We all know this by now that 360 degree feedback programs can be very useful if they function seamlessly and provide rounded perspectives on employees. However, often than not, 360 degree feedback programs fail because of a few glaring oversights on part of the people who drive them. And because of these simple oversights and misses, organizations might think 360 degree feedback programs do not offer enough payoff for the effort involved. When in reality, it is the process that needs to be tweaked, and not the program itself that needs to be junked.
Wondering what these lapses are? here are four common reasons why 360 degree feedback programs fail:
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Honestly, there are very few endeavours that pan out well if there is no set purpose or intention to it. One of the biggest mistakes that most people make with respect to 360 degree programs is not setting a clear purpose. Organizations tend to carry out 360 degree programs because it fetches a macro perspective of performances or because every other organization is conducting it. They fail to see that if it is conducted with a purpose, it can fetch very useful insights that can help drive company growth.
Most often, 360 degree programs are carried out once a year. Typically, they collect feedback about an employee from a variety of sources, which reduces the incidence of bias and can provide relevant insights into how well the employee works. It is prudent to figure out the purpose first and then implement the 360 feedback program. It becomes easier when you know what you want to do with the resulting information.
“Communication is the key to success” – we have heard this a million times!
Lack of communication can colossally mess up many undertakings, especially things like feedback programs. If a 360 feedback program is upcoming in the wings, then employees should be informed of it well in advance. You should arrange for short training sessions to make them understand how it will help them, how they should participate in it, etc. And most importantly, once the 360 feedback program is done, employees need to know that action will be taken.
No, we are not talking about the anonymity aspect here. Confidentiality is not the same as anonymity. If participants of a 360 degree program are not sure of how confidential their feedback is going to be or have previously been subjected to a breach of confidentiality, then naturally the results of the program will be skewed.
If you wish for a 360 degree program to run smoothly, then you need to ensure that the participants’ feedback remains confidential. And most importantly, communicate this fact to them. If they are not sure about how confidential the information is going to remain, that will affect the results of the program as well.
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No follow-up action:
When employees hear that a 360 degree feedback is going to be conducted, they are often eager to see some changes post program. Moreover, participants of the program also expect the same. There is no point in carrying out a 360 degree program if there will be no follow-up action plan after the program. Before the program, assure everyone that action will be taken. And once the program is done, take action. The action could be in many forms. For instance, some employees might receive additional responsibilities, or feedback they have shared about changing processes can be implemented.
Whatever plan of action is undertaken, the end result is that the change should be visible to employees or at the very least, communicated to them.
Now that you know where you might have been lacking in conducting an effective 360 degree feedback, let us know how many of these points you have implemented and what are the changes you see in the process. If you want to know how Engagedly can help you with 360 degree feedback, check out our module here.
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