Validating 360 Cross-Evaluations

Most organizations use 360 cross-evaluations to develop their employees’ competencies and expertise. But 360 cross-evaluations can also be deceiving. A case in point: for Merrill Lynch, NetForm was asked to validate their 360 cross evaluation procedures. What we discovered was that in some cases, certain employees were given a high relative rating which when correlated with NetForm analysis revealed that these employees were at an average level of connection but their job design/placement was in a superior position. When Merrill Lynch has only one dollar to spend, they decided to spend their dollar on furthering the development and skills of this particular employee. They reasoned that if the employee were transferred or promoted because of “perceived” value, that the upstream hazard of his or her failure would damage the firm’s performance and reputation. In a separate case, Merrill Lynch discovered that a promising employee received a “low” 360 evaluation. When cross-tabulated with a NetForm analysis which revealed that this employee was a superior colleague across multiple networks, it was discovered that the job design for this employee in the “back office” was abysmal. When Merrill Lynch only has one dollar to spend, how do they spend it in this case? NetForm recommended that they re-design the job and retain the valued employee. This approach has been used by Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan and Schwab.

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