Feedback is critical! All of us as Human resource professionals will agree, it is. However, what is missing in most organisations is timely and effective feedback.
Over the last few decades, the 360-degree feedback process has become very popular. As a recipient, you receive feedback from everyone that you are in contact with (i.e. subordinates, peers, superiors, and customers). It is one of those days where employees find out what their managers think about their job performance.
360 degree feedback is thus feedback that comes from multiple sources. It could also be termed as a performance review that considers multiple perspectives, including those of your peers, supervisors, and subordinates. What you will receive, is a nuanced and balanced view of how they are performing.
Why is 360 Degree Feedback necessary?
When you look at a person from a single angle, chances are that you may not get the full picture. With 360 degree feedback, you can capture other perspectives to form a more complete picture of an employee and their performance.
A comprehensive picture helps you to tackle your performance review on multiple fronts. You would ideally get to know many things which you may not have known if you hadn’t sought feedback from multiple fronts.
When you have a single-view performance review, you ideally evaluate your employee on a single level. However, when you open up to a larger, more complete view of that employee and when you do so by inviting different perspectives, you will have thus created a more comprehensive and timely evaluation that provides you with agile feedback.
Research has proven that the receipt of 360 degree feedback usually results in a positive behaviour change. As someone who receives this feedback, the results that you achieve are directly related to the actions you take in response to your feedback results.
A couple of essential questions you could choose to ask are, What are your company’s values? How do you ensure that you reinforce them?
When you integrate your values into your feedback, it ensures that your employees not only look at one another through your value system, they also learn to set your values as the ideal benchmark, if they aren’t already doing so.
For an effective 360-degree feedback process, you must understand the conditions for an effective feedback process.
According to the author of Abolishing Performance Appraisals, Mary Jenkins, here are 7 conditions for effective and empowering feedback are:
- The feedback provider must be credible in the eyes of the recipient of the feedback
- The feedback provider must be trusted by the feedback recipient
- The feedback should always be conveyed with good intentions
- You must make sure that the timing and circumstances of giving the feedback are appropriate
- The feedback should always be interactive, which means the receiver can always ask for clarifications
- The Feedback message should be very clear
- Feedback must be of utmost help to recipient
Before implementing an effective 360 feedback process, you must invest time to create a work culture where employees feel free to ask for feedback when they need it.
Here are 5 effective ways to Improve the efficiency of the 360 Degree Feedback for your Employee Appraisals
- More power to the employee
You could choose to let the employee initiate the feedback process whenever they need and even allow them to choose the people they trust to receive feedback from.
- Ensuring Privacy of Feedback
You can allow your employee to keep the feedback received private and use it for their individual development purpose or you could allow them to share it with their managers if they feel that it is necessary to do so.
- Feedback Rating by the recipient.
Here is another way of empowering the feedback recipient in which instead of having the feedback providers rate the employees skills and competencies, the feedback recipient is allowed to to rate the effectiveness of the feedback received. This in turn encourages everyone to give well-thought feedback.Considering that the end goal of a feedback process is to give the recipient the information they need to improve, it always makes more sense to give the feedback recipient, the overall control and power to initiate and collect their own feedback.
- Look for the right mix
You must always strive to give a combination of quantitative and qualitative feedback. You can ask the people giving reviews to rate the employee on a numerical scale for different selected criteria, while you could also keep the option for them to share general thoughts with you.
- Go for a well rounded 360 degree assessment
Rather than being a one dimensional approach, there is tremendous scope to get a variety of perspectives from different people the employee interacts with on a regular basis. Assessments from 8-12 such people generally offers more insights and typically results in a well-rounded assessment.
Follow the tips outlined in this article to get the most out of your company’s 360 Degree Feedback Process. Are there any more ways that you could think of and improve upon your 360 degree feedback process? Please feel free to share with us in the comments below.