A COMPLETE GUIDE TO 360 DEGREE FEEDBACK
WHAT IS 360 DEGREE FEEDBACK?
360 performance appraisal proves to be one of the most credible forms of employee assessment. 360 assessment helps in giving an overall picture of employee performance, his or her behavior expected at the workplace by collecting feedback from multiple stakeholders.
Generally, 360 degree feedback is introduced to the employees via administration consisting of the human resources. It includes direct feedback from an employee's subordinates, peers and supervisor as well as a self‐evaluation, the number of feedback providers ranging between 5 and 10 while keeping the anonymity of the feedback intact. In some cases, the feedback can also be from external sources like suppliers or clients.
Benefits of Using 360 Degree Feedback
Improves credibility of performance appraisal
Strengthens personal development resolve
Persuades individuals to change through unison in opinions
Motivates employees who undervalue themselves
WHY IS THE FEEDBACK CONDUCTED?
Get a holistic perspective on employees with 360 degree performance appraisal
Training Needs Identification
Identify the gaps in behavioral traits of an employee as perceived by other stakeholders
Understand behavioral dynamics observed on-the-job and improve the developmental steps
The 360 assessment process helps leaders increase their awareness of their leadership strengths and development opportunities and forms the foundation for their leadership development plans. When the results of a function or team are consolidated, it provides invaluable input about organizational opportunities to build leadership capability, enhance employee engagement and improve business results.
- Joan Hill, President at CORE Consulting Inc
WHEN SHOULD ORGANIZATIONS CONDUCT FEEDBACK?
INCREASE IN ATTRITION RATE
DROP IN EMPLOYEE SATISFACTION
BAD COMPANY REVIEWS
ANNUAL/ HALF-YEARLY APPRAISAL
When to conduct 360 degree feedback totally depends on your organizational needs. Whenever appraisal time nears it is always better to get valid opinions and ratings to offer competitive compensation to hardworking employees.
Rolling out 360 performance appraisal system will help in determining the cause behind low employee satisfaction and bad company reviews. If you wish to standardize the whole process, you can either conduct performance appraisal annually or half yearly. It is required to conduct the feedback after a year to keep a track on the development of employees based on the report.
SELECTING RIGHT 360 DEGREE TOOL
SELECTING THE RIGHT 360 DEGREE TOOL FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION
Selecting a performance management system that suits your organization is not an easy task. You need a solution that both integrates seamlessly with your workflow and efficiently manage your performance management process. Listed below are the must have features of an all-round 360 degree performance appraisal:
1. Easy to Use
The look and feeler of the platform acts as the first impression it creates on the user's psyche. So, it is only proper that the first window does not look cluttered, rather neat, simple to understand and easily navigable. The dashboard of a first rate 360 degree feedback gives you a holistic view. This includes number of survey seekers and providers along with the status of pending and completed surveys which ultimately leads to reduction in escalations and support time.
2. Affordable & Easy Sign Up
An efficient and reliable 360 assessment does not burn a hole in your pocket. It becomes a cost-effective means, considering the number of employees seeking and giving feedback. A pocket friendly tool gives you the option to pay online through netbanking, e-wallets, credit or debit cards, which further simplifies the process.
3. E-mail Failure Notification
If your employees don't receive e-mails, the performance feedback survey can never get completed on time. This is where a good performance management tool comes as a blessing in disguise. It automatically informs the HRs if there is any failed deliver or bounce e-mails, post which you can re-send the e-mail and make sure you receive the feedback on time.
4. Auto-Save Reponses
Perhaps, auto-save responses immerge as one of the most striking features of a 360 degree appraisal. If the responses are auto-saved, feedback providers can fill surveys as per their convenience. Even if their system crashes or they have other tasks to attend to, feedback providers can fill the survey in multiple sittings and not worry about starting from scratch.
5. Exhaustive Competency Frameworks
Competency frameworks are an important component of a 360 feedback tool since every employee is measured on a set of competencies integral to his or her job role. The competencies vary with every job level and job role. Access to behavioral or role specific competency frameworks helps in efficiently implementing 360 in both small and large size organizations.
6. Comprehensive Question Bank
Since the survey questions are dependent on the competencies, they cannot stand alone without a strong foundation of competency library. The type of questions put forward in the surveys help HRs correctly evaluate feedback seekers. So, a list of pointed questions goes a long way in analyzing your employees.
7. Customizable E-Mail Templates
HRs waste a considerable portion of their time drafting and scheduling e-mails. This piles up to their routine work. However, when they get e-mail templates that can easily be customized as per individuals, it makes their work simpler and smoother along with regular KRAs.
