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360 Feedback Tool   | 5 min Read

The feel and future of 360-degree feedback

Written By Divyeshwari Singh

The HR trend- We Need to Ask

Times have changed; the Information era has begun. Now people know more than their bosses what needs to be done and how it is to be done. Hence in an effort to manage the knowledgeable workers, it is mandatory to listen, ask and learn from everyone around.

Feedback is common sense. When people ask, listen and then try to learn from others, it improves the relationship between them.

The 360-degree feedback tool has created an upheaval in the HR space, and people are all over it.

The people are inculcating the system into their companies. The tool is about the pretty colors of help, where companies are making a shift from appraisals to continuous performance management.

What is the 360 Degree Tool?

It is a tool that gives each employee performance feedback from the people who work with them. These people are none other than the employee’s peers, manager, subordinates and sometimes customers. At least four to eight people fill the feedback form, where the questions evaluate the employee by covering a landscape of competencies.

The employee for whom the feedback is being filled is also required to fill a self-assessment form with the same questions. Once the process is over, the system automatically presents the report in a manner that is easily understandable by the recipient and helps him create a development plan.

The Essence of the Tool-

  • It gives a picture to the individual as to how his/her effectiveness is viewed by others in the organization.
  • It provides knowledge of the abilities and practices wanted in the company to achieve the mission, vision, and objectives.

Strictly speaking, the 360 degree feedback does justice to its name by measuring the feedback from a 360 degree angle of the employee including all the people connected with him/her.

Why go for a 360-Degree Feedback?

“Genuine feedback is important to test one's own perception, perceive the hidden qualities, and understand the blind sides in self-recognitions.”

 360 degree feedback-benefits

 

 

 

  • Makes you Aware-

Being self-aware is to understand one's own thoughts, interests, strengths, and weaknesses. A leader needs to be balanced in his ideas and approach. Leaders come in with a great start but sometimes lose track, and this feedback system could be one way to give them the right direction to improve.

  • Facilitates Communication

Dialogue is the initial step to move from evaluation to improvement. A self-aware attitude matched with feedback creates an opportunity for dialogue. This generally begins with a warm talk between the reviewer(manager, peers or co-workers) and the candidate surveyed defining the personality pros and cons.

This communication proceeds to form a plan where improvement goals are settled upon.

  • Provides Developmental Opportunities

An integral part of continuous performance management is development opportunities. 360 degree tool shows a strong way of how teams could keep developing and become far better in their performance. It gives them space to build on current skills and develop new ones. And allowing the individuals to take ownership of the development process increases their engagement.

  • Builds a Relationship of Reciprocity & Accountability

A continuous 360-degree system is not a one-sided tool where the top administration directs the one below them. It removes the problem of ambiguity; the system defines certain competency needs. According to the needs, the person is required to perform. This makes it easy to convey the requirement, and if the person fails to perform, he can be held responsible.

But what makes the process efficient is that when the needs are pre-defined, there is no room for unclear thoughts. The employees understand where he lacks, takes ownership of his actions and hence this makes it easier to identify development opportunities.

  • Improves performance

When implemented properly a good 360-degree feedback guarantees employee engagement. With the feedback, the employees unearth their strengths and weaknesses. Identifying the competencies allows the structuring of a customized development plan. When they are told about the abilities and the same are sharpened they excel and contribute more to the company’s goals.

What are the Use Cases of a 360-Degree Feedback Tool?

 Use cases of 360 deree feedback

  • As a Developmental Tool

The feedback mechanism provides feedback to the employees from all levels. This feedback is generally kept anonymous to avoid any discomfort during expression. This way the employee gets to know what other people think about his abilities and performance.

The recipients hence get a chance to understand what others feel, good or bad and hence have a chance to improve themselves and adjust their behaviour.

That’s how employees move towards improvement and excelling in their jobs.

The performance of a company is directly related to the performance of an individual.  A traditional performance evaluation system assesses the employees and rates them annually.

Performance is nothing but the accomplishment of a task by a person. The use of 360-degree tool in this manner is gaining importance for its unbiased assessment. The goal of the feedback mechanism is to focus on the abilities and aptitude of the worker and convey to them the feelings and perception of others in the company.

In this way, the tool calls attention to the important performance dimensions that may otherwise get neglected by the company.

 

The 360-degree feedback is  gaining popularity over the years. Once used for just the top level of the management it has now come to include other worker groups as well. The multi-rater process begins with the senior team coming down to include the various management levels.



What Expectations to Set?

"More than 85% of all the Fortune 500 companies use the 360 degree feedback process as a cornerstone of their overall leadership development process. If you are not a user, we encourage you to take a fresh look."

But before using, understand the expectations to be set for your tool because it is only then that fresh look count.

  • What not to expect?

The tool is a part of the performance management system and not the system itself. Sometimes people start expecting way more than its capability. The system is a part and needs to be well integrated into the system to perform.

 

It is not about focusing on the downfalls, negatives, and weaknesses of a person. The system is about promoting good performance and making improvements wherever needed.

The tool does not focus on job-specific skills or technical expertise. It is not the tool to check whether the person is meeting the job requirements.

The feedback tool is not a standard questionnaire that can be used in all companies in the same way. Each company has different requirements, and the questions need to be adjusted according to the requirements.

  • What to Expect?

Whenever you want to look for a developmental tool for your employees, a tool that assesses the behaviour and competencies of the employee, go for the 360 degree feedback.

Expect to understand how you are seen in the eyes of others in your workplace, get to read what feedback they give.

It focuses on subjective areas such as teamwork, attitude, leadership and management.

 

What goes wrong when companies introduce the 360-degree tool?

“Wrong expectations are the root cause of disappointment.”

Other times it is about how companies implement the tool in their system. The reasons for failure could be-

 

Companies do it wrong with 360 degree feedback

  • Disinterested bosses-

    Programs that do not get the due attention from bosses are ineffective. Bosses are the believers without them; the programs may not succeed.
  • No follow-ups-

    Change does not happen overnight; it takes time. Once the feedback has been taken and provided to the concerned persons, the work doesn’t end there. An effort to change requires time, attention and reminders. Plan the post 360 plan as the action.
  • No strengths only weaknesses-

    Some companies only focus on the negatives and disregard the positives that are unraveled in the feedback process. The positives are what got the employees where they are, that’s what which needs to be remembered.

Once companies understand these downfalls and make the 360 degree right, the experience will then positively impact everyone.

360 Degree in Action

Before the company starts to train its employees based on the feedback received it is mandatory to include assessments in the process.

Pre and post assessments are the best way to evaluate the skill gap analysis and keep a tab of the pre and post learnings as well.

Mettls’ bank of Pre-Built-Tests and assessments for cognitive, behavioral, technical or aptitude abilities are a must view.

Before taking up the learning initiatives, it is customary to know where the employee stands before the learnings in terms of skills and repeat the process post assessments. And that is how we at Mettl help you make an informed decision and give one too to your employees. Based on the assessments analytics it gets easier to tell the employees what areas to improve and monitor the change as well.

 Promote a Culture Of Feedbacks

Now you have understood the importance of promoting a strong feedback culture. 360-degree tool is a positive, powerful instrument that can build an organization’s support system.

Do you want to improve the performance of your employees?

If yes, then get up and add this into your toolkit!!!

 

Topics: 360 Feedback Tool

Originally published January 29 2019,updated November 18 2019

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