You arrive to work bright and early, set down your coffee, and check your email. One of the entries in the urgent file says “Company-wide 360 feedback.” Curiosity, and 4 red flags, win you over. You click.
Management wants you to organize a 360 performance review. Better yet, they would like to make it company-wide. For all of you who has ever had the, “what is this and why did they pick me “, moment, this qualifies as one of those moments.
However, this event can be the start of something transformational for the organization. It can also hint at the enrichment of your career. Ok, I know, you need convincing.
Well, today, we’re going to discuss just how to implement an organization-wide 360 performance review initiative. We’ll also discuss the benefits to the company and the individual when it’s done right.
Right now, you may be saying, “Yeah right! Bring on the Bells, whistles, and confetti; let’s go!” But hear me out. It’s not as grueling as you may think. The proper organization, support, and software can get the project up and running with ease.
So, without further delay, we’ll start with the basics.
What is 360 Feedback?
Let’s first define what a 360 Degree Feedback performance evaluation is and what it is not? It’s a performance evaluation that gathers ratings from an employee’s immediate work circle.
This circle of raters include:
- The direct manager
- The employee (Ratee)
- Co-workers of the employee being rated (Rater)
- Clients and vendors
The 360 evaluation is designed to provide a complete assessment of the employee’s strengths and weaknesses.
This method differs from the more commonplace manager-to-employee version of the review. It offers a complete, multi-perspective report of the employee’s performance as opposed to having only one perspective.
An organization-wide initiative is, as it implies, all employees. This includes management and executive-level participation. In fact, companies that have the participation and support of management have great success with their feedback results.
How to Get Started With a 360 Feedback Project
Now that your organization has decided to move forward with a 360 performance review, there are some initial key factors to be addressed.
This method of evaluation is a tool. The old saying of “using the right tool for the job” applies here also. Taking time to research the process and a consulting team for the right fit is pivotal.
If you’ve heard any discussions about costly failures during a 360 feedback, it was due to faulty implementation of the tool. Extensive research based on the outcomes of these programs has proved that their effectiveness is directly dependent on proper implementation.
Here are some of the core questions that need addressing before implementation.
Why do you want to implement a 360-degree feedback?
Knowing the reasons, this method will benefit your company is key. It creates an outline that fully utilizes the beneficial aspects of the tool and tailors it to the organization.
What pain points will this help you solve?
Getting clear on challenges and their priorities guard against wasted time and effort on non-priority or trivial issues.
Who should manage the process?
Identifying who will manage specific roles and when they will perform them ensures the process flows smoothly. This step creates a chain of responsibility within each stage of the process.
What questions do you need answering?
Outline specifically what you’re looking for. The questionnaires can then zoom in on critical details.
How will you approach participants’ confidentiality concerns?
Have a plan for confidentiality concerns. Trust issues can easily become a threat in obtaining accurate responses.
How will you utilize the results?
Last but not least, set up a system for reviewing the data. Create an environment that embraces and utilizes the data acquired. This can promote confidence and optimism in the process. The data obtained from the initiative can have a transformative effect on staff and the company’s culture.
Answering these questions before going live will help you:
1. Define the structure of the program.
2. Customize the initiative to your organization.
3. Gain the maximum benefit from the results.
Executing the 360 Feedback Initiative
The first step in execution is to inform the staff. This is not an event you want to launch spontaneously. No one wants the surprise pop-up tent event spontaneously showing up on quarterly report day.
Once everyone has been briefed, lock down a schedule. Creation of the schedule needs staff input. Use this input to carve out dedicated time for employees to fully participate. This avoids rushed responses and late entries.
At this stage, rates can begin selecting raters. The parameters involved in rater choice will depend on the employee’s job role and work affiliations. This is also where the initial discussions identifying data needs will come in handy.
Questionnaires for the 360 appraisals are distributed once raters are chosen. Instructions for completion of the appraisals are emailed to the participants with links to online surveys, if applicable. If an online survey tool is used, a brief training video is a helpful option.
The completion of 360 feedback questionnaires is the bulk of the schedule. Hard deadlines are desired. However, flexibility for customers and vendors is necessary. Being pushy won’t get you far. Keep the frame of mind that they are providing you with a courtesy.
Reporting 360 Feedback Results
Then there’s the fun part, reporting. I do mean that literally. The volume of insights that 360 feedback reporting can reveal is a game-changer. The initial work defining data needs and pain points pays off at this stage of the initiative.
Reporting starts the process of analyzing the data. With the right reporting tools, charts and tables are available at the click of your mouse. SurveySparrow provides you with omnidirectional feedback. Your data is displayed via filters that you control. The current status of results and question-wise responses are just a few of the available views.
The reports are career-altering tools for employees too. Having a visual picture of their 360 evaluation performance can inspire and promote innovative ideas. It can also alert the employee of possible career moves to other roles that better fit their strengths.
Employee Review Meetings
The insights highlighted by the 360 feedback initiative are now ready for review. Managers and employees can now have one or more feedback sessions to discuss results. Ideally, these meetings should allow ample time for in-depth discussion.
Depending on the size of your organization, this step can take a while. There are options to minimize the load, such as outside consulting. However, the time and effort will be worth it. Processing the results into plans for employee career goals will ultimately serve to elevate the organization as a whole.
Lastly, perform a reevaluation to measure improvements. At this stage, you’ll get to see how well the previous year’s goals and plans performed. This is your opportunity to adjust anything that didn’t meet expectations or improve upon the successful strategies.
Failure to follow up on plans and initiatives implemented after the first campaign will sabotage confidence in the process. Always make an effort to continue building on what you initiated during the 360 evaluation phase.
The possibilities that 360 feedback offers are what makes it a sought-after tool. Companies have touted it as transformational and life-changing. As mentioned earlier, this is dependent on the proper implementation of the initiative.
A successful implementation will produce useful results. Effective use of the results and reporting are critical factors to the success of the feedback. The whole point of the process is to pinpoint areas of improvement and take action.
The potential of inspiring your team by highlighting their strengths and constructively utilizing them will energize the organization. Think of the innovations this can inspire.
Creating a Successful 360 Campaign
A prominent school of business performed a study of thousands of 360 feedbacks. They came up with a list of attributes that were common in successful cases.
Here’s a condensed version of what the studies discovered.
1. The right skills were measured.
2. Time was taken to properly explain relevant facts to all parties involved.
3. Confidentiality was guaranteed.
4. Surveys took no longer than 15 to 20 minutes to complete.
5. The questionnaires focused more on identifying strengths.
6. Results were tailored to each individual and their job role.
7. Results were easy to understand and convert to a personal development plan.
8. Final reports were given to employees to compare their performance to the top 10%.
9. Mini-surveys provided data on the impact of managerial behavior on their teams.
One of the most effective ways to initiate successful 360 appraisals on a company-wide scale is to partner with a provider. SurveySparrow has the platform and experience to support a vast array of business structures. We can offer 360 Feedback software, online surveys and provide you with an online survey tool for seamless accessibility.
The expertise of our team can aid in planning and streamlining the process. Your campaign will always reflect your brand. We leave no footprints. No one will ever know we’re there. All deliverables and tools will wear your custom brand.
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