How to implement successful 360-degree feedback programs
It’s part of human nature to want to develop and 360-degree feedback with coaching is believed to be the best available tool for development. 360-degree feedback programs can have a powerful impact on individual, team and organizational performance. Used as a development tool, 360 feedback programs can be used by organizations to increase employee engagement by enabling people to identify development opportunities and support their personal growth.
What is 360-degree feedback?
360-degree feedback is also known as multi-source feedback. It allows different people to assess a person against a set of competencies, usually their boss, colleagues and line reports.
Self-assessment is usually part of the 360 process. It isn’t simply a questionnaire at appraisal time to get a more rounded feedback perspective, or a special process that’s only dragged out for high potentials on a management development program.
To develop a good 360-degree feedback program, organizations should make sure it is offered on an on-going basis, creating a continuous process of feedback, self-appraisal and personal development. This helps create a culture of accountability and prioritise personal development. The outcome of a successful 360-degree feedback process is performance improvement at all levels.
Tips for implementation
360-degree feedback programs can be incredibly powerful and will help align desired leadership behaviours with a culture of personal development. Here are some ideas to help ensure your 360-degree feedback program is successfully implemented:
Buy in for senior leaders
No program will succeed if your senior leaders don’t buy into it. Clarify the objectives in regard to what the program is expected to achieve, and make sure if fits with your organization’s needs and culture.
Ensure what you are measuring is meaningful
Good design is essential for feedback to be credible. You’ll need to decide on what areas of behaviour really matter to your organization and ensure that what is being measured, if developed, will help your organization achieve its objectives.
Everyone understands the process
Those giving feedback will need to be clear on why their feedback is needed, how the process works and what their ratings mean. And those receiving feedback need to know how feedback will be given, what the feedback means and what to do with it once they have it. Then managers and HR professionals need to understand why the 360 feedback program is being introduced and what the feedback can be used for.
Develop a safe feedback culture
The transformation in your people will be extraordinary if carried out with the right intent. From a developmental perspective, it is easier to receive robust and challenging feedback without resistance if you know its not going to be used against you in deciding performance ratings or future pay. People need to trust the process, feel safe that disclosure will be handled with confidentiality and feel supported when given feedback that challenges their self-perception. Make the feedback from the 360-degree feedback program safe and a feedback culture will begin to develop beyond the confides of the 360 degree feedback tool.
Do something with the feedback
Feedback alone doesn’t develop people. You need to ensure that the 360-degree feedback process is supported by a robust learning and development infrastructure. This doesn’t mean developing a host of expensive training workshops. But it does mean creating a process that makes it easy for people to identify and access development opportunities for themselves.
How can SelfStir help make your 360-degree feedback program successful?
Developed by Organizational Development and Human Resources experts for OD and HR experts, SelfStir offers a 360 feedback and leadership platform for constructive feedback, and a comprehensive online competency development tool that will help you implement a successful 360-degree feedback program.