360 Feedback can be an incredibly powerful and rewarding tool for organisations to use. It can also cause irrevocable damage. Yes, there is a middle-ground too, but what organisation wants to be there? Let’s explore how you can be sure to manage a successful 360 Feedback Programme using these straight-forward tips.

What is 360 Degree Feedback?

360 Degree Feedback is best defined as a skills and behavioural development tool, it’s a tool for self-awareness that is delivered usually the results of a survey, presented in a report. The 360 Feedback report includes both quantitative and qualitative data against an individual’s behaviour or performance against specific criteria.
The term ‘360 degree feedback’ means collecting feedback from a range of sources from all around the individual, hence 360. These usually include managers, colleagues, customers and direct reports, however, this can vary depending on the reciprocate.

Tip: Be sure to explain to your audience what 360 Feedback is. Ideally show them a sample template or screenshots so they are clear.

Resource: Need to delve deeper? Take a look at our white paper: 360 Degree Feedback: The Pros and Cons

What is the purpose of 360 degree feedback?

Before undertaking a 360 feedback programme define the purpose. Is it being used as a personal development tool? Could it be a gateway to career progression? Or is it being used more broadly to embed values? The purpose of the 360 should define the questions that are asked. If you plan to use a system that can build 360 feedback templates, think about only having one purpose for each template to avoid confusion.

How will you manage the feedback?

Who will see the 360 Feedback reports? Will they be completely confidential to the individual or seen by managers? We would recommend that whatever approach is taken, the individual receives the feedback before anyone else to avoid any suspicion. Furthermore, this point is stressed by Business Psychologist and Host of the HR Uprising Podcast, Lucinda Carney:

“If you want the purpose to be about development and growth, I would recommend you build the level of trust and sense of control as to who sees the feedback afterwards”. In other words, give the recipient control over who sees the feedback until there is a sense of confidence and trust in the quality of the responses.

Feedback categories and timescales

Ideally, feedback should be captured from a minimum of 3 respondents per category to encourage anonymity and a maximum of 5 or 6 to avoid dilution. Certainly, if you are looking to conduct a series of feedback, it is best to stagger this over time or in cohorts to lessen workloads.


Prepare communication tools to outline expectations

As part of managing a 360 feedback programme, it is important to recognise the emotions involved in giving and receiving feedback. Recognising that it can make people feel nervous and can evoke a ‘fight or flight’ response will help you to prepare for this. Additionally, educate people as to what good quality feedback looks like to maximise the quality of the feedback.

Tip: Start the 360 feedback process from the top-down to encourage sensitivity and self-awareness about the process amongst senior management. This will likely result in better quality feedback.

Do you have an effective 360 Feedback tool in place?

Ensuring you have the right 360 feedback tools to manage the process is essential. If you are planning to use software, ask yourself the following questions:

Is it highly configurable?

Can you build your own templates? Customise ratings and email templates? Are you able to control anonymity and visibility?

Is it simple to administer?

Can you conduct Employee, Manager or HR initiated reviews? Also, can you instantly generate reports and monitor progress easily?

Do you have expert support to hand?

Is your 360 feedback tool configured to align with your processes? Lastly, have you received expert guidance, training or support to ensure a smooth running?

Actus 360 NOW can be used as a standalone tool to support you in all these areas. To find out more click on the button below.

Find out more about Actus 360 NOW

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