5 Ways To Make The Most Of 360-Degree Feedback

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5 Ways To Make The Most Of 360-Degree Feedback

360 degree feedback can add a new layer of transparency to your organization.

360 degree feedback can add a new layer of transparency to your organization.

Feedback is a valuable tool that can help you to grow and become more successful.

A 360-degree feedback system differs from a standard system in that it gives multi-rater or multi-source feedback, and thus, helps in the holistic development of individuals and achievement of corporate goals in a more efficient manner.

360-degree feedback typically involves getting inputs from four sources: 1) Evaluation of self, 2) Evaluation by direct supervisor/ manager, 3) Evaluation by peers or colleagues, and 4) Evaluation by subordinates.

In certain cases, 360-degree feedback also extends to getting surveys filled by customers and vendors/ suppliers. Senior management buy-in and involvement and training of all employees are necessary for efficient execution of this process. Here are a few steps to implement 360-degree feedback in an effective manner:

Try a pilot

When you first decide to implement a 360-degree feedback or performance review system, test it on a small group within the organization. Are the questions on the survey being interpreted in the right manner? Is the confidentiality of the survey being maintained? What kind of time and resources is this process consuming? You can learn from the pilot and then do an organization-wide rollout.

Decide your organizational goals and decorum

What do you want to achieve with 360-degree feedback? Are your employees collaborating more and looking for self-development and corporate coaching? If so, 360-degree feedback is just right for your team. It is not always a good idea to link 360-degree feedback to appraisals. This could become a sensitive issue. 

However, for overall employee development and evaluation, 360-degree is a great tool. Customize your surveys as per need. Decide the rating scale and software you will use. Ask participants to finish surveys before deadlines and maintain anonymity. Prepare questions related to knowledge, skills and behavior.

Decide the participants

You need to decide how many and which of your managers/ employees will go through the 360-degree feedback system. In the next step, you need to determine who will be the raters for each participant. These raters can either be nominated by the manager, employee or an external HR consultant. The survey should not be more than 15 minutes long.

Gather the feedback and make a report

Once all the feedback is collated, you need to prepare a report for each. All responses, except for the direct supervisor’s inputs, can be aggregated. An important part of 360-degree feedback is to give the person being evaluated a chance to match his self-perception of strengths and weaknesses to that of others. This will likely highlight new areas of improvement.

Help make an action plan

360-degree feedback has to lead to actual outputs. Your HR representative or a coaching expert must sit with each employee and help them to draw up a plan of action. Just handing the report over may not suffice. You have to mutually work out possible areas of development and help foster leadership and teamwork skills.