a&dc has built a strong reputation in the market. Find out how we helped ZSL create a 360 degree feedback questionnaire, built around the behaviours of their corporate framework.



Client Profile

Industry Sector: Conservation Charity
Location: UK

The Challenge

In 2015 ZSL launched their new competency framework – capturing and communicating for the first time a common understanding of what ‘excellent’ behaviour looks like at ZSL, linked to organisational values. Colleagues were asked what it is like to work for the organisation and when they felt enabled to do their best work. Across a myriad of different job roles, the competency framework describes ‘how’ everyone can work together to ensure that ZSL is a great organisation where people perform at their best. The framework forms the foundation for the management, support and recognition of individual performance and, in time, will inform a redesigned appraisal / personal development review scheme, recruitment processes and a performance management system.

ZSL leaders play a vital role in encouraging ZSL staff to deliver these competencies through role-modelling the framework. Therefore, alongside the framework’s launch, ZSL wanted to give directors and senior managers an insight into how they are perceived as delivering these behaviours by their team colleagues, peers and own managers; with support to enable individuals and the director team to play to their strengths and improve in any areas where needed.

Having worked very effectively with a&dc in a previous job role, ZSL’s head of training and OD was keen to work in partnership with us as an external organisation to design and support the delivery of this important part of the project to launch the new framework.

The Solution

a&dc created a 360 degree feedback questionnaire, built directly around the behaviours of the new ZSL competency framework, an individual report summarising a wealth of quantitative and qualitative data and group reports that have enabled ZSL to identify common areas of strength and development needs.

For just about all of the population of directors and senior managers this was their first experience of 360 degree feedback, so communication of its purpose, details of how the process would work and the opportunity to ask questions and address any concerns was especially important. For this reason the competency framework and the 360 project were jointly launched by ZSL HR colleagues and an a&dc consultant at a senior staff away-day and followed up by any-time access to a webinar and 1-1 support for all those who were participating in the 360 degree exercise.

The success of any 360 project depends largely on the way that individuals are supported and challenged to understand and apply the learning from others’ feedback. An a&dc consultant facilitated the 360 feedback sessions for the director general and the members of his director team, and briefed the director team to do the same with their direct reports.

Due to the success of the first 360 exercise, a&dc was asked to design a second version of the questionnaire for the next level of management within ZSL. These managers had offered 360 feedback to their senior colleagues and were very keen to have the same opportunity extended to them. Of course, we were delighted to be of further assistance!

The Results

  • 50 directors and senior managers received 360 degree feedback against the new ZSL behaviours
  •  76% strongly agreed or agreed that the information in their 360 degree feedback report was useful and helpful
  • 100% agreed or strongly agreed that their review meeting was supportive and 80% stated that they received balanced feedback on strengths and development areas
  • 80% have acted on the feedback that they have received
  • Organisation-wide support for the extension of a 360 degree feedback process to all levels of management within ZSL
  • A training and development offer for the leadership team and senior managers has been developed, based on the findings from analysis of collective feedback
  • Data from the feedback survey on the experience of the 360 degree feedback and launch of the competency framework will inform its continued development ahead of the next phase of the project

What the Client says

“I was looking for solutions that were tailored, offering flexibility to work with our ideas and plans but that also put forward their own suggestions and advice. a&dc provided a confident and assured consultant who was able to quickly build rapport with directors and ensure a useful and valuable feedback session with them. I worked with a&dc in a previous organisation on a very different project and have been equally impressed with this second partnership. This project has been very different in scope and purpose, but the credibility, rigour and intelligence that a&dc provided left me with the same confidence.” Emma Brown, Head of Training and OD, ZSL