Why 360-Degree Employee Feedback Works
The Point of Employee Feedback
Employees often struggle to understand their strengths and weaknesses. 360-degree employee feedback is all about improving performance in terms of results (doing) and how results get accomplished (being). The more effective the employee feedback, the higher the performance and the stronger the cultural fit.
For anyone to improve, you cannot depend solely on your own point of view. The better employees are at giving and receiving feedback from multiple sources, the better they will be at uncovering blind spots, having constructive debates and committing to improvements in the way that they work and think.
360-Degree Employee Feedback
The purpose of 360-degree employee feedback is to gather relevant information from varied perspectives – subordinates, clients, peers and superiors. Currently, 9 out of 10 U.S. employers use 360-degree employee feedback.
But Does 360-Degree Employee Feedback Work?
One analysis by psychologists who studied the effectiveness of 360-degree employee feedback found that in almost one-third of cases, employee performance actually decreased. The problem was in the careless implementation and lack of supportive follow-up. 360-degree employee feedback can be of great value as long as the surveys are administered correctly and effectively followed up on.
360-degree Employee Feedback Delivered Right
To provide real value, 360-degree employee feedback should:
- Have a sufficient number of raters (8 to 10 is ideal)
- Be introduced beforehand to participants so they understand the purpose, process and potential value
- Be delivered and interpreted appropriately – in one-on-one settings by skilled internal or external professionals
- Involve a discussion and agreement on what specific behaviors need improvement and why
- Produce a detailed and measurable plan for behavior modification with action steps and scheduled accountability check-ins with their supervisor and coach
- Use appropriate pulse checks to track and monitor progress
The Bottom Line
360-degree employee feedback is a tool that, when executed appropriately, can greatly enhance employee engagement, teamwork and performance because this kind of feedback makes it easier for coworkers to push back, better interpret how things are going, and identify triggers that impact perceived performance. Those who consistently seek out and act upon feedback from a diverse group of both supporters and detractors have a greater impact.
To learn more about getting feedback right, download 8 Reasons Leaders Need 360 Degree Feedback