8. Tailored Personal Development Plan
Once the responses have been analyzed and compiled, the performance management tool rolls out extensive reports which have been tailored as per individuals. The reports highlight qualities and areas of improvement, competency wise ratings, skill gaps and accordingly prepares a personal development or group development plan. The plan helps in making employees self-aware and further work on the skills they lack.
SELECTING RIGHT 360 DEGREE TOOL
METTL 360VIEW: A 360 FEEDBACK TOOL
The best 360 degree tool is one that is both liked by human resources and employees. It is not biased towards the organization but takes into account employee satisfaction too. So, what if all these desirable features of a star 360 tool are clubbed into one single tool?
Yes, Mettl's 360View is one such tool which becomes a go to option for all feedback related problems. 360View streamlines your feedback process in a manner that both administration and employees can easily comprehend and make the best use of it.
What's in for HRs?
A clean dashboard that gives insight into the progress of each survey and participant.
The reports serve as a parameter for identifying training gaps, scope of improvement and determining performance appraisal.
E-Mail Failure Prompt
If there is a bounce or e-mail delivery failure, HRs are immediately informed to ensure survey is completed on time.
What's in for Employees?
The plan enlists holistic development areas that employees can incorporate to become more skilled.
Participants can nominate their feedback providers and get the list reviewed and approved by their manager.
In case of power failure or lack of time, candidates can fill survey in multiple sittings without the fear of losing previous data.
IMPLEMENTING 360 DEGREE FEEDBACK IN YOUR ORGANIZATION
Often, when organizations do not reap the proposed benefits of a feedback tool, they either shun it away entirely or do not look out for better options. Not always, the tool efficiency needs to be blamed. Sometimes, the issue in yielding quality results rests on the way HRs implement the feedback, process of performance appraisal.
Let's quickly take you through few easy steps to successfully conduct a 360 degree feedback in your organization.
STEP 1: DEFINE THE OBJECTIVE
Having an aim goes a long way in determining how successful your feedback tool turns out to be. 360 feedback can be rolled out for determining performance appraisal, skill gap and hi-potential identification or succession planning. Accordingly, the workflow of participants is charted out.
STEP 2: DECIDE THE PARTICIPANTS
Participants, also known as feedback providers or raters should be based on the feedback seeker's job responsibilities and the frequency of his or her communication with the raters. This will help in getting relevant and accurate feedback. HRs should strike a balance between those who provide both positive and critical feedback.
STEP 3: OUTLINE COMPETENCY FRAMEWORK
Certain competencies, be it behavioral or job-role based are integral to every firm. They vary with individuals, job type, industry or other factors. To understand the company dynamics expert psychometricians create a competency framework. Once a set of competencies are finalized, they identify behavioral indicators associated with those competencies. A competency framework forms the building block of preparing 360 degree survey questions that help in mapping employees' on-the-job performance.
STEP 4: PREPARE RELEVANT QUESTIONNAIRE
Preparing survey questions is vital in assessing employee performance or identifying training needs on individual or group level. SMEs carefully design a questionnaire which helps in accurately evaluating feedback seekers. Without expert assistance, the feedback mechanism would render inaccurate results. Hence, skilled psychometricians should be consulted to create questions as per relevant competencies.
STEP 5: FAMILIARIZE THE EMPLOYEES
Research indicates that it is critical to familiarize the employees as to what is coming before blasting them with feedback survey e-mailers. A couple of sessions would be required to introduce the feedback system to employees, how it would benefit them and the organization. Sessions act as two-way communication, an awareness medium followed by question and answer round which resolves most of the issues concerning the new mechanism.
STEP 6: PILOT THE SURVEY
After sensitizing the employees, make the survey live for a particular group or department including human resources. Start filling out the survey for a teammate and rate him or as based on the questions. Identify any kind of repetitions, confusing questions or missing items. Ask participants for specific comments, any plus or minus points associated with the feedback. This practice will help in figuring out any potential problems which can be nipped in the bud.
STEP 7: PROVIDE COMPREHENSIVE REPORTS
An effective 360 assessment culminates with the final report. Which is why it is of utmost importance that the results of 360 degree feedback survey are presented in a coherent and concise manner. Employees should easily be able to understand where their strength and weaknesses lie. While individual reports are good for self-awareness, group level analysis helps in training needs identification, group insights being much more actionable.
CHALLENGES & SOLUTIONS
KEY CHALLENGES FACED BY EXPERTS AND HOW DO THEY TACKLE THEM
The full potential of 360 assessments can be unveiled only once you can fix the loopholes that lie in the system.
But that cannot be done within silos. Right?
To broaden your spectrum and get a better understanding of real-life problems existing within the product, we interviewed HR managers, organization development executives, coaches, talent and industry leaders who have been using 360 assessments to further their goals. The following segment is a product of experience which subject matter experts have gained over time.
