The pros of 360 reviews

A powerful development tool to build self-awareness360 review

360 review software can be a really valuable tool for developing self awareness. Generally, when we start out in the workplace we see things from our own perspective. Consequently, we have little understanding of how our actions are viewed by others which can affect our success. Constructive behavioural feedback (especially where there are consistent themes across respondents) instills self-awareness. This can encourage individuals to choose to adjust their behaviour to build more effective relationships. For maximum success a 360 review should be managed by an experienced facilitator in a safe, developmental context.

Used as part of the training

Another great use of 360 review software is as part of management or leadership training or as part of an executive coaching programme. If used at the start of a development programme, the insights can give priority and focus to specific areas. Repeating the 360 review 18 months to two years later can then demonstrate clear progression (hopefully). In fact, using a 360 tool at the start and end of a development programme can help demonstrate the return on investment of the training and development.

Highlighting areas of misunderstanding

360 reviews can provide helpful insight into areas of misunderstanding between people or differences in perception. Highlighting and addressing these differences can prevent frustrations building up or conflict from arising.

The cons of 360 reviews

Misinterpreting the feedback

The chances of misinterpreting feedback can be increased when it is put in writing. Unlike verbal feedback, you cannot ask for clarification or further examples to better understand it. There is no supporting body language or tonality either. The best 360 review tools require respondents to provide some commentary to expand on their ratings as this tends to give context for the recipient. However, the quality of this feedback from others can vary according to the levels of trust within a culture. As such, having a neutral coach to support the interpretation of a report is essential.

Biased 360 feedback360 review

Just because you are gathering feedback from many, does not automatically mean that the results are without bias. Line managers with the skills and capability to manage performance directly using a performance management system may be more accurate than 360 or peer feedback. Evidence published by the CIPD points out that the feedback people provide varies based on their understanding of the purpose.

Consider the maturity of your organisation/business. Do people trust that any feedback that they give about someone will be treated anonymously? If you are rolling out a programme of 360 reviews within an organisation it is worth ensuring that potential respondents understand the following as it can make a big difference:

Key points to emphasise

  1. Line managers can be identified so should be aware of the impact of very high or low ratings, especially when directly compared to others.
  2. Be honest, but constructive and give examples if possible.
  3. Written feedback to explain ratings is extremely valuable and should be as specific/detailed as possible.

Summarising the pros and cons of 360 reviews

In this blog we have covered some of the pros and cons of using 360 Feedback Software. The key point to take away is that this process is a great option if your organisation is committed and skilled to make the most of it. You do however need to ensure that your culture is ready for it as it is not a panacea or a quick fix. Why don’t you download our e-book “The Complete Guide to 360 Reviews”

If you are considering 360 review software, why don’t you, watch the video ‘What is Actus 360’ or f ind out more about Actus 360 NOW below.

Actus 360 NOW

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