uVox 360 is our online Multisource Assessment survey system.
Based on years of experience and successes with small and large projects, Ullix has developed a specialized platform for the creation and management of Multisource Assessment surveys. This platform, called uVox 360 is now available online as an “on-demand” service to any company, organisation or HR consulting firm needing to conduct Multisource Assessment surveys or multi-rater surveys.
The entire process is efficient, simple and affordable.
We can configure a survey according to your own competency model and specifications. As for the survey deployment, we can manage the entire process for you or only participate in the planning stage. Regardless of how you use uVox 360, we are always available to help at any point of your project. The decision is yours.
Why use uVox 360?
uVox 360 was built on the expertise of real-life projects. It is a specialized tool that incorporates and supports best practices in conducting Multisource Assessment surveys.
- Service - Ullix offers as much or as little expert help as you want. Whether you need assistance in developing a specific report or just a few guidelines, our experts are always there for you.
- Flexibility - uVox 360 can be used as is or it can be taillored to your exact requirements. Every aspect of the application can be customized to match your needs. You can even brand the entire “look & feel” as your own.
- “on-demand” application - uVox 360 requires no installation and provides almost universal access, it can easily be deployed across any organization in no time and without any technical expertise. It also means that your commitment is minimal; you only pay for what you use.
- Real-time monitoring dashboards - If your project is of large scale, you will be able to know at any time where problems arise and take appropriate action.
How do I get started?
Simply call us at (514) 871-1026 x24
The uses of a Multisource Assessment survey
Multisource Assessment surveys are an instrument to diagnose and ultimately improve individual employees’ competencies and skills. At the individual level, a Multisource Assessment survey can increase self-awareness and self perception accuracy. Individuals will gain a better understanding of their strengths and of the areas that need development and that are critical to the organization. They will also understand how different groups in their work environment perceive them in each area and if those perceptions correspond to their own.
Common goals pursued by organizations in conducting Multisource Assessment surveys are:
Strategic alignment - When the competency model is correctly aligned with the organization’s objectives, employees understands which competencies are critical for the accomplishment of corporate objectives. This common understanding, shared by all employees, strengthens the work teams as it focused their effort toward a common goal.
Succession planning - Multisource Assessment surveys also play an important part in succession planning by helping identify high potential individuals and promoting their long-term leadership growth and development.
Rationalization of development resources - When looked at in aggregate, the results of Multisource Assessment surveys can point to group deficiencies in critical areas. Progressive organizations will use this information to tailor training and development programs that are better aligned with organizational objectives.
Interdepartmental relations - A Multisource Assessment survey process is useful to assess the relations among departments contributing to the same operational process or, for performance appraisal purposes, when an individual has worked for different managers or within different teams during the evaluation period.
Performance appraisals - Multisource Assessment surveys can also be used within the context of a performance appraisal process, if this is done carefully. A pure Multisource Assessment survey should never be used as a basis to evaluate an individual’s performance. The reason is simple, if respondents know that they have a way to directly influence a performance assessment, they may feel tempted to provide feedback that is either too positive or too negative depending on their personal relationship with the individual being evaluated.
If a follow-up Multisource Assessment survey is conducted within a reasonable timeframe from the previous one, around 12 to 18 months, it is also possible to validate and measure individual performance improvements during that period. Has the individual improved in the competencies that were selected as development priorities as a result of the previous survey? If a training program was used, was it effective?
More than ever, organizations recognize the strategic value of their workforce. To this effect, HR departments need tools to help them better gauge employee satisfaction, measure employee performance and to foster the development of competencies and skills that are in line with the organization’s strategic objectives.
Properly planned and executed a Multisource Assessment survey can have a positive impact on the organization’s performance and work environment. It is a tool that diagnoses and helps improve individual employees’ competencies and skills. Used within a long-term plan, Multisource Assessment surveys will impact areas such as succession planning and the alignment of objectives throughout the organization.
A recent study states that the use of Multisource Assessment surveys has dramatically accelerated over recent years with more than 90% of Fortune 1000 companies are now using it. (Source: The Economic Value of Competencies: Measuring ROI, by Lyle Spencer and Charles Morrow).
