Traditional performance reviews focus on conversations between managers and their subordinates. One on one conversations and feedback mechanisms like these can tend to be one sided, subject to individual bias or fail to cover the complete picture. For an individual employee to know where he/she stands in terms of performance, the more information they get, the better. This is where 360 degree feedback comes into the picture.
360 degree feedback refers to the process where employees receives feedback not just from their superior, but also their peers, direct reports and also customers. Such a system gives a holistic perspective of how an employee is performing and how the perception of themselves can be different from how others perceive them. Getting to know oneself from multiple outside perspectives leads to better awareness and scope for growth.
Gartner defines 360 degree feedback as
A component of the performance management process whereby evaluations of employee performance are collected from supervisors, subordinates, peers, and customers. This feedback can be used for employee performance appraisal and development.
Communication is the key to running a successful business, but to operate at peak efficiency, it is important to take feedback not just from upper management but all the stakeholders involved. Gathering feedback from each individual in the organisation can be tough.
A proper 360-degree feedback which has a consistent format and gathers clear and perceptive feedback from multiple employees can help people adopt a growth mindset.
Here are five ways in which 360 degree feedback adds value to communication:
Helps understand your strengths and weaknesses
A 360-degree feedback helps each individual gain a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. Instead of focusing on feedback from one individual, a 360 degree feedback helps individuals gain insights from multiple angles, including peers.
HRZone states that adopting a ‘people-centric’ model of gathering feedback can create a richer, more detailed picture of each employees’ experience, improving engagement and boosting employee retention.
A 360-degree feedback also helps individuals become more self aware. By becoming aware of their perception amongst others, employees may discover strengths and weaknesses they may not have been aware of. Even if someone disagrees with how they are perceived, it is beneficial for employees to be aware and work on changing others perception.
Ensure that the feedback process is customisable, timely and helpful. Automating the monitoring process helps ensure the same.
360-degree feedback needs to be clarified on multiple occasions. This helps promote dialogue and honest conversation between employees. It is only when you know what to fix and understand how to fix it, can an individual improve.
Having timely 360-degree feedback sessions can help build a communication mindset that will lead to the growth of the employee and the organisation. Feedback becomes a two way street if this sort of environment is encouraged.
Keeps employees accountable
Keeping a documentation of previous feedback helps foster accountability and track growth. 360 degree feedback sessions clarify behaviours that need to be improved and records competencies and expectations of the employee. This in turn, fosters a growth mindset in employees.
Thus, it is important to keep the 360 degree feedback process streamlined and document what feedback was shared in the past.
Allows room for honest feedback
There is the risk that the feedback may not be valid, that is, raters may not be honest in their assessment. This issue is particularly pertinent when the consequences of their ratings impact on the receiver’s pay or progression. They may be too lenient (halo effect), or they may be overly critical (horn effect).
Having a space to share feedback anonymously keeps the 360 degree feedback fair and honest. Zimyo’s 360 degree feedback system allows employees to share their views anonymously. Sometimes it may be easier for peers to share criticism anonymously if they don’t wish to jeopardise their working relationship. Employees may fear retaliation from their managers which may affect the fairness of the 360 degree feedback. Therefore, to get a composite and truthful picture from multiple angles, it is important to give space for unbiased feedback.
To improve performance it is important to get 360 degree feedback that is reliable and having these systems in place helps an organisation do the same.
Helps share the responsibility of feedback
The burden of feedback should not be on one individual as it leaves the door open to inherent biases. The responsibility should be shared by multiple individuals who work with the individual. This ensures a holistic and robust 360 degree feedback. Sharing the responsibility helps increase the involvement of employees at all levels of the organisational hierarchy.
It is also a powerful way for leaders to stay in tune with their employees through regular feedback and get feedback on their leadership as well.
Many organisations hesitate to transition to a 360 degree feedback as they find the process to be time consuming and irregular. What if we told you that there was a quick and reliable way to get 360 degree evaluations?
Our 360-degree feedback process enables organisations to boost the performance of employees, improve employee relationships, self accountability, and provide clarity on how to improve overall performance. Contact us to simplify your 360 degree feedback!
Also Read: Difference Between Employee Feedback and Advice and Why it Matters