Best Practice Institute Introduces New Social Network that Promises 'Future of 360'

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A new social network, skillrater.com released today to the public for free demo testing, makes it easy for members to request work performance ratings from overseers, co-workers and direct reports across a domestic and global workforce.

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A new social network, Skillrater.com released today to the public for free demo testing, makes it easy for members to request work performance ratings from overseers, co-workers and direct reports across a domestic and global workforce.

"This is the future of 360-degree assessment and social learning," said the network's creator, Louis Carter, CEO of Best Practice Institute.

"Get rated. Get better. Get noticed," says Skillrater.com's website, which describes the new social network as "the world's first rating, networking and feedback tool on a social platform."

Executives, employees and entrepreneurs who have already been friended, linked and tweeted can now get feedback and rating on their skill sets and work at Skillrater.com. Individuals may join the Skillrater social network at no cost; corporations may purchase a premium or enterprise membership to use Skillrater as an in-house platform for feedback, talent management and social networking.

The Next Thing in 360 Assessment and Corporate Social Networking

"I want to bring a revolution to 360 so that organizations become more open and transparent, and driven by the desire for employees to request feedback on their competencies/skills and activities they execute on a daily basis" said Carter, BPI's founder and a social-organizational psychologist.

The world of work is becoming more open and transparent. "A new IBM study of 1709 Chief Executive Officers from 64 countries and 18 industries worldwide reveals that CEOs are changing the nature of work by adding a powerful dose of openness, transparency and employee empowerment to the command-and-control ethos that has characterized the modern corporation for more than a century."

Employees using skillrater engage in conversations and threaded discussions around improving their activities at work. Instead of hiding feedback from employees, employees may receive immediate correction of negatively reinforcing workplace habits directly from their bosses, peers, and customers. Employees may continue the feedback process in a threaded discussion to receive deeper advice and help from executive coaches or other members of the team. Repeating this process will show measurable changes in behavior and actions over time for your organization, as well as show patterns for the changes that need to me made on an individual, team, and organization level. The employee requests feedback of others directly, so that a culture of accountability and feedback is encouraged. Instead of "big brother/sister" HR forcing feedback of competencies and workplace performance, employees take ownership for creating their own culture of transparency so they may show their progress toward growth.

One study found that as many as 90 percent of all Fortune 500 companies use 360-degree feedback with their employees. In a 360 assessment, feedback is sought from all directions of an employee's circle: overseers, peers, direct reports, and sometimes even external sources, such as customers and suppliers.

Skillrater brings several innovations to the 360-degree process to make the technique easier to use and to increase the tool's beneficial results. Features include:

  • Ratings can be requested at any time by any individual, and the individual determines who sees the results.
  • Feedback is requested on a specific project or activity, which provides a valuable context for the feedback. "How did I do, and how can I do better?"
  • Skillrater.com occurs 100 percent online. It provides a creative way to easily collect multiple feedback and assemble all of that information in a format that is easy to digest.
  • Ratings are available immediately to the person being rated. The lengthy delays of many feedback techniques are eliminated.
  • Only positive feedback is sought, resulting in more honest responses.

"Skillrater is a great tool. Leaders and managers are going to fall in love with it," said the world's leading executive coach and bestselling author Marshall Goldsmith. "There is no better way for organizational leaders to track talent data. Skillrater gives you a simple way to request receive feedback on what you are doing, while building an in-house social network to discuss the feedback. The ability to customize Skillrater around the desired competencies of your organization is brilliant.""

Focus on Leadership Development in Globally Dispersed Workforces

Most importantly, Carter said, Skillrater provides a social network through which members can springboard from quantitative ratings to qualitative discussions that make the feedback truly transformative. This is especially beneficial for dispersed workforces where consistent face-to-face communication is costly to accomplish."

"Our goal is to create a social network within an organization that is focused on helping employees improve their skills and improve performance," Carter said. "Skillrater is not primarily about promotion and pay decisions, it's about leadership development and positive behavioral change throughout a national or global workforce."

Studies have shown 360-degree feedback is an effective way to help workers identify their strengths and weaknesses, including blind spots in which they need further development. Skillrater's convenient online platform, along with the addition of a social networking dimension, makes Skillrater a powerful leadership development for dispersed or collective learning environments.

