“We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” – Bill Gates.
Feedback, be it positive or constructive, is a critical tool for employee engagement and success. But the traditional approach of one-to-one feedback is very often subjective and affected by bias (recency bias, leniency bias, personal bias, halo-horn effect, etc.). Organizations are slowly shifting to a new approach of feedback that is gaining popularity and is known as 360 degree feedback.
What is 360 degree feedback?
A 360 degree feedback or multirater feedback (also known as multi-source feedback or multi-source assessment) is a type of feedback in which everyone who has worked with the employee shares feedback about them. It not only involves the manager, but also other stakeholders such as customers, vendors, peers, and direct reports. Over the years, 360 degree feedback has become popular across organizations because of its numerous benefits, some of them are:
- It increases self-awareness
- Multiple sources of feedback tends to make it more accurate
- Helps in skill development
- Improves working relationship and promotes an open culture in the organization
Also Read: 10 Benefits of 360 Degree Feedback
But often 360 degree feedback is a failure in most of the organizations. This happens either because the employees are not sure how to perceive the feedback, or because managers and organizations do not implement it correctly. This makes it important to have a coach in your organization who can guide the employees, managers and other stakeholders with the overall 360 degree feedback process. Appointing a coach will not only help organizations who are planning to implement 360 degree feedback, but also will help those organizations where 360 degree feedback is already in practice.
Read on to know how a coach can improve the 360 degree feedback process in your organization.
Share The Importance
When an employee receives feedback in a 360 degree feedback process, they are often not sure how to handle the feedback. A coach helps the employee in interpreting and understanding the feedback correctly. They train the employees to understand the feedback without any preconceived notions and make better decisions for themselves. The coach helps employees to understand the importance of a 360 degree feedback process and how it helps in their development.
Also Read: A 7 Step Guide To A Successful 360 Degree Feedback Process
Train The Raters
One of the most important roles of a coach is to train everyone who is involved in the 360 degree feedback process. Not only are the employees trained on how to handle feedback, but the raters are also trained on how to share valuable and constructive feedback.
In the 360 degree feedback process, the raters involved are from different backgrounds and work at different levels of the organization. Training ensures that everyone is aligned with the main objective of the 360 degree feedback process.
Also Read: Why Accountability Matters In A 360 Degree Feedback
A 360 degree feedback report contains information such as the highest-rated areas, lowest rated areas, ratings, potential blind spots, and gaps. With so much information it becomes tiresome and difficult for some employees to analyze and understand the report. The work of a coach involves not only identifying the strengths but also identifying the areas of improvement. Moreover, they also help employees with their blindspots as employees themselves are not aware of them. Coaches help employees to correlate their actions and behaviors with the feedback received.
As per research, coaching in 360 degree feedback increases leadership effectiveness by 60 % – Thach(2002).
The coach plays a very important role in building a training and development plan for the employees. In the development plan, they focus on leveraging the strengths of the employee and work on the weaknesses, blind spots and skill gaps for future growth. Conferences, mentoring programs, coaching exercises, internal or external workshops are part of the plan to improve the skill and knowledge of the employees.
For example, new managers might lack leadership qualities. So part of the action plan should be taking up training programs to learn and acquire leadership qualities.
Also Read: Employee Performance Management During COVID19
The continuous presence of a coach in a 360 degree feedback results in the successful transition of behaviour and development of new skills. Employees take control of their own development, which keeps them motivated and engaged. When employees are engaged and focused on their development, it results in improved productivity and effective working relationships. Moreover, when employees are highly engaged in their work, it results in lower turnover and higher retention.
Also Read: The Importance Of Employee Engagement In Healthcare
A coach can be internal such as the manager, team leader, or the HR; or an external coach who is trained in 360 degree feedback processes.
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