In 2003, the Stephenson Mansell Group (SMG) engaged MCQ International to develop an online survey tool that would support a particular set of processes built around a ’360-degree survey’ concept, whereby members of an organisation receive feedback from peers, superiors and those they supervise. This solution is hosted by MCQ International but administered on a daily basis by SMG.
The 360-degree Feedback Survey Process
360-degree Feedback Surveys have become a very popular HR management tool over the past decade. For the Stephenson Mansell Group, an executive staff coaching consultancy, they are particularly useful because they can measure perceived attributes of key staff from a variety of sources involving a range of interactions. MCQI was required to develop an online feedback survey application that would support a process whereby business coaches in SMG would create new survey instances for their executive clients (the Subjects). The survey Subjects would then invite a prescribed number of peers, superiors, and subordinates to receive feedback from. Each nominated respondent would then be automatically notified to complete the survey. Survey results are finally collated into personalised Subject reports.
Question Presentation & Data Collection
Web-based surveys offer many advantages over traditional methods, such as cost-effective distribution, immediate accessibility, electronic response collection and automated report preparation. In the case of 360-degree surveys, the task of distribution, co-ordination and collation of results is even more challenging than standard surveys because of the need to link various results to a single Subject and produce reports accordingly. Therefore, the benefits of web-based presentation of 360-degree surveys are even more significant in SMG’s case. MCQ International’s platform provides web-based set-up, delivery and collection of results, which removes the need for intensive manual effort by SMG.
Email-Based Notifications & Reminders
A key aspect of the SMG solution is the ability of the system to send automated reminders to survey participants. When a Subject is required to complete a survey, they will receive an explanatory email containing a link with their own login and password. Later, when the Subject nominates other respondents, they too receive automated invitations containing login information. If respondents have not completed their survey on time, automated reminders can also be sent.
Delegated Invitations & Monitoring Tools
From an administrative point of view, another important feature of the SMG 360-degree survey application is that it supports delegation of tasks such as selecting, inviting and monitoring survey respondents, which are done by the survey Subjects themselves. This removes a great administrative burden from SMG’s coaching staff, as they are not required to manually set up the hundreds of survey respondents that complete their survey each month. Instead, each Subject is responsible for overseeing their own survey, and SMG coaches are able to focus instead on reviewing and analysing survey results.