25 May Seeing in 360 Degrees

360 degree feedback is an essential component of managing a company, but as with most things, its impact is proportionally greater in a small organization such as ours as compared to a much larger one.

The 360 degree feedback technique refers to the process by which a manager is assessed anonymously by coworkers. Ideally, it includes direct feedback from subordinates, peers and supervisors as well as a personal self-evaluation.

The 360 Degree Analysis:

It is intended to deliver a clear vision of a person’s performance that is at once multi-dimensional and less subjective. The 360 degree analysis has been recognized as a sign of a good functional organization, since it fosters both communication and trust while identifying techniques for personal and team improvement.

We recently conducted a 360 degree analysis on the company as a whole, as well as on myself as manager.

The results show that communication is a critical issue, one that we are seeking to resolve not only in terms of policy, but also physically, by modifying part of our office. For example, we are in the process of renovating the Toronto office lunchroom as well as a meeting room in Vancouver so we can have at least one monthly team meeting that will allow 2 way communication and feedback from everyone.

new employee kitchen in the Qualifirst toronto office
The renovated office lunchroom

The next step in communicating our strategy is to look at our strengths as we see them.

Qualifirst Internal Strengths

  • History: Qualifirst is the oldest and premier strictly gourmet food company in Canada
  • One Stop Gourmet: Customers can obtain a huge variety of products on one invoice, meaning gourmet staples, gourmet quality and gourmet trend- etting.
  • Flexible size of product purchase, including split cases and single quantities.
  • Product Sourcing Knowledge and expertise: our staff is comprised of passionate experts who never stop learning and who are always eager to share what they know.
  • Leading-edge technology: from sourcing to stocking to delivery, we use the best technologies to keep the process reliable and affordable, both for us and our customers.
  • Fast and national delivery: we pride ourselves in our ability to ship anywhere
  • Our business model is very complex and hard to imitate: this keeps competitors at bay and keeps our customers close.
  • New product pipeline process: we constantly source out new products for our catalog.
  • Developing single ingredient products: allows us to promise a singular type of quality based on purity, allowing our customers to create their meals and food products using reliable ingredients.

As always, we encourage all team members to continue to think about what we see as our internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as external threats and external opportunities.

To that end, I too, had a 360 degree analysis done on myself, using data submitted anonymously from team members across the country. Here is what I learned about my own strengths and weaknesses:

Here are my strengths as a Leader:

  • This person is open to discussion, and [is willing to] listen to different points of view.
  • He looks very often to improve the performance of each department of the company.
  • He gives a lot of autonomy to his team.
  • He allows everyone to excel and does not [forget] to congratulate people.
  • He works quickly.
  • He is calm, thoughtful and poised.
  • He thinks a lot about the future of the company.
  • He is highly reliable in his commitments.

Here are my weaknesses as a Leader:

  • From what I can tell, communication is a weakness of his. It’s hard for me to answer because it’s not often that I actually have direct dialogue with him about our respective jobs.
  • Maybe a weakness then would be in explaining long-term goals to those that aren’t directly under him.

Suggestions or recommendations for my personal improvement:

  • I suppose finding a way for everyone to have a general idea of what’s going on in all aspects of the business, or at least having the resources to seek it out themselves. I mean, I work in the warehouse, and I have no clue what have the people in the office do. They’re clearly working very hard, I just don’t know on what.

Additional Comments:

  • I know very little about Ray outside of the work environment, and the same goes for the majority of the team.
  • It would be nice if he could encourage communication between employees and try to build some friendships outside of the office.
  • Go outside the box; do not only stick to the comfort zone

I am happy to receive such feedback, because only through his type of assessment can we as a company and I as an individual find the steps towards improvement.

Weekly Quote:

“If you want to love what you do, abandon the passion mindset (“what can the world offer me?”) and instead adopt the craftsman mindset (“what can I offer the world?”).

― Cal Newport ― So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love

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