Feedback is one of the most powerful tools we have for behavioral change.
Are you using 360° feedback in your organization?
360° feedback is a process in which you receive confidential, anonymous feedback from the people you work with. These ‘raters’ will include your manager, your direct reports, peers, customers and possible other co-workers that you have worked with on special projects. The primary reason to use this full circle of confidential reviews is to provide your business with information about you and your employee’s core competencies from multiple perspectives.
Progressive businesses are working to focus on building leaders and in turn employees who think strategically and can manage effectively in times of change. The 360° feedback process aligns leader and employee development practices with your company’s mission, vision, leadership and core competencies. Competencies are measurable characteristics of a person that are related to success at work, whether a behavioral skill, a technical skill, an attribute (such as intelligence), or an attitude.
One of the biggest obstacles, as with most assessments, is getting the recipient of the feedback to take action on the results. When it comes to 360s, there is often pushback if the feedback is not overly positive. If it is average, then there may not be a sense of urgency to work on anything. The question becomes: How do we overcome the obstacles to getting leaders/employees to take action on their feedback?
At a minimum, you need to set expectations early in the process that this is not just an exercise in rating each other: providing 360° ratings is just the first step. Once those key behaviors and competencies are identified, 360º participants need to take action. Providing the 360º participants with access to their business drivers is a start, but two key components to drive real action are to (1) show them which competencies and behaviors have the biggest business impact and (2) provide them with action-planning tips, online courses, best practices, and so on. For 360s to be effective, you must go beyond simply gauging satisfaction with the multi-rater assessment process and make the findings actionable for frontline leaders by linking the process to meaningful business outcomes.
For example, a quarterly manager check-in might look like this:
- What did you do well in the past three months? (Include things done well and how they can be expanded upon)
- What could you have done better? (Include areas of needed improvement)
- What are your goals for the next three months?
Again, remember, the purpose of taking the 360° feedback appraisal is for the employee to gain a better understanding of their own strengths and development needs that others have observed, but of which they are unaware. The final report might reveal possible ‘blind spots’ encompassing how the employee sees themselves, how others see them, their greatest strengths and development opportunities.
With continuous feedback becoming the new normal in performance management and employee-sentiment evaluation, there are many platforms available who facilitate the 360° feedback process. For example, less expensive websites like Survey Monkey or Survey Gizmo are available, or for more formal sophisticated platforms; Culture Amp and Qualtrics are highly rated.
The adoption of technology will make the process turnkey for all. Combining this with quarterly or open continuous feedback check-ins and a formal 1x per year review will keep everyone on the same page and help to ensure no surprises.
Lastly and most importantly, in the 360° feedback exchange, people must always be the focus. With diplomacy, empathy, camaraderie and collaborative problem-solving the whole process can be an empowering growth experience for all participants.
HR On-Call, LLC would be glad to help implement the 360° feedback review process with you, customizing it to fit your personal business model.
Please call 515-401-2233 or email HR On-Call, LLC. If you’re interested in discussing.
A little more about us: Susan Arnold, owner and lead HR Consultant at HR On-Call, LLC. Susan has 20+ years of HR experience and provides a HR presence to business organizations without the overhead expense of a full-time employee. Susan helps business owners improve employer/employee relationships and allows them to focus on their business while resting assured that they are in full compliance with state and federal law. Areas of expertise:
- Reduce Employer Risk and Liability
- Customized Employee Handbooks
- Performance Reviews
- Improve Employee/Employer Relationships
- Background Checks
- Personality Assessments
- Guaranteed EEO Compliance
- Employee Retention
- Recruitment / Hiring
- Employee Discipline/Discharge
Susan is passionate about her customers and listens to their needs. If you are interested in any of the details above or would like more information about her services, please contact Susan! If you have questions on how your specific policy should read or need help navigating a certain instance, contact HR On-Call, LLC.