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Multi-Rater Feedback

ePenso.com was originally conceived to address a very specific need – create a reliable, customizable, cost-effective online process for multi-rater feedback that does not require clients to invest in proprietary software or involve additional burden to an organization’s existing IT infrastructure.

ePenso.com is the only online provider of multi-rater feedback that offers completely customizable solutions that require no investment in software, no licensing fees, and no added burden to IT resources. The ePenso.com technology can be accessed by any employee with an e-mail address and access to an internet-ready PC and able to use any number of internet Browsers (Explorer, Netscape, etc.).

ePenso.com consultants will use their extensive experience and large network of skilled professionals to help you deliver a state-of-the-art multi-rater feedback program that will be certain to result in a positive outcome for your organization and its employees.

What is multi-rater feedback?
The process in which you evaluate yourself on a set of criteria, your manager evaluates you, as do your peers and direct reports. You receive a gap analysis between how you perceive yourself and how others perceive you. The most effective multi-rater feedback processes also include action planning and coaching sessions.

There are many other names that refer to the same process, including: 360 degree feedback, multi-source feedback, multi-rater assessment, full-circle appraisal, upward feedback, and peer review.

What are the benefits of multi-rater feedback program?
An effective multi-rater feedback can provide benefits across an organization.

For the individual:

  • Perception is reality and this process helps individuals to understand how others perceive them
  • Feedback is critical for learning
  • Development needs are identified
  • Strengths are reaffirmed
  • Individuals can better manage their own performance and careers
For the team:
  • Increases communication between team members
  • Supports teamwork by involving team members in the development process
  • Identifies team members’ complementary strengths and divergent development areas
For the organization:
  • Better career development for employees
  • Easier to promote from within
  • Impacts/contributes to succession planning
  • Drives training
  • Can improves customer service by having customers contribute to evaluation
How often should multi-rater feedback be conducted?
In order to allow those assessed sufficient time to make progress on their personal action plan and demonstrate to others that progress is in fact being made, most multi-rater feedback programs are performed once annually. However, the most effective multi-rater feedback programs include a six-month review process where the employee’s progress towards achieving annual goals are evaluated and strategies towards achieving goals are confirmed or re-aligned.

Customization vs. Standardized
ePenso.com believes an off-the-shelf multi-rater program solution is in fact more harmful to an organization than beneficial. The evaluation of perceptions around an employee’s performance is a critically sensitive process and any such program must completely take into account your organization’s own unique values, culture and environment.

Using a generic product can only result in generic responses and participants will be less inclined to accept the process as valid when portions of the assessment process do not relate to their work environment. Employees do not want to seek out the linkages relevant to them in their assessment but want to know that every response directly relates to their performance in the organization.

Taking the time to create a unique questionnaire perfectly tailored to your organization’s existing competency frameworks and leadership values will result in a far more effective program that truly impacts on the individual, team and organization.

With ePenso.com, a completely customized program can be created exclusively for your organization at costs comparable and even less than an off-the-shelf solution.

Linking multi-rater feedback to performance appraisals
Multi-rater feedback and performance appraisals can complement each other, but should not be linked. When multi-rater feedback is linked to compensation decisions, it loses its force as a career development tool.

When compensation decisions are an outcome of a multi-rater feedback program, employees will usually resort to a "I'll scratch your back, if you scratch mine" arrangement. Furthermore, should employees subsequently receive low ratings, low morale is generally the result whereas linking the program towards a development approach will then have employees view the results as the constructive feedback they require to excel in their roles.

Anonymity and confidentiality
ePenso.com’s online process absolutely assures the anonymity and confidentiality of each respondent, with the obvious exception of the ratee’s superior. Responses provided to the survey are never attributed to single respondent and ePenso.com will not release, binded as through contractual obligation, the individual results to anyone within the client organization.

However, ePenso.com cannot prevent the possibility that an individual may self-identify themselves in the provision of their open-ended comments. For example, if a respondent uses a certain turn of phrase or a specific type of vocabulary, or if he/she refers to a project that involves only the participant and the ratee, it is possible that the ratee will recognize the author of the comment in question.

Success and Failure Factors
When embarking on your decision to implement a multi-rater feedback program, there are a number of critical success and failure factors one should consider.

Organizations that experience success with the multi-rater methods have shared similar environmental and best practice features in place. Some of these are:
  • The existing organizational climate fosters individual growth
  • An existing organizational culture that embraces constructive criticism as an opportunity for improvement
  • Key management champions who actively promote and support the program
  • Development of feedback tools based on organizational goals, competencies and values
  • Assurance that feedback will be kept confidential
  • Tools that are clear and straightforward to use and allow for open- and closed-ended questions
  • Information sessions are held to clearly brief employees on the program and answer any questions
  • Train employees in appropriate methods for giving and receiving feedback
  • Executive cadre act as coaches and mentors – receiving adequate training to be so in advance of the project
  • Organization supports the feedback received with personalized action plans and customized coaching
Organizations that experience failure with the multi-rater methods have normally rushed into the process without laying out the proper foundation for success. Issues that can drive a multi-rater feedback program to failure include:
  • Linking feedback to compensation or promotions
  • Allowing comments to be traced back to an individual and causing resentment between workers
  • Using an off-the-shelf solution that is not linked to organizational goals or values
  • Using the process as a stand alone procedure without the necessary follow-up
  • Poor implementation/communication will negatively affect motivation
  • Asking employees to dedicate their time to the project and in the end not realizing any concrete results
Contact ePenso.com today to ensure your multi-rater program is a complete success.

 
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