An article in Forbes highlights that 360 degree feedback is used as a cornerstone of leadership development processes in more than 85% of all the Fortune 500 companies.
360 degree feedback, or multirater feedback, or multirater assessment is a type of feedback in which everyone with whom an employee has worked shares feedback. It involves both the internal and external stakeholders. The feedback is more objective and is more acceptable by everyone when compared to the traditional feedback process.
Benefits of 360 Degree Feedback
- Increases self-awareness and insight
- Helps identify gaps and weaknesses
- Creates an open-culture
- Helps employees in their overall development
- Improves team collaboration
- Strengthens customer relationships
- Reduces employee turnover
Considering only the benefits of the process, organizations often tend to ignore their readiness for 360 degree feedback. As a result, for many organizations, it is ineffective and not valuable. Rather, they end up utilizing resources for the process with nothing in return.
Here are ten questions you should consider to determine whether your organization is ready for 360 degree feedback.
Have You Identified The Purpose?
This is the most important question you need to ask yourself before you begin a 360 feedback process. Most organizations use 360 degree feedback programs for self-development, that is, to help employees know more about themselves and better themselves as well. Don’t use 360 feedback to measure performance.
Also, many organizations use the process to collect feedback about their leadership.
What Do You Expect To Achieve?
Do you want to know more about your direct reports? Or do you want to help your employees know more about their own skills and gaps? Or do you want to know how leaders of the organization can improve themselves? Either way, whatever your aim is and what you would like to achieve from the program, it’s best to be sure of that before you start.
Are The Parameters Defined For The Process?
The process of giving feedback can very quickly become a vague activity. Before you decide the participants for the 360 degree feedback process, share a set of feedback guidelines with everyone. That way, they know what to say, what they shouldn’t say, how they should frame the feedback, what phrases they should avoid, etc.
Is You Organization Culture Supportive?
Your organization’s current culture plays a major role in the success of the 360 degree feedback process. 360 degree feedback requires an open culture where everyone is ready to change and accept feedback. It involves a culture of learning and a high level of trust among employees.
Have You Decided On The Participants?
Some organizations prefer to just collect from an employee’s peers. Others might prefer collecting feedback from managers besides peers. While other organizations might also want to collect feedback from external clients, vendors, etc. The more the number of people included in the process, the more important it is to keep everyone on the same page regarding the 360 degree feedback process.
Do You Have Your Employee Buy-In?
There’s no point to a 360 degree feedback program if your employees aren’t ready for the process. To prepare them for the process, explain to them the objectives behind the program, what you hope to achieve, what they will gain from the process, and what happens after the program. Only when employees are ready for the program and know what to expect, a 360 feedback process to be effective and successful.
Have You Invested In The Correct 360 Feedback Software?
In most organizations, 360 degree feedback involves external as well as internal stakeholders who are part of the process. The software should be easy to understand and use by everyone, even with no formal training. It should be robust and easily customizable as per the needs of the organization. And it goes without saying the software should have an efficient support team to help with issues.
Generic Feedback Templates OR Custom ?
You can choose to use generic, broadly appropriate templates for everyone across the organization or you can choose to use department or job designation specific templates. If you choose to use custom templates, you can then add competencies based on an employee’s job title. 360 degree feedback software, like Engagedly, helps you add competencies based on job titles for 360 feedback templates. Generic templates are good if you have a small organization where everyone does more or less the same kind of work. Custom templates are a good fit for organizations that have a large number of departments or employees who do very specific kinds of work.
Will It Be Anonymous Or Public?
The call to make a 360 feedback process anonymous rests on the leaders of an organization. To be fair, anonymity can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, more employees might be willing to participate in a 360 feedback process because it is anonymous. On the other hand, there’s going to be some anonymous feedback that employees or managers might not agree with.
What After The Process?
This is the most important aspect of the 360 degree feedback process. In a good 360 feedback process, all the feedback received is shared with the employee and then their skills and gaps are discussed so that employees can focus on their development. Hoarding the information from a process benefits no one and just serves to make employees suspicious.
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