How L&D can launch a new 360: 3 Strategies For Gaining Executive Support
360-degree assessments have proven to be powerful tools for employee development, training evaluation, and enhancing employee resource groups (ERGs). However, for learning and development managers, getting the necessary executive buy-in and funding can be a significant challenge. We work with organizations to help build successful use cases to get executive sponsorship and budget for their talent management programs. Today we will explore three clear and easy strategies to obtain executive sponsorship for your 360 program.
1. Demonstrating ROI through Data and Research
One of the most compelling ways to win executive sponsorship for your 360 program is by presenting solid evidence of its potential Return on Investment (ROI). By leveraging industry research and reputable data sources you can showcase the positive impact of 360 assessments on leadership development.
One Gartner study indicates that organizations that have implemented 360 assessments witnessed a significant improvement in leadership performance and effectiveness. We find that leading with evidenced based research, and compelling data-driven insights, executives respond more favorably than when presented with an unclear path to outcomes. When approaching executives, highlight the following key points:
a) Enhanced Leadership Effectiveness:
Share success stories and case studies of other organizations that have achieved exceptional results by using 360 assessments to develop new leaders. Highlight specific improvements in areas such as decision-making, communication, and team collaboration.
b) Increased Employee Retention:
According to Rhabit research, organizations that invest in employee development and growth tend to have higher employee satisfaction and higher retention rates. Emphasize that the 360 program can play a crucial role in nurturing future leaders, which in turn fosters employee loyalty and engagement. In a 2022 Rhabit study, we discovered between leaders who model accountability behaviors with increased job satisfaction and retention intent.
c) Competitive Advantage:
Showcase how investing in employee development aligns with the organization's long-term goals and can lead to a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Executives are more likely to support initiatives that contribute to the overall success of the organization. Our clients include industry leading organizations that understand how their leaders directly impact their long term success.
2. Linking 360 Program to Training Evaluation and Impact Measurement
Executives are often driven by data and results. Therefore, connecting the 360 programs to training evaluation and impact measurement is a powerful approach to secure their support.
a) Aligning Learning Objectives with Organizational Goals:
Illustrate how the 360 program is designed to support the achievement of broader organizational objectives, such as improved productivity, enhanced customer service, or increased sales. Showcase how the assessment results will be used to tailor training interventions that directly address specific skill gaps identified in the 360 feedback.
b) Demonstrating Continuous Improvement:
Assure executives that the 360 program is not a one-time event but an ongoing process of learning and development. Showcase your plan to gather data and evaluate the effectiveness of training interventions regularly. Emphasize that the program's iterative nature ensures continuous improvement and long-term impact.
3. Leveraging 360 Assessments to Strengthen Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)
Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) play a vital role in fostering an inclusive and diverse workplace culture. If you’re a publicly traded company, these diversity programs must have tangible results as they funnel up to your organization’s ESG reporting. By linking the 360 programs to support ERGs, you can gain executive sponsorship by emphasizing the following points:
a) Encouraging Inclusivity and Diversity:
Showcase how the 360 programs can be used to identify high-potential employees within ERGs and offer tailored development opportunities to help them advance in their careers. Emphasize that supporting ERGs through such initiatives reflects the organization's commitment to diversity and inclusion.
b) Enhancing Employee Engagement:
Share research findings that suggest employees who participate in development programs, such as 360 assessments, tend to have higher levels of engagement and job satisfaction. Presenting these findings to executives can demonstrate the direct link between the program and employee morale.
Securing executive sponsorship for your 360 program may seem daunting, but by leveraging data, research, and aligning the program with organizational objectives, you can make a compelling case. Emphasize the potential ROI, connect the program to training evaluation, and demonstrate how it supports ERGs to win executive buy-in and funding. Remember to keep your pitch concise and focus on the measurable benefits that the program will bring to the organization as a whole.
By taking a data-driven approach and presenting a well-structured business case, you can gain the support needed to launch and sustain your 360 programs, benefiting both current and future leaders within your organization. If you would like to partner with a Rhabit consultant to learn how we can adapt your competencies, align your leaders to the strategy of your organization, and develop more effective leaders faster, book a time to meet with our team: Meet with Rhabit.