Case study

Designing A Custom 360° Feedback Tool With The Senior Civil Service


The SCS acts as a politically impartial body and helps the government develop and implement its policies as effectively as possible. The 2014 Civil Service Reform Progress Report and Talent Action Plan committed them to developing a leadership statement that explicitly set out the behavior that is expected from all leaders across the Civil Service.

As part of the SCS’s commitment to reform, they developed a new leadership statement. They also needed to improve performance management and appraisal processes to be able to actively promote positive leadership behavior. They wanted a 360° feedback tool to help embed this behavior and to support effective performance management across the entire SCS. The leadership statement was unknown amongst staff, so assessing against this could lead to confusion.


YSC partnered with SCS and Civil Service Learning (CSL) to develop a 360° which measured both the leadership statement competencies and the existing competencies used within the SCS.  We mapped items onto both frameworks and designed a report which used algorithms to identify the relative strengths and development areas of the participants. The questionnaire asked participants to rate their performance against a series of behaviors drawn from the SCS competency framework. Over 1200 SCS employees completed the 360° within three months of its development.

The data gathered from the 360° tool was analyzed and influenced the refinement of the tool, taking into account the greater knowledge across SCS of the leadership statement. The tool evaluated how behaviors and attitudes were perceived in the work environment. The adjusted tool became compulsory for all SCS employees to complete as an integral part of the performance management process. Over 4000 employees completed the 360° tool the following year.

YSC worked with CSL to create a robust process which would allow for multiple surveys to be run concurrently without creating a feedback fatigue within the organization.

  • The 360° output reports are used when discussing performance with line managers and in assessing achievements around objectives.
  • We provided department level aggregation reports showing differences across departments and demographics. They have a good understanding of how well they as an organization/department meet the needs of the leadership statement.
  • The 360° allows all SCS leaders to be assessed against the same set of leadership qualities in a balanced and fair way regardless of level or role.
  • The leadership statement is now embedded across the organization and the language is recognized.