Receiving 360 feedback can play a critical role in helping employees reach the next level in their careers. It gives them a fuller picture of how everyone, from leaders to subordinates, views their performance. However, doing it right takes careful planning. Read on to learn how a 360-degree feedback tool can benefit your organization and how to get the most from it.
What Is 360-Degree Feedback?
A 360-degree feedback survey delivers valuable input on an employee’s performance from a broad range of people. This feedback—collected from superiors, coworkers, direct reports, and often clients—reveals areas of progress and needs for growth and typically remains anonymous.
How do you gain this feedback? A 360-degree survey can either be conducted through one-on-one interviews or through an automated tool. The latter approach tends to save a lot of time and money. It can also help you interpret the results.
Who Should Receive 360-Degree Feedback?
All employees can benefit from 360-degree feedback. Here’s how it helps employees at particular levels to improve.
Those who manage others gain a stronger idea of whether they are effectively leading their team and how they can improve. Without a 360-degree survey, they may never get this input from their direct reports.
If employees wish to step into a leadership role, they need to know where they stand and what they should improve on. Thus, a 360-feedback survey can play a vital role in preparing the next generation of leaders for success.
A 360-degree survey can provide the direction that newer employees need to step into their full potential. Plus, it shows them that you’re committed to nurturing their growth, which helps keep them loyal.
Use 360-degree feedback broadly throughout your workplace so everyone receives plenty of input on their performance.
What Are the Benefits of 360-Degree Feedback?
A 360-degree feedback tool gives employees a strong understanding of employees’ strengths and weaknesses. It differs from a regular performance appraisal in that it solicits feedback from a variety of people. Employees get to hear input from people who may not normally give them feedback, like the following:
- Subordinates, who aren’t likely to simply walk up to them and deliver candid feedback.
- Leaders who may not manage them directly.
- Clients, who may not share feedback unless prompted.
- Colleagues they work with closely.
- Coworkers in other parts of the company.
Because 360-degree feedback is completely anonymous, participants feel safe to speak their minds. This allows them to share constructive criticism that may not normally come to the surface. Those receiving the feedback learn where their growth edge lies after all the results are synthesized.
By providing constructive feedback, 360-degree surveys have been shown to improve behavior. Make sure you’re following these best practices for optimal results:
How to Get the Most from 360-Degree Feedback
Here’s how to use 360 feedback wisely to enhance employees’ growth to the fullest.
- Tell all participants exactly who will see the feedback and how it will be used. For example, 360-degree feedback shouldn’t directly guide decisions on who gets a promotion, as that could influence the feedback a person receives. Participants might feel afraid to share negative feedback if they believe it will harm a colleague’s chances of getting a raise or promotion.
- Learn what to look for in a 360-degree feedback tool, such as the ability to tailor questions to your needs. Choose a tool that provides insightful questions as well as the ability to customize the survey.
- Avoid sample bias. Don’t send the survey mainly to people who will have negative (or positive) things to say.
- Help employees interpret the feedback. They’ll probably have questions and will need help deciphering the key takeaways. It’s easy to focus on one impactful comment rather than the bigger picture. Thus, an experienced HR manager should walk employees through what the feedback reveals.
- Remember that follow-through is critical. Help employees make a plan for how to implement the feedback. Then, check in with them continuously about their progress.
- Compare the results from different review cycles over time to assess progress.
To Sum Up
As you can see, a 360-degree feedback tool will give employees a better understanding of how they’re performing. It will also help them hone in on areas for growth. Use a 360-degree tool regularly with all your employees to see continued progress over time. As employees come to understand the value of 360-degree feedback for their careers, they’ll appreciate this opportunity for growth.
To learn more about what a 360-degree survey tool can do for you, read «Why Invest in a 360 Feedback Tool?«. It shares valuable insights on how choosing the right tool will benefit your feedback collection process.