What is 360 degree feedback?

A 360 degree feedback plan is a robust and a healthy way of assisting employees – managers, peers, direct reports – upscale within their organization. It is a powerful tool to strengthen engagement, ascertain training opportunities, help people upscale for their next position, succeed and finally provide anonymous feedback which otherwise the peers might not be comfortable with. When done right, 360 degree feedback is a highly effective personal development tool. 

Let’s assume you have several years of work experience under your belt and you have invested a lot of your time and energy in your organization by strengthening your profile and getting brownie points from your peers. And what do you reckon your recognition for this extra effort would be? 

The answer is – 360 degree appraisal. 

Precisely, it is a tool that indicates if you are ready to upgrade yourself to a managerial position.

By and large, the 360 degree review is  highly professional feedback that will allow your team to provide anonymous feedback about your performance. Previously, the feedback was collected traditionally from every employee that were reporting to the manager which would have seemed a threat for them. To break the conventions of the traditional methods and to help employees open up, the 360 degree feedback tool is a blessing in disguise. Although the feedback comes directly from the employees reporting to the manager, the fact that the names remain anonymous have instilled courage and valour to be truthful to the manager. 

“We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” – Bill Gates

360 performance appraisal as a Development Plan

More and more managers, these days, within organizations are effectively utilizing 360 degree appraisal.

Simply because 360 feedback data furnishes immense data in better understanding the strengths and weaknesses of their employees.

Constructive enforcement of the 360 degree appraisal has shown a direct impact on organizations. This doesn’t just work effectively for teams but also works for increasing the productivity levels and the work culture. 

Did you know?
It is estimated that 85% of all the Fortune 500 companies use the 360 degree performance appraisal process for their final leadership building plan.

Why? Because it works.

Benefits of 360 Degree Feedback

Feedback is the future for any person when it comes to upscaling in an organization. 69% of employees have claimed that they would work harder and put in complete dedication if they realized their efforts were better acknowledged.

A 360-degree feedback survey offers managers and leaders a credible opportunity. Leaders can give their veracious and helpful feedback in a very confidential and constructive manner.

This helps the person, in turn, receiving feedback to open the eyes into valuable insights and reflect on the performance. In a lot of ways, 360 evaluations are proven to be successful and effective than performance appraisal. Whilst performance appraisal focuses more on monetary benefits, 360 degree feedback and 360 degree review focuses more on performance metrics which becomes the roadway to a long term benefits including remuneration.

Facilitates communication within the teams

Communication is the essential move from evaluation to improvement.

Self awareness coupled with 360 degree feedback unveils an opportunity for communication. This generally starts with a casual talk between the surveyed employee and the reviewer where they will discuss the strengths and weaknesses.

The 360 degree feedback promotes communication and helps make decision on self improvement.

A few samples from 360 feedback examples include

How likely is the individual

  • To inspire continuous growth and learning in others
  • To handle and settle conflict in a professional manner
  • To encourage a team member to take initiative to solve problems
  • To motivate others to attain their goals

It is a time to reflect on oneself 

Self awareness is the key to an individual’s success – from interests to strengths and weaknesses. 

A 360 degree appraisal helps employees with a comprehensive assessment. It highlights their strengths, weaknesses and areas for improvement which they would not have even thought of. It is sure to take one by surprise in many ways. On the whole, 360 degree feedback helps one to gain more insights and establish deeper understanding about oneself. 

A few samples from 360 feedback examples include

How likely is the individual

  • To act professionally and keep control on his or her emotions even under high-pressure
  • Highly ethical
  • To learn from his or her mistakes

Opens room to personal development 

The fundamental part of performance management is an orderly schedule for personal development. 

And a 360 degree feedback is that tool to help teams and individuals for personal development. It helps in creating an amicable work environment, heightened productivity, better team efforts and a sense of responsibility to put great effort daily in the work. Most importantly, it instills a sense of leadership and accountability in every individual. 

A few samples from 360 feedback examples include

How likely is the individual

  • Focused on the needs of the team and the customer
  • A problem solver
  • Open to suggestions

Gives balanced view from team members

It is factual that a 360 degree feedback provides an overall and comprehensive feedback of the work performance in addition to personal development opportunities.

It paves the way for a balanced view from the employee’s manager, peers and trainers or mentors. It directly points out accurate points and picture of the employee’s work ethic.

A few samples from 360 feedback examples include

How likely is the individual

  • To communicate effectively with others
  • Receptive and acknowledges feedback from the team

Steps to appreciate your 360 degree feedback and focus on improvement only

  1. Indicate your complete acknowledgment and support to your reviewer. Let them know that you appreciate their time and candour. This will strengthen your relationship to receive honest comments.  
  2. Read your feedback report completely and be subjective and objective to the comments. Reflect on the observations you have received and try and avoid being judgemental.
  3. Avoid the temptation to find out who said what comments because you will be wrong most of the time. If you bump into something that bothers you, retrospect your past reasons for having triggered that response.
  4. As you absorb your report, understand your mission to find the things that you will immediately want to work on. Do not make an exhaustive list to action on everything at once. Take it one step at a time with the most important feedback being number one. 
  5. Accept the feedback with a smile and don’t hold a grudge towards your team. Just remember to remind yourself that it is a guide to self improvement. 
  6. Come up with a plan to optimise your feedback and work on it. Plan on the measures that you need to inculcate the right feedback. 

Bottom Line:

A 360 degree feedback acts as a 360 degree performance appraisal tool. This will help an individual in structuring oneself along with realizing the need for accountability. It helps one to focus on behaviours and competencies more than just the basic job skills, requirements and performance goals.