Stryker Uses 360-Degree Feedback to Examine Leadership Talent

As one of the world’s leading medical technology companies, Stryker Corporation stresses the importance of identifying and developing strong leaders. Using feedback for talent management and leadership development is something that Stryker takes seriously.

“We wanted to understand how our top leaders differ from the average leader, then maximize the strengths of our best leaders while also helping our average leaders develop into top performers,’ says Stryker’s vice president of HR, Mike Rude.

Using a combination of three assessments, Stryker set out to understand the profile of its most successful leaders. The company settled on 360-degree feedback and employee engagement assessments to understand individual behavior and employee engagement. It paired these results with performance evaluations taken from immediate supervisors and succession planning assessments. These evaluations were designed to measure operational performance (sales, production, quality, effectiveness, etc.). From this information, Stryker was able to clearly identify the profile of the top performer versus the average leader.

Stryker determined that its most successful leaders were those who scored within the top 25% in all three of these assessments. This resulted in a pool of approximately 10% of its management team. Stryker labeled this top 10% its top performers.

In reviewing 360-degree feedback scores, Stryker found that these top performers scored better than average leaders by about 10% overall. What it found most interesting, however, was that top performers showed significantly higher marks than their colleagues when it came to the soft skills.

Top performers scored 25% better than the average leader in developing others, building effective teams, fostering collaboration, integrity, and communicating effectively while simultaneously delivering better operational results. Armed with this information, Stryker now helps its leaders develop into top performers by providing 360-degree feedback, coaching, and development opportunities.

“We see a direct relationship between individual feedback, employee engagement, and overall performance,” says Rude. “We want leaders to take advantage of feedback and coaching for their development, while we present them with information that shows how their leadership directly impacts performance.”