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When the 360 Degree Review is User-Generated, Not "Administered" by HR...

Traditional 360 Degree feedback product on the market - driven by the Catbert in the HR department.

The 360 Degree tool of choice for the 2.0/3.0 crowd?  Let's just say they won't be needing your administrative skills to start the program.  More on satisfying the craving for performance feedback with user controlled web tools from the Economist:

"ONE defining characteristic of the Net Generation is that it thrives on feedback. Just as they are used to checking their progress on leader boards when playing video games, so Net Geners want to keep close tabs on their performance at work, too. This can be a problem for managers who may be badgered weekly—even daily—for appraisal by eager young members of staff.

The creators of a new, web-based service called Ryppleclaim that it can satisfy Net Geners’ desire for frequent assessments while easing the burden on their supervisors. The service requires employees to establish a network of trusted peers, mentors and managers whose opinions they value. They can then send out short questions, such as “What did you think of my presentation today?”, to which their network’s members can respond online. The responses are kept anonymous so that, at least in theory, employees cannot tell who has made them.

Among other things, Rypple lets users ask members of their networks to measure their performance against a scale, so they can track how they are doing over time. It also lets employers see what “tags”, or overarching themes, are being used most often in questions. If, say, creativity is key to a firm’s success but there are few requests for feedback on employees’ creativity, then bosses can tell they have not done enough to communicate their priorities."

This isn't an ad for Rypple, because I haven't talked to anyone there.  I got referred by the Economist article, went over to the site and checked it out.  It's impressive.  It's a clean, robust tool that's designed to take feedback straight to the user by promising confidentiality to those that respond and provide feedback upon request.

Of course, the missing link to that is interpretation of results and a session with a manager to get coaching.  Some users will handle the tool the right way, but most of us need a facilitator to see what we can't or don't want to.  With that in mind, Rypple also seems like a great tool for managers or HR pros to use to conduct a 360 review on behalf of an employee, then use the scale and verbatim comments to drive a feedback session.

It's also good to know that a quality "bootstrap" tool is out there for use on an ad-hoc basis for the 360. 

As for your administrative skills to channel Darth Vader, call a consultant and start the heavy handed process of an official 360 that costs hundreds of dollars.  With tools like Rypple, you're gong to have to earn your keep by doing other things - like running the feedback session with the results that come back in 24 hours through a web-based tool. 


Steve Boese

Thanks for the link to Rypple, it seems like a really simple, excellent tool for capturing important information that can easily get 'lost'. I applied for the private beta and will give it a try in my Hr Tech class.

Marsha Keeffer

Employees are also using various sites to comment on their companies anonymously - another version of 360, but public and uncontrolled.

Jessica Genry

As a Gen Yer, I can say that this tool would be extremely valuable if it does what it claims and is used in the spirit it was intended. I love a scoreboard; it keeps things interesting and lets me know where I should be utilizing "deliberate practice" to be a more valuable member of the team. Hopefully I wouldn't get any comments like "What's up with those shoes you're wearing today?"

Brett Hummel

As a Millennial myself I know that I am always looking for constant feedback, and after checking out Rypple I think that it could have some benefits for reviews. Rypple does solve the problem facing many Millennials when they are not able to receive the actual data on surveys unlike many 360 questionnaires. I think though, that this service could potentially fall prey to the same problems as the 360 reviews: that survey data either never gets answered or more importantly cultural or company wide results are not released/analyzed.

Millennials (more than previous generations) operate, function, and thrive not just as individuals but as a community. Too often reviews stop at the manager to employee level, and do not look for community trends. These reviews should be a first step to start a conversation among both young and older professionals about their company's culture and even its direction.

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