After corporate clients learn their way around all the bells and whistles of Skillrater's multi-rater feedback tool, Carter said, they will move on to appreciate the richness of the in-house social network, creating a dispersed learning environment in which ongoing leadership development and action learning is cultivated within domestic or global workforces.

Skillrater Benefits for Individual Users

Individuals may join Skillrater.com for free and choose up to five skills upon which to be rated. Top executives, mid-level rising stars and lower-level workers with an eye on advancement may all use Skillrater to request feedback and map their own course of development. Requesting a Skillrater rating is an excellent way for an individual to confirm satisfaction with a completed project or identify additional steps needed to achieve satisfaction. Using Skillrater, a worker can demonstrate to higher-ups one's desire to perform well and also document tangible improvement.

An individual who has acquired several ratings on one's Skillrater profile and has made those ratings public may catch the attention of employers on the search for talent. Skillrater will become a go-to destination for talent recruitment. Other social networks provide an individual's name, personal background and employment history, but Skillrater provides rubber-meets-the-road details of how an individual has been evaluated by co-workers, clients and customers on actual projects.

Skillrater Benefits for Corporate Users

Companies may purchase an enterprise membership, giving executives an unparalleled tool for talent management and leadership development. Enterprise membership enables companies to enroll 1,000 users and place them in 20 groups or divisions.

For senior talent management executives, Skillrater provides a remarkable way to track the job performance, skill sets and leadership development of dozens, hundreds or even thousands of employees spread out across a national or global workforce. For years, connecting the right employees with the right tasks has been the elusive aim of talent management. With Skillrater, when a particular skill set is needed for a particular task, a manager can search on those specific skills, and then read fresh feedback on recent projects, including not only numerical ratings but subsequent comments and discussion. That is rich, valuable talent data, which Skillrater puts at executives' fingertips.

Managers from different divisions may customize their own groups to have specific skills or competencies that are important for success on-the-job. Users can select these group skills when requesting ratings to get targeted feedback that meets the need of the department head or head of leadership development. The ability to customize skills is critical to an organization's success, making this a key feature of Skillrater's enterprise membership level.

VPs of leadership development have the ability to set up action learning groups with specific action items. Group members work together online to achieve goals and get ratings on the skills that will make them most successful on the action learning project. Changes in behavior and actual project results may be tracked over time, proving the ROI of the leadership development program.

How Does Skillrater Work?

Joining Skillrater is easy and painless. An individual can create a Skillrater profile in a few moments or import one's profile and skill set from LinkedIn.

A Skillrater member may request a rating from anybody on anything. It really is that simple. The user simply clicks the "Request Rating" button, specifies the task or activity for which one seeks a rating and the specific skills on which feedback is desired.

Then the member sends off the rating requests. If the desired rater is already a Skillrater.com member, requesting a rating is just one additional click. If not, the user enters the desired rater's email address, and a message is sent requesting the rating and providing the necessary link.

After feedback has been received, Skillrater notifies the user. Results include a spider chart, an easy-to-understand graphical interpretation of how the feedback lines up with one's self-assessment. Users continue to share advice and further clarification via a discussion thread to continue the social learning and coaching experience online.

ABOUT BEST PRACTICE INSTITUTE

Best Practice Institute is an award-winning leadership development center, think tank, peer network, research institute and online learning portal with more than 10,000 corporate and individual members around the world. Corporate members include Walmart, Bank of America, Pfizer, Hilton Hotels Worldwide, Scripps and many more of the world's top corporations. BPI is based in West Palm Beach, FL, and is on the web at http://www.bestpracticeinstitute.org. BPI is ranked as one of the top ten "Best in Leadership Development" by Leadership Excellence Magazine.

Louis Carter is the founder and CEO of Best Practice Institute. Carter is a social-organizational psychologist, concept innovator, entrepreneur and a highly regarded authority on learning, talent, leadership development and change. He is the author or co-author of 11 books and a regular contributor to Fast Company, Chief Learning Officer, Talent Management, and Training Magazine.

For More Information or to schedule an interview, please contact Louis Carter: 800-718-4274; lou(at)bestpracticeinstitute.org

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