Jason's 360 Review

One of the tools that HR departments use these days is the 360 Review where, instead of the traditional performance review by your superior, feedback about your performance is solicited from everyone you work with – colleagues, co-workers, people you supervise, etc. 

We don't do 360 reviews at Southeast Regional Library but after talking to my colleague in Estevan who had done something similar with his staff and after discussing it with our Personnel Manager, I decided to do one on my own as I thought this
process might be useful, especially as I am coming to the end of my
first position as a professional librarian and the feedback would help
me as I moved forward in my career.

In my previous jobs, I had anywhere from 2-6 co-workers in the entire organization and my supervision was limited to the occasional summer student and various contractors so there wasn't much point in doing one in that setting. 

But now, with the quantum leap of having a dozen co-workers at our regional headquarters alone, colleagues at our two city libraries and supervisory responsibility for nearly 50 branch librarians (over 100 people if you count my indirect supervision of library assistants), I had a large enough sample group to make it worthwhile. 

I set up a slightly modified version of the SurveyMonkey template for 360 reviews and sent the link out to approximately 60 people within our organization.  More than 50% of people who received the survey filled it out.

I have to be honest – I mostly got the sort of feedback I expected, both positive and negative and there were no stunning revelations.  Still, I think it was a useful process in a number of ways and I'm glad I did it. 

Here is a summary of my results (which may only be an active link as long as the SurveyMonkey subscription I'm using lasts – I think until fall 2008). 

I've made it so only the results of the non-open-ended questions are displayed.  I tend to be a fairly open person but I'm not brave enough to share all the negatives that were raised (and even some of the positives were either backhanded compliments or digressed to complaints about other aspects of our organization not related to my performance.) 

1. How often do you have contact with Jason?
A third of respondents said they were in contact with me, either by phone, e-mail or in person, “more than once per week” with “a couple times per month” and “once per week” coming in as close seconds. 

2. Rate Jason in the Following Areas (/5)
Communication Skills – 3.77
Follow-up Skills – 3.42
Quality of Work – 3.68
Manages Requests in a Timely Fashion – 3.32
Ability to Respond to Change – 3.67
Availability to You – 3.61
Responsive to Requests For Support & Guidance – 3.68
Job Knowledge – 3.61

3. Employee's Key Strengths (I just picked a representative sample)
His ability to listen and understand even if he doesn't agree with you.
His willingness to help when needed.

Empathy for the librarians' workload
Great sense of humor
Excellent leadership qualities

Is great with dealing with people and finding solutions to a problem. He is organized and has a great knowledge of his job.
Listening skills are very good. This is critical and often undervalued.
A very good listener
he treated me as an individual, not just as one of the
librarians-recognizes that all librarians have their own strengths and
weaknesses and builds on the strengths.
believes that some rules have a grey area to them in certain

Really listens to concerns–I saw results of a consultation with Jason in a change of an administrative procedure.
Knowledgeable about changes in available technology – CAP training was really useful.
Changes in procedures were well-thought-out and instructions were clear before implementation was required.

Jason's door is always open. He is
quick to handle any questions or problems I bring to him. I really like
his creative approach to handling the branches.
1) Ability to adapt to the situation at the working level without compromising the main rules.
2) Strong interpersonal skills -relating to those under his supervision well.
3) Follows through when things are not resolved immediately-you can count on him getting to it when he can.

4. Employee Weaknesses (again, a representative sample )
none. I am very happy with Jason's supervisory role

5. Other Comments? (yet again, a representative sample)
Patient, attentive listening and interpersonal skills will pay off big time in the years ahead. This is a leadership habit.
Jason is great to work with.  Fun to have around and always looking for ways to improve, both himself and his workplace.
Mr Hammond is one of the nicest and
considerate co-workers that I have ever had. I wish to work with him in
the future if it is possible.

6. Your Name
I specifically asked for (constructive) criticism when I sent out the link and also said that people could reply anonymously as well.  Still, approximately one third of respondents signed their names which was nice as it helped give a clearer understanding of why certain people might see certain strengths and weaknesses. 

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