Can I just get feedback on current performance? (rather than current vs. desired)

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Categories: Design & set-up: FAQs

By default, our feedback questionnaires ask people to assess both the current and desired performance of the person being assessed.

In our experience, we've found that:

  • Assessing both the current and desired performance leads to more useful results
    • This is because it's rare that everyone should be aiming for top marks in every area. (For example, an Finance Director and Marketing Director might both be assessed against the same competencies in a 360 but they are unlikely to both need to be a 5/5 in 'Willingness to take risks'.)
    • So, by also assessing the desired performance, Spidergap can produce a feedback report that more accurately reflects the areas that others think need improvement. (For example, let's say a junior team leader is scored 2/5 for 'Setting a vision'. They got an average of 2/5 for current performance, but only a 3/5 for desired. Whereas for 'Breaking down tasks' they get a 3 for current performance and a 5 for desired. 'Breaking down tasks' should be higher up their list for improvement.)
    • In turn, the person receiving feedback is more likely to prioritize the right areas, and spend less time arguing whether an area actually needs to improve or not. (See: 'Help employees focus their personal development (Video)')
  • Assessing the desired performance does not mean the survey will take much longer to fill in.
    • Typically a dual rating question adds less than 5 seconds per question vs. a single rating question.
    • This is because most of the time taken to complete a 360 is spent reading the question, reflecting on examples of how someone has performed recently, and providing written feedback.
  • Employees do not struggle to fill in ratings for both current and desired performance
    • Because many professionals have not come across surveys that assess both current and desired performance, they assume that employees will struggle to fill them in... but this is rarely the case.
    • Numerous customers have initially asked us to remove the desired performance from the questionnaire...
    • ... but then later re-added the desired performance rating as they discovered that participants valued the results.
    • Just make sure you explain to employees what is expected of them, and that you want them to provide context to their answers by giving both 'current' and 'desired' performance scores.

Single rating scales (i.e. just assessing 'Current performance') are great when everyone needs to aim for top marks in every behaviour you are assessing. If so, we're happy to set up your questionnaire to do so - just contact our support team and let them know which project(s) you want updated.