What makes a 360 feedback program effective? Is there are step by step manual or guide out there that can ensure a 360 feedback program’s success.
After some careful research, we at Engagedly came up with a 8-point guide that should make navigating a 360 feedback program a breeze and ensure its success as well.
What is the purpose of the program?
This is the most important question you need to ask yourself before you begin a 360 feedback process. Most 360 feedback programs are used for self-development, that is, to help employees know more about themselves and better themselves as well. Don’t use 360 feedback to measure performance.
What do you propose to achieve from the program?
Do you want to know more about your direct reports? Or do you want to help your employees know more about their own skills and gaps? Either way, whatever your objective is and what you would like to achieve from the program, its best to be sure of that before you start.
What are the parameters for feedback?
The process of giving feedback can very quickly become a vague activity. Before you invite people to participate in the 360 feedback process, share a set of feedback guidelines with everyone who is participating. That way, they know what to say, what they shouldn’t say, how they should frame the feedback, what phrases they should avoid etc.
Are your employees primed for the process?
There’s no point to a 360 feedback program if your employees aren’t ready for the feedback process. To prep them for the process, explain the objective behind the program, what you hope to achieve, what they will gain from the process and what happens after the program. Only when employees are invested in a feedback program and know what to expect can a 360 feedback process be effective and successful.
From whom all would you like to collect feedback?
Some organizations prefer to just collect from an employee’s peers. Others might prefer to also collect it from managers in addition to peers. There’s a third subset of organizations who might also want to collect feedback from external clients, vendors etc. The more people are included in the process, the more important it is to keep everyone on the same page with regard to the 360 feedback process.
Custom templates or generic templates?
You can choose to use generic, broadly appropriate templates for every one across the organization or you can choose to use department or job designation specific templates. If you choose to use custom templates, you can then add competencies based on an employee’s job title. Software like Engagedly help you add competencies based on job titles for 360 feedback templates. Generic templates are good if you have a small organization where everyone does more or less the same kind of work. Custom templates are a good fit for organizations that have a large number of departments or employees who do very specific kinds of work.
Is the process going to be anonymous?
The call to make a 360 feedback process anonymous rests on the leaders of an organization. To be fair, anonymity can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, more employees might be willing to participate in an 360 feedback process because it is anonymous. On the other hand, there’s going to be some anonymous feedback that employees or managers might not agree with.
What happens after the feedback cycle? How do you propose to use the information you have received?
This is the most important aspect of the 360 feedback process. In a good 360 feedback process, all the feedback received is shared with the employee and then their skills and gaps are discussed so that employees can focus on their development. Hoarding the information from a process benefits no one and just serves to make employees suspicious.