Burr Consulting Human Resources Consultant Matthew W. Burr considers procrastination as the foremost challenge which every human resource executive comes across.
Problem: The first challenge is holding folks accountable to fill out the 360 degree feedback form and ensure there is solid feedback. People will put it off until the last minute and pencil whip a 3 out of 5 to ensure no ones feelings are hurt.
Solution: Remind supervisors and employees the value of feedback and the importance of being honest on the forms. We train folks on how to fill these forms out and have crucial conversations. Well-rounded feedback and a wide range for area's to focus when you provide feedback. It needs to be easy to use and easy to calculate.
2. LACK OF TRANSPARENCY
The next in line comes transparency which according to Panoramic Wisdom Organizational Development Consultant Tracy Mauro considers a roadblock during the execution phase of 360 degree feedback.
Problem: Regardless of whether the respondent is kept anonymous, most people worry about the feedback recipient figuring out who they are, especially when providing constructive feedback. I see this concern most often with direct reports in a smaller team. The question of true anonymity can cause a respondent to be less than candid about areas for improvement.
Solution: To counter this concern, I always have a standard introduction that I give to all respondents and it includes to what extent I can protect their anonymity. I am honest in telling them that I can't realistically keep their comments confidential (although I will try), and I explain in which cases the receiver might be able to attribute a comment to a specific person. I also give people the option to opt-out if she/he really doesn't feel comfortable providing feedback.
3. RESISTANCE TO FEEDBACK
For Tracy, another daunting challenge in implementing 360 degree is resistance to feedback which hampers the full potential of 360 appraisal, thus diluting its long-term impact on the organization.
Problem: There will usually be at least one person who doesn't take constructive feedback as the gift it is intended to be. These are the people who lack self-reflection and see any constructive feedback as a personal attack. There isn't much you can do to convince this person to hear the feedback and consider it.
Solution: I often ask the person to take a few days to think about what was said, especially if the feedback is quite negative or surprising. Sometimes, people have an immediate reaction and need some time to process the information. Another tactic I make a practice of is never debriefing an assessment on a Friday. No matter what was said, people tend to obsess over it all weekend, and not enjoy their time off.
Once the feedback is conducted, the reliability and validity of the results become questionable and a cause of concern for Maple Holistics HR Manager Nate Masterson.
Problem: Another challenge to completing 360 assessments is gauging the truthfulness and objectivity of other staff. Some employees might want to bump up their friends' standings and make them look extra good. Yet others might have a vendetta against an employee and want their reviews to reflect negatively on them.
Solution: Apps and other 360 Degree Feedback tools which have questionnaire templates are ideal. They also should obviously allow for many people to rate a specific employee, as well as provide a comprehensive analysis afterward.
In a candid conversation with Walmart Facilitation Manager, Lucy Duncan revealed how hesitation becomes a roadblock along the way as it keeps participants from giving the right feedback.
Problem: Considering the individuals providing feedback, some may not feel comfortable evaluating others.
Solution: As a leader we should consider the *why* behind this hesitancy: is it a fear of retaliation? Apathy? Feeling as though there will be no change in behavior? Reflecting on these factors, we can address concerns upfront.
6. SKIPPING THE NEGATIVES
Last but not the least, too much focus on positive feedback at the cost of ignoring the negatives gives skewed result according to Lucy who considers having a balancing approach vital for employee development.
Problem: Finally, the results of a 360 need to be delivered with care. We've all received assessment results and manically scrolled or flipped through pages to get to "the good stuff." In the process of fast forwarding to the things we need to address, we bypass the positive remarks.
Solution: This is when a certified consultant of the assessment or a coach would be the best individual to walk the leader through their results. An objective party can help the leader receiving feedback recognize the patterns that exist: *patterns* that need to be addressed and can make a positive impact.
To keep up with the rapidly evolving skill ecosystem, organizations need to be well versed with the basics of 360 degree feedback. This is the first rung of the ladder to creating a better work culture. Everyone needs a culture which makes employees more efficient and skilled, which ultimately leads to enhanced productivity as mentioned earlier. So, it is high time that we sit back, analyze and carefully chose a feedback mechanism which aids in performance appraisal, skill gap identification or adheres to any additional organizational goals which may arise in future. Since employees also aim for personal growth side-by-side professional growth, it becomes crucial to successfully adopt and implement 360 degree feedback to create a culturally cohesive workforce.
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Mettl is one of the largest and fastest growing online talent measurement solutions provider globally, and has been at the forefront of online assessment technology since its inception in 2010. We enable organizations to build winning teams by taking credible people decision across two keys areas: Talent Acquisition and Development.