Why 360 Degree Feedback Programs Fail?

by Kylee Stone Mar 23,2016

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

There is no feedback program that is as comprehensive as the 360 degree feedback program. When it is carried out correctly, it is both successful and useful.

But when it is not carried out properly, the end result is a complicated process. This article works as a checklist of sorts. If you are carrying out a 360 degree feedback program at your organization, then you should consider all the points given below quite seriously.

1. Superfluous participants in the entire process

This is one of the biggest issues when it comes to 360 degree feedback or multi-rater feedback as it is also known. The whole purpose of multi-rater feedback is to give an employee comprehensive feedback from others who closely interact with them in a workplace environment. Therefore, the ideal people to give an employee 360 feedback would be his immediate colleagues, his managers, the customers he interacts with, etc. Superfluous participants in the feedback program would be senior executive who does not interact with the employee, employees who work in departments the employee has nothing to do with, etc. They will have nothing of value to add to the program.

2. The program is not taken seriously

A feedback program is set up to fail when everyone involved in the program does not take it seriously. The reasons for not taking the program seriously could be many different things. Maybe employees do not believe in its efficacy. Or even more alarming, they do not know much about the program. This brings me to my next point.

3. Too little information about the program

When employees are not well-informed about a 360 degree feedback program, how can you expect them to be fully invested in the program? Ignorance about the multirater program can really screw up the purpose of the program and cause it to fail spectacularly.

4. Employee does not know the reason behind the program

On its own, the phrase ‘ 360 degree feedback program’ sounds imposing. And if employees do not know the reason behind it or how it is supposed to help, then they are going to be nervous or worried about it and not take part in it properly.

5. People link to a performance review/pay rise

Employees might wrongly link multirater feedback to a performance review or an appraisal when really it is just a way of getting comprehensive feedback about the employee that is supposed to help them develop professionally.

6. The questions you ask are vague/not appropriate

This is a really serious issue. And even if you did everything right but flubbed this part, the entire program will fail. The questions that are asked of employees should not be vague. And neither should they completely miss the point of being inconsequential.

Interested in knowing how Engagedly can help you with 360-degree feedback appraisal and employee engagement?

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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