Can we compare 'current performance' and 'importance'?

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Categories: Design & set-up: FAQs

Some 360 Feedback tools have two rating scales:

  • Current performance
  • Importance

This is better than just assessing current performance as it gives the person receiving the feedback more context about whether or not it's an area that's important for them to improve.

In Spidergap, we do not support separate rating scales for Current performance and Importance. Instead we support comparing:

  • Current performance
  • Desired performance

This achieves the same goals as having an Importance scale. If it's not important for a participant to improve an area then they will find that their Desired performance is the same, or even lower than the Current performance.

If they both achieve the same objective, why do we prefer the latter?

Current vs Desired performance

We believe it's better to compare Current performance and Desired performance because it makes it easier for the participant to prioritize which areas to focus on.

When comparing Current performance with Importance, the participant needs to review a matrix that compares these 2 dimensions. There may be numerous areas in the top right corner that appear to be important.

When comparing Current performance with Desired performance, we can calculate the Desired improvement. This is simply calculated as [Average score for Desired improvement] minus the [Average score for Current performance]. It allows us to relatively rank all of the areas in a really easy to digest format.

Here's how it looks in the report:


With this clear view, it's much easier for the person receiving feedback to pick an area, or perhaps two or three, where they will focus their efforts.

And by picking just a few areas (rather than being distracted by the larger picture), they're likely to make a bigger impact.

This technique - comparing 'Current' and 'Desired' performance - has been used for decades by consultants under the slightly scary name of 'Gap analysis'. Consultants love it for the same reasons we do - it's really effective at helping people to prioritize the few areas that will need the most improvement.