What is 360 degree feedback?
In human resources, 360-degree feedback is employee development feedback that comes from all around the employee. The feedback would come from subordinates, peers and managers in the organisational hierarchy, as well as a self-assessment, and in some cases external sources such as customers and suppliers or other interested stakeholders. ('360' refers to the 360 degrees in a circle.)
What are the benefits to me as a manager?
- Helps you gain a realistic view of how others perceive you
- Can uncover hidden lights and blind spots
- Feedback coming from a number of different people is easier to accept
- Inspires you to take ownership of your own learning and development
- Provides you with feedback in a quantifiable form on a structured range of behaviours
How will it help my management team?
- Increases communication between team members.
- Generates higher levels of trust and better communication as individuals identify the causes of breakdowns.
- It helps people understand how their behaviour influences both their own personal effectiveness and how they impact the smooth running of the organisation.
- Supports teamwork by involving team members in the development process.
- Increases team effectiveness.
How can it help my organisation?
- Reinforces your corporate culture by linking survey items to organisational leadership competencies and company.
- valuesBetter career development planning and implementation for employees.
- Improves customer service by having customers contribute to the evaluation process.
- Helps with training needs analysis.
How is 360 Appraisal different from Personality Profiling?
Psychometric Profiling tools such as Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), DISC (Thomas International) or Forte Communications Style Profile work by asking you to choose a number of preferences and then tries to predict how you are likely to behave in different situations. 360 Degree Feedback uses structured questions to ask a number of people who know you well for observations about your real life behaviour.
Psychometric Profiling measures your preferences and then predicts how you are likely to choose to behave, while 360 Degree Feedback focuses on your observed behavioural competencies.
Who are the various participants in a 360 Degree Appraisal?
- The Subject or Appraisee is the person who the feedback is about.
- The Respondents or Raters are the people who are giving feedback (e.g colleagues, peers, team members, customers, associates).
- The Subject will generally also complete a Self- Perception questionnaire which is put alongside the feedback from the Raters.
- The Feedback is collated into a Report - generally by a trusted third party.
- The process may be overseen by a Manager, Coach, Trainer or Mentor.
How can you verify the validity and reliability of a 360 report?
The process of compiling a 360 Degree Feedback report should be transparent - it needs to be clear where the figures have come from and how the different answers have been calculated. You should steer clear of reports which attempt to over analyse the data or where it is not clear how the conclusions derive from the original feedback data.
Can 360 Degree Feedback be used in place of traditional Performance Reviews?
Not recommended. Firstly the respondents are not necessarily in a position to assess your performance in terms of achievement of objectives. And secondly it places unfair pressure on them when what you really need is their honest feedback. However, your 360 Degree Feedback report may be a useful input to your Performance Review and Professional Development Plan.
What type of information should be targeted?
It is important that the questions in the 360 Degree Feedback survey target real observable behaviour and skills rather than subjective points of view. The questions should be relevant to the subject's job or situation and address all the main items in the Competency Framework for that role.
Why use Internet based 360 Degree Feedback?
Convenience, speed and cost. You can choose respondents anywhere in the world who have web access and you can monitor progress in filling in forms. Reports can be easily delivered electronically and there is no chance of clerical errors. Furthermore there is no need to install any additional software on your own computers as a standard web browser is all that is required.
What is the hardest part of doing 360 Degree Feedback?
Without doubt the hardest part of the process is making sure that people fill in their forms! Using an internet based 360 Degree Feedback system allows you to keep an eye on progress and send reminder emails with ease.
What is the ideal number of respondents for 360 Degree Feedback?
It is important to strike a balance between having enough respondents to give representative feedback and making too much work for not enough benefit. Bear in mind that if you are running a 360 Degree Feedback project and you have too many respondents for each subject then a large number of questionnaires will be generated and people will get fed up of filling them. Also some subjects may feel that there aren't enough people who know them well enough to give quality feedback. All things considered six respondents is usually about right. It can work well if the trainer asks the subject for a larger number of potential respondents and then chooses six at random.
What are good questions to ask in 360 Degree Feedback?
First of all the questions should be objective - and ask about easily identifiable behaviour rather than subjective points of view and attitudes which are hard to quantify. The questions must be unambiguous and easy to understand by the respondents. They must be objective and non-emotive. And they must elicit information which is useful to the appraise.
How long should the survey be?
This is a matter of balance between having sufficient questions to cover all the relevant points and having too many so that people get bored filling them in. In practice each competency needs a minimum of 6-8 supporting questions and the full questionnaire is likely to be somewhere between 60 and 100 multiple choice questions and a couple of free questions as well.
What is the best way to select the respondents?
The two most important factors are that they know the appraisee sufficiently well to be able to answer the questions with some degree of authority and that they will be honest. They should be people who the appraisee trusts and respects, they should be from a cross section of the people that the appraisee comes into contact with and they should not be under any pressure to mark in any particular way.