A Multisource Assessment survey is simply a survey about an employee. Selected individuals that interact with the participant, are asked to provide their observations on how he (she) exhibits a number of work-related behaviors. Due to the sensitive nature of the collected feedback, the process must be anonymous and confidentiality rules must be established, known and respected.
Assessors are chosen to represent different categories of people that interact with the participant on a regular basis. Assessors are the hierarchical superior as well as selected peers, all subordinates and self. The process can also include other raters such as clients or partners.
This diversity of perspectives leads to a more balanced, nuanced and objective feedback than what is traditionally gathered from a single source (usually the leader). Additionally, the Multisource Assessment survey reveals the gaps that exist between the subject’s own perception and that of others. All this information helps the participant gain self awareness and a better understanding of her (his) impact on the people (s)he works with.
In the end, the objective of a Multisource Assessment survey is to identify the subject’s strengths and areas that need development. All other benefits for the organization are built on succeeding at this level.
A Multisource Assessment survey is similar to a survey; in fact it is a survey about an individual. Ideally, the Multisource Assessment questionnaire must be based on actions and behaviors that are observable by the respondents. Therefore, a questionnaire cannot measure the same behaviors for all of the organization’s employees. Before creating the questionnaire, it is essential to prioritize the competencies that will serve the organization and its employees in the most profitable ways.
Creating a competency model is a balancing act. A generic model is not very useful because it cannot measure all of the [deterministic behaviors] within an organization, while on the other hand an over-specific model will be of limited use because it cannot provide a comparison basis for participants across the organization. It is thus necessary resolve a competency into its components (to be translated into observable behaviors) so that each participating group of employees is properly represented.
With this setup, each competency model will include “dimensions” that are specific to the group and others that are generic for the whole organization. The common dimensions provide an organization-wide perspective.
It is generally a good idea to ask the participants to rate the relative importance of a competency for the person being evaluated. This information provides a deeper understanding of what others perceive as being important and allows the subject to focus or prioritize his (her) development plans on these competencies.
uVox allows you to create your own competency model according to your specific requirements. We provide a variety of evaluation scales so that you can easily create a questionnaire that perfectly fits all of your organization’s requirements.
The following is a high-level overview of the Multisource Assessment Survey process. This advice is based on years of experience…
As with any project, good planning is essential for a successful 360 feedback survey. The first step is to clearly identify the goal of this survey and how it fits with other HR programs already in place. Whether the survey is used for performance management or for employee development, Multisource Assessment Surveys are always of a sensitive nature and may face internal resistance from participants. Early support and buy-in from higher management is a key success factors. Other considerations at this stage include:
- Have a follow-up plan before you start:
- Make sure that « debriefing » is in place to explain the feedback report and to help identify growth areas – this can be done individually or in a group. If well planned, both cases work well.
- Once participants receive their report and do their action plan, make you’re your support programs are adequate – think training, coaching, motivating
- Make available resources known in terms of persons, budget, programs
- Identify the ratees, or the persons who will be evaluated
- Decide how the raters will be assigned. They can either be assigned by the manager of the ratee, by the human resources consultant, by the ratees themselves, or through a combination of these.
- Decide the project duration and general workflow.
- Decide the confidentiality and privacy issues. Who will have access to the reports and why.
- Design a communication plan. It is extremely important to explain the project to all participants. This should be communicated by various means and over an extended period of time. The communication plan must initially explain:
- What are the objectives of the project;
- How the process will be conducted and what will be required of each participant;
- The privacy and confidentiality policies.
Designing the competency model and the survey
Constructing an effective Multisource Assessment Survey is a task better left to someone with the appropriate expertise. There are ready-to-use surveys that can fit your objectives but depending on [the specifics of your project], it might be necessary to develop a customized survey. In the case of a Multisource Assessment Survey, this involves the selection of appropriate competency models, the formulation of the questions and the types of answer scales to be used. Principles of clarity and brevity are critical both in layout and content, for example you should avoid double-barreled and non-behavioral questions that lead to ambiguous responses. It is also important not to overwhelm the respondents with more questions than what is strictly necessary. Usually, longer surveys do not translate to more or better feedback, they simply lead to lower participation rates.
