A 360 feedback session is like a trip to the dentist: pretty scary at first, but it often turns out to be painless and worthwhile in the end.
While setting up a fair, easy to understand processes can be challenging to begin with, the information gained can immediately be put to use by formulating a tailored personal development plan that helps employees see how they can meet their agreed objectives. Let’s take a look at how 360 feedback can provide a win-win situation for both employees and managers.
Great for everyone
Peer-to-peer appraisals are by their nature democratic, so the feedback that comes from them is always going to feel more relevant. As 360 feedback is from colleagues who know the recipient best, their comments are usually the most insightful and valuable.
As 360 feedback is universally applicable it becomes more democratic still. Quite often the same process can be used to assess lower level colleagues as well as executives, and with everyone being judged by the same criteria, it makes the feedback given much easier to accept.
Forming good habits
Nobody doubts the importance of employee to employee communication but it’s often the area that workers, whatever their rank, struggle to get right. More often than not small issues go unresolved and snowball into bigger problems; differences in the way colleagues might approach certain tasks can unintentionally irritate other team members.
By opening up channels between colleagues, everyone feels they have effective ways of addressing issues in a way that is less likely to damage work relationships while being honest and sensitive.
On the right track
Employees feel that while they are given clear objectives and targets, they are often not given the right support, advice or development plan to help them achieve these goals. By collating feedback, employees can find out where their potential blind spots lie, with co-workers offering each other useful insights into problem areas that might otherwise have gone unnoticed.
These findings can then later be incorporated into a structured personal development plan, which the employee uses to manage his or her own performance and adjust it according to whether or not the target will be reached. See for more information on how to incorporate 360 Feedback.
Similarly, if an employee reports feelings of career stagnation, a colleague may suggest work areas where the employee excels. As a result, managers can set ‘stretch targets’ to develop certain strengths, which motivates the employee by allowing him or her to concentrate on more enjoyable areas.
A job well done
We are naturally a feedback seeking species, and creating a proper forum where colleagues can bask in the glow of positive feedback is easily the most powerful motivating tool any organisation has.
Employees often feel that they don’t get credit for successful initiatives and so become reluctant to give their all on future projects. Allowing people to hear from their own colleagues just how valued they are gives them that real but elusive job satisfaction – and that, after all, is probably what everyone is looking for.