The changes taking place in our society cover all aspects of life and put great requirements to every person, to one’s knowledge, personal qualities and, above all, professional skills. These facts underscore the urgent need for a deeper investigation of the problem of leadership development.
In management today great attention is paid to a contemporary leadership style, which is characterized by a distinctive, innovative style of Personnel Management based on a constant search for new opportunities of subordinates, ability to involve and use human resources to achieve the objectives. Considerable attention is being paid to leadership development; and for this purpose the selection is carried out of goals and tasks, form contents and methods of leadership training programs in which a manager develops and distinguishes as a leader.
The methods particularly actively applied for the development of leadership skills are discussions, case methods, business games and simulations, analysis of practical situations, role modeling, as well as action learning exercises, in the frameworks of which the objectives and tasks are set requiring competition and rivalry skills (Yukl, 2010).
One of the main challenges facing a manager will be to identify an effective set of tools to achieve leadership and finding the answers to the questions: How far is now a company from the desired result basing on the leadership level demonstrated by the staff? What is the nature of the gap (if there is a gap) between the current position of the company and the position the manager sees the company taking in the future?
An effective leader is capable of many things: to reveal the potential of an employee and even increase the amount of net profit for the company. A thoroughly designed and well thought out program of leadership development and executive coaching can significantly affect the performance of team members, managers and the company in general.
2. Multi-source feedback method lies in obtaining multi-sided evaluation of the employee by interviewing employee’s chief, colleagues and subordinates, as well as clients. Specific forms of assessment may vary, but all the employees being assessed fill the same forms, while data processing is executed using special software in order to ensure anonymity (Yukl, 2010).
Thus, the essence of the 360 degrees technique is in the fact that the assessment of an employee is performed by all his/her working environment, and this should always be people who actually see the operating behavior of the person estimated. In addition, an employee may be asked to evaluate himself/herself. In this way, public opinion is involved for characterizing the employee, based on which the employee is evaluated on specified competencies. Thus, the technique allows seeing the employee from all the sides, providing a dimensional image (McCarthy, 2002).
The advantage of the technology is that it is simple. Still, when a study is large the processing of the data becomes more difficult. However, this problem can be solved, for example, using special processing software. Another advantage of this technology is its democracy. However, this democracy is only possible with a competent testing and well-developed evaluation criteria. The second difficulty lies in the necessity to properly organize the collection of information, and clearly inform the people about the purpose of testing. In fact, the whole procedure is designed to reduce the evaluation subjectivity to zero.
In addition, the 360 degree method is very convenient for evaluating management personnel. The method allows evaluating not only the level of professional and personal qualities of the employee, but also making conclusions on how they are manifested in concrete work performance. The method of 360 degree feedback also allows comparing the business qualities of employees objectively and deciding on which of the skills are more important for concrete positions.
McCarthy J. M. (2002). Multi-Source Feedback: Recommendations for Practice. Sigma Assessment Systems: San Francisco, California.
Yukl, G. (2010). Leadership in Organisations, Global Edition (7th Edition). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, Pearson Prentice-Hall Inc.