- Make sure that the competency models are consistent with the long-term strategic goals of the organization. Organizational objectives must drive the competency model. The competencies to be evaluated must be relevant to the organization and appropriate to the position of the person being evaluated. Each type of position being evaluated usually requires its own competency model which means that different surveys have to be developed within the same project;
- Make sure that all competencies are recognized and understood by all employees;
- In parallel, plan for the content of the report.
At this step, it is crucial to have a technology platform in place that will support the entire project and facilitate its administration. Ease of use and ease of deployment are critical elements of success. The ability to manage email communications and to monitor the participation rate is equally important. The main steps in the deployment phase are:
- Send email invitations to all participants;
- Send email reminders to laggards;
- Establish start and finish dates for every activity;
- Notify participants of their participation rate;
- Send reports;
- Debriefing and action plans.
Ideally, and if the project is on a large scale, it is recommended to conduct a pilot project that will allow for adjustments before full deployment.
The report templates should have been decided on at the survey design stage. Clarity and brevity are once again critical. It is recommended to have debriefing sessions to explain the reports to participants but they should be able to understand the basics of it by themselves. Multisource Assessment reports should include normalized results for each question and clearly compare the self answers to those of the different categories of raters. Reports can also include some statistics, although it is not advisable to go beyond basic descriptive statistics. Special emphasis should be placed on highlighting the main development opportunities and strengths of the employee.
Reports should be produced and delivered as soon as possible once the evaluation period has ended. It is also possible to produce aggregate reports for any given group. This can be useful for managers to identify any general development needs and to track the group’s progress over time.
Debriefing and follow-up
When the results of a Multisource Assessment Survey are correctly interpreted, the understanding of how others perceive us can be a potent driver for positive individual change. There is however a strong chance that individuals by themselves misinterpret the feedback they receive or reject its validity for any number of reasons (but mainly if it conflicts with their self-perceptions) or simply decide that follow-up action is not necessary.
Most of the value of conducting a Multisource Assessment Survey hinges on the impact the exercise will have in improving targeted competencies of the subjects. This is only possible if subjects are provided with help to interpret the results they get and to devise an appropriate follow-up plan. The debriefing process can offer group sessions and/or one-on-one meetings. Ideally every subject should be debriefed by a specialist and should also have an action-planning meeting with their manager. The managers need to be trained so that they can help their employees draft a development plan that is consistent with the organizational objectives and the individual’s development areas. By helping the employee devise a development plan, the manager is committing to the plan and to providing the necessary support.
The best way to measure the impact of a Multisource Assessment Survey is to conduct a follow-up survey within 12 to 18 months. The interval between projects should provide sufficient time for individuals to work on their development plan. The follow-up surveys have the added value to reveal whether the development plans for the previous period have had a perceivable impact or not.
UVox is built on many years of experience designing and deploying 360 feedback surveys: the technology supports the industry’s best practices. However not all aspects of Multisource Assessment Surveys depend on a solid system platform: management project practices and experience play a crucial role in the project’s success. The following practical advice will help you avoid the most common pitfalls.
- Make sure that the competency model is consistent with the long term strategic goals of the organization. Organizational objectives must drive the competency model. The competencies to be evaluated must be relevant to the organization and the questions appropriate to the position of the person being evaluated. Specific questions assessing a dimension can be targeted to a certain group of employees while others will be addressed to the whole organization, thus, allowing a basis for a global perspective. Yes, different surveys are often developed within the same project.
- Make sure that all competencies are recognized and understood by all employees.
- Higher management buy-in is key for these types of projects.
- Make sure that the Multisource Assessment Survey is coordinated with other HR programs within the organization, such as:
- Training programs: seminars, lectures, readings, workshops;
- Performance management program;
- Motivation programs;
- Coaching and mentoring programs.
- Conducting a pilot project will allow you to adjust any aspect of the questionnaire or competency model that may not be perfectly clear:
- Make sure that the pilot project is carried on with a group that is representative of the organization if possible. The pilot project’s participants could become the program’s champions;
- It is recommended to conduct a focus group with the pilot project participants to identify areas of improvement.
- Have a follow-up plan before you start.
- Make sure that « debriefing » is in place to explain the feedback report and to help identify growth areas;
- Plan for coaching for the months following the evaluation;
- Identify available training and development resources.