A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. —John Maxwell
An effective leader is imperative to organizational growth and employee development. Moreover, they are the ones who are responsible for leading change and promote innovation. They are also the torchbearer of organizational culture. But often, these responsibilities can be difficult to handle and be overwhelming. On the other hand, some leaders might lack the necessary skills to be a natural leader. In order to fill the gap and help everyone be a better leader, 360 degree feedback has proven to be the most effective.
It helps leaders identify their blindposts and give them a unique and different perspective of how they work. The feedback they receive may not always line up with their thoughts. However, it gives them useful insights that help them perform better as a leader. But before we know more about the benefits of 360 degree feedback for leaders, let us take a look at ‘What Is 360 degree feedback?’.
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What Is 360 Degree Feedback?
360 degree feedback process is a modern feedback method, where everyone with whom an employee has worked shares feedback about the employee. It highlights a clear picture of an employee’s competency, behavioral skills, and competency. Organizations such as GE, IBM, Amazon, PepsiCo. have adopted the process, and others are in the process of adopting it.
Here are some of the benefits, which 360 degree feedback can have for leaders.
Helps With Self-Awareness
Recent research conducted by Gallup among 65,672 employees highlights that those who receive feedback have 15.9% better turnover rates than employees who do not receive feedback.
Many leaders are often not aware of what they are good at or what they are not. Some of them doubt their abilities, while some have a high opinion about themselves. 360 degree feedback helps in bridging the perception gap. It helps them know what others think about them and the way they work. It opens up areas of improvement and self development.
Self-awareness is one of the best qualities a leader can possess. Through the lens of 360 degree feedback, leaders can see how they are viewed by employees whom they interact with on a daily basis, peers with whom they share an equivalent relationship and of course, any other higher-ups. For example, leaders might think they are a really good team player. But to their employees, it might seem otherwise. This highlights the skill that the leader needs to work on addressing and accurate 360 degree feedback can help a leader figure that out.
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360 degree feedback gives leaders an opportunity to receive feedback from multiple sources. Being broad and more comprehensive, it provides deep insights into the leadership practices of the leader. Based on the feedback of their employees, leaders adapt themselves. It is constructive and balanced when compared to the traditional one-on-one feedback process.
Enhances Skills And Behaviour
“According to the 2017 Skills Gap Report, nearly 80% of Americans agree there is a skills gap, and more than a third (35%) say it affects them personally.”
Professional and professional development is important for every employee to move ahead in their career, irrespective of their position in the career ladder. The 360 degree feedback process acts as a great source for identifying competencies, skills, and areas of improvement for the leader. As a leader becomes self-aware, they take up the responsibility themselves to hone their existing skills and build new ones. This helps in the growth of the employee and the organization.
Promotes A Progressive Work Culture
Good 360 degree feedback programs have the power to effect a massive change in the culture of an organization. Some of the benefits of 360 feedback include transparency, increased communication, and better insights. When leaders participate enthusiastically in 360 feedback assessments, employees too see why they should participate. Often, if the attempt to better organizational culture starts from the top, it has more of a chance of succeeding.
Shows Leaders Are Open To Change
Often, feedback from a leader can ring hollow if they are not practicing what they are preaching. But when leaders show that they are open to receiving feedback and listening to feedback that might be not pleasant, and furthermore, are also willing to make the attempt to change, it sends a strong message.
If leaders show that they are willing to change, employees will then happily follow suit or even be more open to critical conversations themselves. They begin to learn which kind of behavior is rewarded, and which kind if not. Employees themselves will solicit critical conversations or learn to be open to criticism.
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