Is It Time to do a 180 on Your 360-Degree Feedback Process?

Are you getting the full panoramic view of employee performance? If you’re not getting the complete picture, maybe it’s time to take another look at your current 360-degree feedback process. That is, if you have one.

If you don’t, you might want to consider it.

360 degree feedback can provide a fairer representation of the employee’s performance. It helps managers and employees better understand strengths and weaknesses as perceived by peers, team leaders, mentors, subordinates, or even external stakeholders, such as customers and suppliers.

A carefully implemented and managed 360-degree (or multirater) feedback process can be win-win for managers and employees alike. By seeing everything — the good stuff and the bad stuff — employees gain a better understanding of how their performance is viewed by others.

Managers benefit from seeing a broader, more objective perspective on employee performance, strengths and areas for development (Gee, I never realized Joy doesn’t play well with others, and that Bob completely rocks at giving presentations. And who knew that Kelly was so good at deductive reasoning?).

Who should be involved in the 360-degree process?

If you’re trying to gain broader insight into the development needs of your employees, you’ll likely want to conduct 360 degree multirater evaluations on all of them.

When deciding who to gather feedback from, you should consider including peers, subordinates, managers a level or two above the employee and even customers or suppliers.

You also need to consider:

  • What is an optimal and/or practical number of assessors?
  • Do you want to establish a minimum number of required assessors?
  • Do you want to establish a maximum number of required assessors?
  • Who will select the assessors?
  • Will the feedback be kept anonymous?

How will you implement or enhance your multirater process to get a full view of employee performance? Not surprisingly, a great deal has been written about 360-degree best-practices — much more that we can cover in this post. You’ll find several insightful resources on the topic at our new 360 Degree Feedback Center of Excellence.

If you’ve got a few minutes, I invite you to check out the expert articles, white papers, webinars and case studies that can help you effectively implement 360-degree feedback best-practices in your organization.