Are You Smarter Than My New Roomba?

My husband Bill and I decided that we needed a Roomba robotic vacuum. We ordered one, hooked it up, and let it roll. The Roomba did a nice job on the hardwood floors and transitioned easily to and from the carpet. It took a rambling path and when it encountered debris, it cleaned well, but sometimes it scooted right past a pile of dirt.

I figured the Roomba would get better over time, learning our house, its pathways, and the clogged arteries (sofas). I assumed each day it would get wiser and in a week or so, my house would be a vacuumed castle, groomed in the manicured ways I see football and baseball fields being cut. Lovely and symmetrical lines, and precision cleaned floors. I was excited and hopeful.

I figured wrong!

The Roomba did not get smarter. Each day was a new exercise, but it vacuumed without learning anything from the previous day. Upon reading the instruction manual, I learned that our model was mid-level and it did not store “information” (artificial intelligence) from previous vacuuming jaunts. Ugh!  

This failure to learn from the past and make corrections for the future reminded me of organizations that do not use 360 degree feedback. Employees work hard, sometimes they complete their assignments well and other times their work just doesn’t hit the mark.

Unfortunately, they receive little feedback from their managers and no direct feedback at all from their colleagues, clients, and vendors. They work in a vacuum — pun intended!  

360 degree feedback is a formal way for employees to: 

  • Receive constructive feedback from their peers, managers, direct reports, and team members
  • Benefit from a coach who helps them integrate the information and develop an action plan
  • Improve their performance, regardless of whether they are an underperforming employee who needs to improve significantly or a star performer who would benefit from one or two keen and targeted tips.

In organizations where 360 feedback has become a part of the culture, employees welcome the feedback and their performance improves significantly.

I regularly conduct 360 feedback programs in organizations. I am certified in administering four distinct 360 feedback systems and experienced in coaching. If your employees are performing in a vacuum, give me a call. 

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