What To Look For In A 360 Feedback Software?

by Kylee Stone May 24,2021

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

Looking forward to investing in a 360 feedback software? If not, you might want to reconsider. In this new era of the virtual and remote world, feedback is becoming increasingly essential, not just from managers but from all collaborators. Millennials and Gen Z’s are not shy to receive feedback. They are open to receive and share suggestions and perspectives with better clarity, and every organization’s responsibility is to make that seamless for our employees.

We at Engagedly have created a list of things which you should check before you invest in one. But before we move on to the list, let us look at ‘What is 360 degree feedback?’.

What Is 360 Degree Feedback?

Ken Blanchard rightly phrased, “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” Everyone requires feedback. Moreover, a feedback process in which everyone takes part creates an open culture, improves employee engagement and drives retention. Here where 360 degree feedback comes in. It is a process where employees receive and share feedback with their peers, colleagues, direct reports and managers. 

Also Read: 5 Best Tips To Reduce Employee Turnover

Although considered a modern method, one of its very first research papers, “Group feedback and group contingencies in modifying behavior of fifth graders”, was published in 1974. Organizations like GE, IBM, Amazon, PepsiCo. and many others are already using the process because of its effectiveness.

Now, coming back to you! Before you decide on which software to use for the process, make sure employees understand the process. Most processes in organizations fail because employees either have no knowledge or half knowledge about the processes in place. Help your employees understand how it differs from normal feedback, and let them know the benefits. Once your employees are fully cognizant of the process, it will be easier for them to use 360 feedback software. 

Here is a list of things to check for in a 360 feedback software.

Should Be Simple To Use

As mentioned above, there are multiple collaborators in 360 degree feedback, and some of them are external stakeholders. Every individual who will be part of the process may not be equally tech-savvy. So, it is essential to select a 360 feedback software which is easy to use and understand with no training. The user interface should be clutter free, and easy to move around.

With a pilot group of users, review free demo or trial versions of the software before investing in it for the organization.

Customization Of Features In 360 Feedback Software

When selecting a 360 feedback software, you can either choose a standard software which is developed by a vendor and is being used by different organizations, or you can choose a software that is flexible and supports customization based on organizational needs. With the changing pace of technology we would suggest to opt for a software which supports customization. Examples of customizable features are unique questionnaire templates for different employees, addition of unique competencies based on job roles, etc.

Also Read: Want To Measure Employee Engagement? Here’s How

Robust Security

One of the most important things to consider while selecting a 360 feedback software is its security features. Feedback received from managers, peers, customers, etc., is highly confidential and sensitive. If it leaks or falls in the wrong hands, it can cause lots of damage or can be put use to unlawful purposes. Before zeroing down on a vendor, ask them these three questions:

  • How they secure their application data?
  • What measures they will take if there is a data breach?
  • Do they follow Information Security Laws of the respective country?

360 Feedback Software With Continuous Customer Support

In the current virtual working space where employees are working remotely from different time zones, a vendor with round-the-clock support is necessary. No matter how simple it is, the vendors of the software need to walk you through the entire process of giving and receiving 360 feedback through their software. Even employees use it regularly might face difficulty and need help and support. When there is a continuous support tech support present, it makes the job of employees easier if they face any difficulty.

Anonymous Feature

In a 360 degree feedback, not only does the employee receive feedback from the manager, but the manager receives feedback too. Employees, while sharing feedback about their managers and team leaders, might not be open and honest at times. Opting for a 360 feedback software with an anonymity option helps employees share honest feedback about their peers and managers alike. Anonymity is not only concerned with hiding one’s identity but also to prevent any unwanted altercations in the team. Additionally, they get to share their thoughts, opinions, and concerns with no hesitation.

Also Read: Signs That Your HR Department Is Overwhelmed

Insights And Analytics

Without detailed insights or analytics, a 360 degree feedback process would be of no use. It is crucial for a 360 feedback software to provide a detailed analysis of the feedback received, which makes it easier for employees to understand their strengths and weaknesses. But this is only possible when the report is comprehensive and highlights the potential blind spots, gaps, highest-rated areas, lowest rated areas, and ratings.

Are you planning to invest in a 360 feedback software? Then request for a live demo.

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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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