Use of Skillrater at BD
Unlike most performance review tools, which use pre-determined categories and standardized questions, the Skillrater feedback tool is customizable. BD used the tool to gather responses on the five leadership competencies the ECE was designed to develop:
1. Think and plan strategically.
2. Work effectively across cultures.
3. Work on global and/or diverse project teams.
4. Have a leadership presence.
5. Leverage the BD network.
Much of the feedback Skillrater generates is in the form of simple 1-to-5 numerical ratings. ECE cohort members received average ratings of 4.1 or higher, confirming their measurable improvement in the five competencies.
Skillrater also gathered qualitative feedback from bosses, direct reports, peers and team members. Common comments included:
• The ECE developed participants’ leadership skills. One co-worker commented that a cohort member had “increased his leadership presence significantly,” moving from a focus on technical concerns to a better grasp of personnel and product design issues.
• The ECE helped participants gain a global perspective. One cohort member said the program helped him “understand the big picture and not just focus on what I have in front of me.”
• Most participants mentioned the value of the global contacts they have added to their networks through the ECE.
Skillrater: Part of the Process
As BD used Skillrater to assess the ECE, it found that the unique feedback tool went beyond data gathering, actually playing an important role in the leadership development process.
Most assessment tools collect feedback annually or quarterly, generating results that are immediately out-of-date and not tied to specific events and activities. Skillrater, however, is built on a social network platform that facilitates continuous feedback that is specific, timely, positive, forward-focused and transparent.
Many of BD’s ECE participants said their development as leaders continued as they interacted with each other and other stakeholders using the Skillrater platform.
“Skillrater feedback is concise and succinct,” said Dan Herman, procurement manager, Instruments Manufacturing, BD Diagnostic Systems. “It gets straight to the point. It is not as lengthy or convoluted as the feedback generated by other review tools.”
Herman said he sent Skillrater rating requests to five people and received immediate feedback from three: a manager, a peer and a direct report. “It was really helpful,” he said.
Skillrater is less about reviewing past performance and more about encouraging future performance. It is designed to promote ARAD: appreciation, rating, advice and discussion. By gathering specific input from all directions on an ongoing basis, Skillrater helps workers identify not only “what” needs to improve, but “how.”
As Skillrater called upon BD’s ECE participants to give each other constructive feedback, it caused then to focus on each other’s strengths and skills, which accomplishes team building and enhances the value of the network.
Franzone said BD will continue to use Skillrater. “Skillrater is concise and provides specific feedback. It is a great alternative to traditional 360-degree processes, which are long and create a lot of rater fatigue. Skillrater is definitely the direction in which we are moving at BD.”