines typically fall into jeopardy as work that misses the mark has to be redone. Sam has had to do some serious triage to save the relationship with several customers. Andy heard about 360 degree reviews from a peer in another organization. He explained that his managers gained insight into how they could improve from peers, other directors and direct reports. The results they’ve seen include a record growth in sales and profitability. Andy decided to give the 360 degree review process a try. Sam participated in the process since his position was so critical to the ongoing success of the company.

Here’s what Sam discovered. While customers raved about his work, the 360 degree review feedback from his co-workers in other departments showed that others felt intimidated by Sam. Some expressed difficulty getting clear direction from him, and many said they didn’t have a sense that Sam understood their job functions and responsibilities. In short, while he thought a lot of the problems were a result of the incompetence of others, they really involved a breakdown in communication. Since Sam is very goal-oriented, he began working immediately on communicating more effectively. He started by making the effort to ensure that everyone was clear on expectations and deadlines. He was also more intentional about asking for feedback and ideas. The result from the 360 degree review – customer satisfaction skyrocketed! Sam found it much easier to get follow-up business from existing customers because they were so happy. He felt less stressed and experienced greater satisfaction, and that spilled over to his relationships with co-workers and customers. OK. Not everyone is as gung ho about their professional and personal development as Sam. But they can’t grow if they don’t know.

What Could a 360 Do For You?

What kinds of results are possible for your company? You can find out easily with the 36 Dollar 360. It’s the easiest, most affordable 360 degree review tool available. 36 Dollar 360 takes you through a step-by-step process and includes built-in competency models that simplify the process of deciding what skills to review. You can even review two people at absolutely no cost by taking the 36 Dollar 360 for a real test drive with all the bells and whistles. A 360 degree review is simply the best way to provide feedback from every angle. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to Develop Everybody!™