Providing employees with 360-degree feedback is highly beneficial for both organisations and individuals. 360-degree feedback helps minimise bias by accurately assessing the performance of an individual by taking into account multiple perspectives across the organisation.
Below, we explore how to collect and use 360-degree feedback to your advantage.
What is 360-degree feedback?
360-degree feedback is a survey method of gauging an individual’s performance through evaluation by multiple stakeholders. With this approach, feedback is gathered from different members of an employee’s work circle, such as their manager or supervisor, peers and clients. Typically, the person is also given the opportunity to self-evaluate their performance.
360-degree feedback is anonymous to encourage honesty. The survey may include questions on areas such as:
- Customer focus
- Technical know-how
Before online surveys were common, 360-degree reviews were often outsourced to external companies because of the heavy administrative workload required to compile all the results. Now they can be easily managed in-house.
How to use 360-degree feedback
A 360-degree review can help improve an individual’s performance by giving them different perspectives on how colleagues and stakeholders rate their performance. From a management perspective, the insights gathered can be used to identify areas for improvement and development opportunities for that individual.
However, 360-degree feedback only provides people’s observations on how an employee is performing, so it cannot be used alone as a measure of competence.
Ideally, 360-degree reviews should be used in tandem with the traditional annual performance review between a line manager and an employee, with the outcomes used to inform the employee’s self-improvement and professional development pathways.
How to conduct a 360-degree feedback survey in 10 steps
- Ensure that all employees know why the 360-degree survey is being carried out.
- Assure respondents that their anonymity is guaranteed.
- Create a tailored survey or feedback form. There are many online tools available today that make this process quick and easy.
- Collect feedback from a representative group of between 10 to 20 people, making sure to include the employee’s peers, direct reports and superiors.
- Ask the employee to complete their own survey for a broader view.
- Ensure that respondents have been working with the employee for at least six months.
- Compile and analyse feedback data and generate a summary of the data to discuss during the employee’s annual performance review.
- Use the data to identify behavioural patterns and trends.
- Provide constructive criticism rather than focusing on negative findings.
- Ensure that both the organisation and employee learn from the experience and that both work towards positive improvements.
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