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Performance Management   | 6 Min Read

How to Conduct 360 Degree Feedback

Written By Megha Singh

360-degree feedback is also known as multi-source assessment or multi rater feedback. It is the process where an employee’s performance is evaluated through feedback given by people who are closely associated with him or her at workplace. The feedback providers include subordinates, colleagues, customer, managers and others as per the job role. Even though a number of organizations have been using performance appraisal methods for a long time, they have not been able to unveil their full potential. The issues can range from selecting the right tool to accurately implementing it across all departments.  If performance appraisal systems are precisely implemented, they have the potential to increase profitability, productivity and ensure better turnover rates. This is so because expert counselling, coaching or training, as a result of the feedback given by outside consultant enhances overall workforce efficiency.

7 Steps to Successfully Conduct 360 Degree Feedback

“Failure is constructive feedback that tells you to try a different approach to accomplish what you want.”

In his book Wealth for All: Living a Life of Success at the Edge of Your Ability, Idowu Koyenikan emphasizes on adopting a different approach after hitting rock bottom. Persistence is what leads one to meet desired goals, because efforts never go in vain. Often, when organizations do not reap the proposed benefits of a feedback tool, they either shun it away entirely or do not look out for better options. Not always, the tool efficiency needs to be blamed. Sometimes, the issue in yielding quality results rests on the way HRs implement the feedback, process of performance appraisal.

Are you experiencing glitches in your 360 degree assessment?

Do you find your existing performance appraisal method ineffective?

Is your performance appraisal system cluttered?

Well, not to worry!

Let’s quickly take you through few easy steps to successfully conduct a 360 degree feedback in your organization.

1. Define the Objective

Having a vision is perhaps the first and most important step for conducting 360 degree assessment. Before setting out on the voyage to adopt a performance appraisal method, setting a clear objective is of essence. As one organization is different from the other, so is the difference in the work culture, ethics and values. Hence, it becomes imperative to define the objective of conducting the feedback survey. Having an aim goes a long way in determining how successful your feedback tool turns out to be. 360 feedback can be rolled out for determining performance appraisal, skill gap and hi-potential identification or succession planning. Accordingly, the workflow of participants is charted out.

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2. Decide the Participants

Participants, also known as feedback providers or raters should be based on the feedback seeker’s job responsibilities and the frequency of his or her communication with the raters. This will help in getting relevant and accurate feedback. HRs should strike a balance between those who provide both positive and critical feedback. Feedback providers can be classified into various groups including subordinates, peers, managers or customers. Additionally, the seeker’s feedback is also taken into consideration to find any disconnect between what he thinks of his work and others opinion. When compiled and analyzed, the feedback from all these groups prove beneficial for both the company and individual.

3. Outline Competency Framework

Certain competencies, be it behavioral or job-role based are integral to every firm. They vary with individuals, job type, industry or other factors. To understand the company dynamics through in-person interactions with HRs or functional heads, expert psychometricians create a competency framework prevalent in the industry. Once the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) finalize a set of competencies to map employees on, they identify behavioral indicators associated with those competencies. The indicators reflect how employees handle stress, manage high priority tasks, deal with ambiguous situations and other factors that affect their performance and overall productivity.

4. Prepare Relevant Questionnaire

Preparing survey questions is vital in assessing employee performance or identifying training needs on individual or group level. Since experts have a keen eye for detail, they come up with questions to analyze employee performance and behavior. In order to meet this goal, SMEs carefully design a questionnaire which helps in accurately evaluating feedback seekers. The right set of questions go a long way in creating self-awareness which in-turn makes employees work on their weak areas. Without expert assistance, the feedback mechanism would render inaccurate results. Hence, skilled psychometricians should be consulted to create questions as per relevant competencies.

5. Familiarize the Employees

The dilemma to select the right 360 appraisal can be resolved thorough market research. Once that is sorted, it’s time to break the news to your employees. Research indicates that it is critical to familiarize the employees as to what is coming before blasting them with feedback survey e-mailers. A couple of sessions would be required to introduce the feedback system to employees, how it would benefit them and the organization. Undoubtedly, there would be apprehensions that people will start evaluating them, but as HRs, it is your responsibility to make them understand that the feedbacks are cumulative views based on observation and not judgement. A small presentation of how the tool works creates awareness in your existing workforce. Sessions act as two-way communication, an awareness medium followed by question and answer round which resolves most of the issues concerning the new mechanism.

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6. Pilot the Survey

After sensitizing the employees, make the survey live for a particular group or department including human resources. Start filling out the survey for a teammate and rate him or as based on the questions. It would be an occasion to identify any kind of repetitions, confusing questions or missing items. Try the same activity on a particular department. After they are done filling out the sample survey, ask them for specific comments, any plus or minus points associated with the feedback. This practice will help in figuring out any potential problems which can be nipped in the bud. Secondly, pilot participants can also act as an agent in propagating the new feedback mechanism within the organization.

7. Provide Comprehensive Reports

An effective 360 assessment culminates with the final report. Which is why it is of utmost importance that the results of 360 degree feedback survey are presented in a coherent and concise manner. Employees should easily be able to understand where their strength and weaknesses lie. This will urge your workforce to focus their development goals in order to get maximum output. 360 reports should explain the purpose and guide individuals to look back and use the information for their development journey. While individual reports are good for self-awareness, group level analysis helps in training needs identification, group insights being much more actionable.

Features of a Robust 360 Performance Appraisal

Selecting the right performance appraisal system for your organization can become tricky since each organizational need is unique. However, in looking out for a 360 assessment tool, the well-being of both the institution and its employees should be taken into consideration.  Because, after all it is the employees who make an organization. A good 360 performance appraisal tool is one that seamlessly integrates with your workflow and efficiently manages your performance management process. The other essential features of a star employee performance appraisal are:

1. Affordable & Easy Sign Up

Every organization wishes to adopt a cost effective 360 assessment, considering the performance appraisal tool is used for a majority of employees for different reasons. If the tool is not affordable, it will incur extra cost, ultimately affecting the overall budget. A pocket friendly tool gives you the option to pay online through netbanking, e-wallets, credit or debit cards, which further simplifies the process. An easy sign-up platform like any other website becomes easier to use.

2. 24x7 Support

Participants may take the survey either during office hours or at home since it is impossible to set rigid timelines. But what if the candidate faces some issue at midnight when no one is available for assistance? Well, do not worry. A reliable 360 degree appraisal comes to the rescue by providing 24x7 support. Whenever participants face trouble filling the survey, they can send an e-mail or call on toll free numbers to seek help from subject matters.

3. Easy to Use

User interphase of the platform is what creates first impression on the survey participants. A good 360 appraisal does not look cluttered, rather neat and simple to understand. The easy navigability removes scope of pending support requests or delays. It gives you a holistic view of number of participants, status and progress of the survey.

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Topics: Performance Management

Originally published December 06 2018,updated December 14 2018

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