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Is the UK set to go through a nationwide 360 appraisal?

26th Jul 2011
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There is nothing more pleasing than seeing the work that you devote so much time and effort to, endorsed by none other than PM David Cameron.

It has been confirmed this week that the UK is to undergo a ‘happy test’, which is a rather crude title, but the title it’s been given nonetheless, and this test will involve large sections of the UK answering questions about what makes them happy. “What a load of nonsense”, many will shout, and more to the point, “what a waste of money”.

I couldn’t disagree more.

In my business we go into organisations and design questionnaires to take the temperature of the behavioural side of the business, usually to help management work out where and why there is resistance on certain projects or change in practices from different areas of the workforce. It offers a private and genuine opportunity to offer feedback on a platform that many have never been invited to stand on before. The beauty of it is, it’s totally confidential, so the right to complete honesty is protected at all time.

Therein lies the value.

Now the UK is to go through its very own 360 degree appraisal, with the people live within its walls getting the opportunity to have their voice heard on what they like and don’t like, or more to the point, what makes them happy.

The data that such surveys can generate are incredibly revealing, as patterns emerge and trends unfold. Even the most cynical of CEOs, who show no interest in the 360 when it is being designed and sent out to staff, cannot help to be engaged when the results and data are pulled together. Especially when it indicates doubts or concerns about the leadership within the organisation.But, it takes a certain type of leader to acknowledge the importance of what people truly think, and if there are certain trends that make the majority of people happy in an office, factory, or country, surely the leadership will want to know exactly what it is.

Elva Ainsworth
Talent Innovations - Download our whitepaper on 360 v Training here: 360 Degree Appraisal 


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By alisonrbcm
27th Jul 2011 12:30

Elva - having participated in a research project on happiness, as I discussed in a blog last week, I'll be interested to see what sorts of questions they ask. I certainly was surprised at the outcome and think I'd have given different answers before my involvement. That is what I thought made me happy and what did were 2 different things.

What worried me was your reference to being asked about what 'I like and don’t like'. I'm not sure they will  necessarily make me happy if I have more of those I like and less of those I don't - much like Hertzberg’s motivation and hygiene factors. So it depends on the rationale for the assessment - do they want to reduce me grumbling or make me happy? That is I can get on my hobby horse about a lot of things politically that I don't like but my happiness isn't connected with whether anyone does anything about those things.  For example in a recent blog I expressed my dislike for the impact self interest has on people taking, or not taking, action but, thankfully, my happiness isn't going to wait until everyone acts for the good of all :-).     


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