Three Alternative Uses for the EchoSpan 360-Degree Feedback Tool

Creative ways to use our feedback tool in your business

Articles » Three Alternative Uses for the EchoSpan 360-Degree Feedback Tool

A 360-degree feedback review is a great tool for developing employees. But there are other uses for the EchoSpan tool that you might not have thought of before. Here are a few creative, alternative uses for our feedback tool that clients have tried and enjoyed.

Reference Checks

The phone-based reference check is about as old as the telephone itself and is a staple of any hiring process. The problem is they're also time consuming, plagued by inconsistent administration and difficult to produce reports from. Instead of conducting your reference checks over the phone, perform them online using EchoSpan's feedback tool.

The next time you need to perform a reference check on a job candidate, put down the phone and log into EchoSpan. Setting up a "reference check" project is easy:

  1. Create a feedback project specifically for reference checks. You can start from scratch or use our sample "Reference Check 360" project template as a starting point.
  2. Enter the job candidate as the feedback Target.
  3. Have the job candidate supply you with the names, email addresses and relationships of his or her references. Then, enter these individuals as Raters into the system.
  4. Send out invitations to the reference providers (Raters) and sit back. They'll provide answers to your reference check questions online and in less time than it takes to speak with each of them on the phone.
  5. Run a standard 360 report. You'll not only get the qualitative answers to questions (for example: "Is there anything else we should take into consideration before hiring this individual?"), but the addition of rated reference check items will give you new insights into past job performance and perceptions of the candidate's skills and capabilities.

TIP: Create a one-line text box item for the reference provider to enter his or phone number in case a follow-up call is needed.

Team Surveys

Traditionally 360-degree feedback focuses on the behaviors exhibited by an individual. But, as working in a team environment becomes more and more critical in today's workplace, regularly assessing a Team's performance is important as well.

Running a team survey in the EchoSpan tool is easy and really no different than gathering 360-degree feedback on an individual. Here's what you need to do:

  1. Create a feedback project for Team Surveys. You can start from scratch or use our sample "Team Survey 360" project template as a starting point.
  2. Enter the Team's name as the Target. Something like "Accounting Team" will work fine.
  3. Enter the team members as Raters (as well as any other individuals within your organization who should provide feedback on the overall Team). You can create team survey-specific relationship groups to file them under, such as "Team Leader", "Team Member", etc. if desired.
  4. Send invitations and manage the review as normal.
  5. Run a standard 360 report to view results of both quantitative and qualitative questions.

Survey Your Surveys

One of the challenges in creating a successful 360-degree feedback program for employees is creating and/or selecting the right questions to ask. Whittling down a long list of proposed review questions to a manageable length is no easy task. Reviews are often created by committee, and each item is considered important by at least one member.

One method of downsizing a lengthy review is to ask managers of the individuals being reviewed what they consider to be the top 3-5 behaviors necessary for success in a given role. Their answers can be mapped to items in the review. The items that are mapped most frequently make it to the review's short list, while those that are not can be discarded.

To do this using the EchoSpan 360-degree feedback tool, try the following:

  1. Create a review project that contains all of the competencies and behaviors you are considering for your employee reviews.
  2. Add a Target to the review called "Survey the Survey" or something similar.
  3. Add as Raters all stakeholders in the survey creation process. These are typically higher level managers that would be asked to provide input into the selection of competencies and behaviors.
  4. Create a rating scale for the project that reflects the appropriateness of each proposed review item for inclusion in the final employee review form. Something like "not important, somewhat important, important, very important" will work fine.
  5. Send out your review invitations to Raters as normal and collect feedback.
  6. Run a standard 360 review report. The highest rated items are those that you should strongly consider using in your final employee review. The lowest rated items can be discarded.

With very little effort (and no time wasted in meetings!) you've narrowed down your employee review content set. What's more, you've enlisted key stakeholders in the process.

Last updated: Friday, December 19, 2014
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