If you are looking to introduce 360 feedback into your organisation it’s important to brief people so that they understand what they are doing, what the purpose of the feedback is and the way that the feedback is written so that it is constructive. It is also important to assign a neutral coach to facilitate the feedback session so that they can spend time to discuss the report so they understand and get value out of it rather than focusing on any negatives (which is the human way to react!).
Get the Board and the Senior Management Team to do a 360 first so that they go through the experience; that way they will be much more likely to respond to others who ask them for feedback. It can be a real challenge when people don’t respond and the cause of this is fear of giving feedback (a whole different topic) but starting off from the top is certainly best practice.
Set the scene before showing the report. Some organisations tend to send out the report to the recipient 24 hours before the 360 feedback session and in many cases, this is when people call in sick! Probably no coincidence there. Our advice would be to present the report during the 360 Feedback session in a positive way, starting off with open questions such as what are they expecting.
Make it clear that the feedback is a snapshot in time. A blazing row could have taken place 6 to 8 weeks ago, just before feedback was given. This is going to have a huge impact on the feedback that is given. People also rate differently. We all remember the tough or lenient teachers at school. Workplace and colleagues are no different! Where a score stands out they may just be difficult to please. It’s the pattern of responses that is more important to look at.
It is also really important to make the point clear that it is perception. Perception is only reality in someone else’s mind, but it’s not necessarily reality full stop. If many people perceive it to be reality and it isn’t the person’s intent then it should be useful feedback. Then the individual can choose if they want to carry on delivering certain behaviours or whether to change their approach.
Many people have to provide their time and effort to complete 360 feedback forms. When rolling out 360 feedback sometimes the hardest thing is actually getting people to respond. Sometimes people are just too scared or too busy and it becomes a real effort. So it should be made clear to the receiver of feedback that they should take it as a compliment that someone has given their time up to provide feedback. So although it’s not necessary for people to share their reports, it’s worth encouraging the receiver of feedback to thank those who went through the effort of completing the 360 Feedback in the first place.
For more information about 360 Feedback, why not listen to The HR Uprising Podcast episode ‘The Pros and Cons of 360 Feedback’ or download our white paper guide by clicking on the link below.