9 Mistakes to Avoid When Delivering 360-Degree Feedback

by Kylee Stone Apr 19,2023

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

360-degree feedback provides individuals (in-house employees and freelancers) with constructive feedback that helps their professional development. It supports your workforce in identifying their strengths and take initiative to work on their weaknesses.

Whether the nature of their job is freelancing, part-time, or working full-time, your employees can leverage this constructive feedback provided by their direct managers, peers, clients, and other subordinates to introspect their performance at work. Did you know that 80% of employees wish to have regular feedback rather than aggregated feedback for the annual review?

No wonder a 360-degree feedback program plays a significant role in the development of a solid company culture that focuses on continuous feedback, development, and improvement. 

However, a poorly implemented 360 feedback program can lead to negative outcomes and cause your entire feedback program to fail. In this post, we shall have a look at the top 9 mistakes that every team must avoid when conducting a 360-degree feedback program for their workforce.

Also Read: 360 Degree Feedback: How to Understand and Implement it Effectively

9 Most Common 360-Degree Feedback Mistakes

360 feedback Mistakes

Lack of a Clear Purpose

One of the major mistakes that most companies make is not having a clear purpose. The absence of a goal or purpose surely leads to undesirable outcomes. Remember, implementing your feedback program without knowing how it can benefit the company will serve no good. Hence, it is wise to understand your company’s needs and devise a program that addresses those needs. 

Be clear about why you are introducing a 360-degree feedback program in your company. Your purpose could be any of these – performance management, career development, team management, and more.

Not Involving Key Stakeholders

The support and encouragement of your company’s key stakeholders are crucial for the success of the 360-degree feedback initiative. Being the senior leaders of the company, they will provide intelligent ideas and suggestions for the implementation of the feedback program. 

Identify the right stakeholders, such as senior managers and team leaders, and get them involved in the planning phase of the program. Ask for their ideas for gathering feedback and choose the right tool for the same. This involvement of senior management will provide the right direction and guidance in creating a fair and constructive feedback process.

Also Read: 4 Competencies That You Must Include In A 360 Degree Feedback Form

Not Conducting a Pilot Test

Introducing any organizational changes in a company involves thorough planning and test implementation. This is because your team needs time to accept the change and adjust their mindset accordingly. There is always a potential risk that the team might turn down a major change which could affect their productivity at work.

Start the feedback collection process for one team of your company and determine its effectiveness. Monitor its performance at various checkpoints and note down your observations. Modify the program based on your findings to make it foolproof before introducing it to the entire organization.

Using the Feedback Process as a Substitute to Manage Poor Performers

360 feedback Mistakes photo 2

360-degree programs are usually introduced in companies as a medium to track poor performers and motivate them to improve their performance at work. They fail to understand that  360-degree feedback is not just a performance improvement tool. It offers many other benefits such as team building, open company culture, career development,  reduction in workplace bias, and more. 

Delivering 360-degree feedback must be an ongoing process aimed at improving employee performance, managerial tasks, and overall organizational activities. It helps in creating a feedback-rich environment that is essential for building high-performing teams in your company.

Also Read: Your Comprehansive Guide to 360 Degree Feedback in the modern Workplace

Having Insufficient Communication

Proper communication is vital for an efficient feedback process as poor communication can lead to misunderstandings and mishaps among the team members. A good communication strategy ensures that the feedback will be captured, processed, and shared with the team members. 

Communicate and discuss all aspects of the feedback management program with the stakeholders before its implementation. Share the crucial details about the program with your entire team and how it would benefit them in their respective job roles and careers. This will help them become more comfortable with your 360-degree feedback initiative. 

Compromising the Confidentiality

Confidentiality and anonymity are the two factors that play a significant role in ensuring your team members feel safe while providing feedback. Safeguarding confidentiality is important to ensure the team members do not have feelings of betrayal or misconceptions about the feedback provider. 

Make sure to decide which data will stay confidential and which is anonymous and convey the same to your entire team. By informing the team about the information that will stay anonymous, you are encouraging them to share genuine feedback. 

Also Read: Pros and Cons of 360 Degree Feedback In The Workplace

Having Unrealistic Scoring Criteria

Wrong scoring criteria - 360 feedback

Capturing 360-degree feedback is a complex process that includes a set of procedures, such as creating questionnaires, setting scoring criteria, selecting feedback providers, and more. Having an intuitive questionnaire that focuses on the right questions and scoring criteria is essential for the success of the feedback program. 

Include easy-to-understand questions that measure the competency of the team members. Do not forget to include open-ended questions as well. Ensure that the time taken to complete the feedback survey is between 10-15 minutes. Further, keep the survey simple and user-friendly to encourage more participation.

Absence of a Developmental Plan and Resources

Having a developmental plan is as important as having a clear purpose for your feedback program. The insights generated from these programs need to be leveraged to introduce improvisations in workplaces, team management, and more. Hence, devise a thorough development plan and pair it up with the right resources, such as training materials, individual coaching, courses, and more based on the feedback provided by your team members.

Not Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Feedback Process

Monitoring the performance of your 360-degree feedback program is important as it helps you understand whether or not your efforts are yielding expected results. 

Evaluate the survey results to make efforts for increasing individual and team performance, improve the effectiveness of management activities, foster better work relationships, and more. Invest in the right resources to translate the feedback into actionable to-do lists to improve your organizational performance.

Also Read: Why 360-Degree Feedback is Essential: 10 Benefits You Need to Know

Wrapping Up

The 360-degree feedback initiatives offer you a chance to provide an honest review to your team members. It helps you understand how your team members perceive your organization and its culture. 

If implemented in the right way, a 360-degree feedback program can boost your entire team’s performance by improving accountability, encouraging personal development, and increasing self-awareness. All you need to do is avoid the common mistakes we mentioned in this post when conducting 360-degree feedback in your workplace.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What precautions should one take when giving feedback in the 360 degree system?

Ans. When giving feedback in a 360 degree system, be specific, respectful, and constructive. Focus on behaviors, balance positive and negative feedback, provide actionable suggestions, and ensure confidentiality.

Q2. What are the key problems with 360 degree evaluations?

Ans. Some of the key problems with 360 degree evaluations include the potential for biased feedback, lack of anonymity, and a focus on personality traits rather than specific behaviors. Additionally, the feedback may not always be actionable or helpful in promoting meaningful improvements.

Q3. What are the 4 components of 360 degree appraisal?

Ans. The four components of 360-degree appraisal include self-evaluation, peer evaluation, supervisor evaluation, and subordinates or team member evaluation.

Author: Hazel Raoult

Hazel Raoult is a freelance marketing writer and works with PRmention. She has 6+ years of experience in writing about online business, employee productivity, HR tech tools and entrepreneurship. Hazel loves to split her time between writing, editing, and hanging out with her family.You can connect with her on Linkedin.

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Kylee Stone

Kylee Stone supports the professional services team as a CX intern and psychology SME. She leverages her innate creativity with extensive background in psychology to support client experience and organizational functions. Kylee is completing her master’s degree in Industrial-Organizational psychology at the University of Missouri Science and Technology emphasizing in Applied workplace psychology and Statistical Methods.

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