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360-degree Feedback

We notice that in recent years more and more companies pay attention to the objective assessment of their employees and creating the necessary conditions for education and personal and professional development. Motivated and satisfied with their work and the general organizational culture, employees directly impact the company's successful and effective performance, as employees' productivity and initiative increase, and employee rotation decreases.

One of the most frequently chosen tools for objective employee evaluation is 360-degree feedback. What kind of tool is it and how it works?

What is 360-degree feedback?

The name itself suggests that it is a comprehensive assessment of one employee or leader, an individual assessment. Most often, this questionnaire is used to assess the competencies of managers. The 360-degree assessment takes into account feedback from the direct surrounding of an employee, such as supervisor or manager, co-workers, and reporting staff members. The purpose of this review is to collect subjective information (such as personal abilities, character traits, flexibility, communication skills, teamwork, leadership, initiative, conflict management, etc.) about the manager and, based on the results, to objectively assess the strengths and improvement traits of the employee. Well-made 360-degree feedback is a very effective development tool. This review provides valuable feedback as colleagues and reporting staff anonymously answer questions that they would not otherwise be confident with.

No wonder the higher the position of an employee, the less open and direct responses. Therefore, the 360-degree feedback methodology allows and encourages managers, co-workers, and reporting staff to express their views on important issues boldly.

These are some approaches that the 360-degree performance of managers should not be used during the annual interview, as it may be the opposite. When the employees, participating in the survey, provide better answers the surveyed manager is better assessed, and receive a promotion or other incentives. This approach isnít correct, however, as neither the annual appraisal interview nor the 360-degree feedback survey, should not be focused on employee weaknesses and shortcomings. This process should be viewed from the perspective of the entire company or organization, where an employee's personal and professional growth and development is the entire organization's growth and development. Therefore, the review we are talking about can be conducted as a separate performance before the annual appraisal interview to assess and explore the strengths and characteristics of employee improvement.

How to get the 360-degree feedback right?

You indeed need to prepare for the first 360-degree performance review. As with any innovation or change, the use of a new tool causes subconscious resistance and negative attitudes among people. But it is a natural reaction of many, conditioned by the unknown or by fear. For this reason, discuss this with your staff before starting the survey:

  • Present the 360-degree feedback review, why do you want to use it? What are the purpose and the benefits of this appraisal review to both the individual employee and the organization?
  • Tell the employees about the process of the assessment.
  • Inform about the anonymity of such survey, as each employee participating in the survey is sensitive to possible criticism of himself or others.
  • Make sure that the survey conducted does not in any way negate the responses of the people who took part in the survey.
  • Ask for an answer as openly and honestly as possible, this way you will get more benefits from the review.
  • 360-degree feedback is a way of creating, not destroying.
  • The results obtained during the survey are neither bad nor good - they are a record of the current situation and a starting point for improvement: further promotion and enabling the strong, training and development for the weak.
Make sure the surveyed employee is not alone with the results. The results will be discussed together with the supervisor and/or HR specialist, an action plan will be developed to improve qualities: training, courses, literature, overviews, etc.

After informing the employees about the 360-degree review, the employees who will take part in the survey should be selected. As this review requires an evaluation from all sides, it should be attended to by employees who interact directly with the assessed manager and can personally answer the questions. To objectify the survey results, it is recommended to include at least 6-8 employees, including the supervisor.

Please note that it will take some time to answer the questions, so an excessive number of participants may temporarily disrupt the current assignments. To do this, take the time to ensure that your employees feel safe and can answer questions peacefully. It is also worth mentioning the number of assessed managers, i.e., if there is more than one manager for whom feedback is to be collected, a correspondingly longer employee participating in the survey will have to respond.

There are great platforms on the market where the above-mentioned review can be carried out. One such personnel assessment platform is Unlock Tests and the Panoramic 360 review they offer. There is the ability to create a group report of assessed managers to see the strengths and weaknesses of the management chain and provide training specifically for them.

The benefit of the 360-degree assessment in the long-term perspective of the company

Would you be surprised to hear that repeating a 360-degree survey on the same manager may result in worse than the first time? And the reasons could be much simpler than you expected - the second time they answered questions, the staff gave far more honest and open answers than the first time. As we have already mentioned, employees taking part in the survey, especially for the first time, feel uncomfortable and do not know what the consequences will be, therefore they behave carefully. If you are just starting a feedback program in your company, give employees time to understand, get used to, and build a culture of trust together. You can achieve this by regularly conducting a 360-degree assessment survey. Then all the employees will be able to see the benefits of the process of developing qualities for improvement, and at the same time employees will make sure that their answers do not have a negative impact on them, but on the contrary - have a positive impact on the development of the assessed manager and the company at the same time.

It is recommended that companies begin implementing a feedback program after reaching some maturity when the employee is identified as the company's or organization's resource at the highest level, and motivated and valued employees are the engine of the company's success. A culture of trust, openness, and quality feedback is created, in addition to the possibility of personal and professional development, at the same time it increases employee satisfaction with work, strengthens the sense of commitment to the company's activities, and all this contributes to the creation of a favorable psychological microclimate of the company, higher employee productivity and the success of companies performance.

360-degree feedback is an effective tool for regular employee assessment to motivate, develop and build effective teams.

-- Abdul Alim - 2022-10-23

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Topic revision: r1 - 2022-10-23 - AbdulAlim
 
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