What is 360 Degree Feedback? – Definition, Usage, Advantages and Disadvantages

The multi-rater feedback or 360 degree feedback is a kind of system where anonymous feedback will be gathered from different people about the member of staff they have working relationships. It is generally their peers, managers, subordinates, direct reports – so it is called “360 degrees”. It is designed so people will be able to share their views to offer a well-rounded view of an individual.

It is used mainly as the development tool as it offers information about the subject’s work competencies, working relationships, and behavior. It is mainly used for people higher up in an organization hierarchy.

What Does 360 Feedback Measure

  • A 360 assessment offers feedback over how others perceive the employee
  • A 360 feedback measures competencies and behaviors
  • A 360 evaluation mainly focuses on subjective areas like character, teamwork, and leadership effectiveness
  • 360 feedback checks skills like planning, listening, and goal-setting

What Does 360 Feedback Don’t Measure

  • A 360 feedback isn’t the way to determine if an employee meets basic job needs
  • A 360 feedback isn’t a way to measure the employee performance objectives
  • A 360 feedback must not be used for measuring strictly objective things like sales quotas, attendance, and more.
  • A 360 feedback isn’t focused on the basic technical and job-specific skills

A 360-degree feedback survey has several weaknesses but is mainly avoidable. It is because the majority of the weaknesses are mistakes that are linked over how this system is executed and explained.

Suppose effective training is offered and there’s a clear plan on how 360-degree feedback can be used then the problems disappear, and providing the organization with the anonymous, valid and reliable way of offering feedback for personal development.

Structured 360 Degree Survey

The 360 degree feedback works just by gathering the opinion of many people using the structured competency-based on questionnaires. It includes a combination of the scored questions designed over the set of administrative competencies (for example communication, leadership, analytical skills) as well as open-ended questions (”What does <person name> do that you want to see them do more?”) that are planned to give people a little freedom to give proper feedback outside their constraints of scored questions.

So, the management competencies that underpin these questionnaires will either be from the general-purpose set that we offer or made over the bespoke framework that will suit the customer and specific application.

Ongoing Learning

When the respondents and appraisee have completed the questionnaires then the results will be compiled in the 360 degree feedback survey report. So, respondents’ individual answers will not be identified in a report.

The personal feedback report will highlight the major differences between appraisee’s self-perception & feedback from others. Some of the critical areas for self-development are highlighted. The report becomes an important piece of evidence for supporting professional development planning and management.

It’s very important that the 360-degree feedback will be done fairly and sensitively and that an individual must stay in proper control of this process if possible. There must be enough planning and support for a participant. Those offering feedback must be encouraged to do so in a positive and objective way. Confidentiality of all the participants must be respected and feedback must be delivered and summarized to a recipient by a person trained in the feedback techniques. The appraisees must be offered support for feedback.

What is 360 Degree Feedback

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Why do you Think 360 Degree Feedback Survey Works?

After years of studying outstanding individuals & identified the behaviors that make them very successful. The dictionaries of competencies are refined by the use in the blue-chip companies, and by the top-class psychologists and HR professionals, and trainers used to help to develop the top performers in the class.

How to Use the 360 degree Feedback?

A 360 degree feedback can be used best as the personal development tool and where the respondents can give anonymous feedback to a recipient that they might not have felt very comfortable giving in other formats. An outcome is feedback recipients will be made aware of how others perceive it, allowing them to adjust the behaviors and develop the skills accordingly.

It must form a part of an overall appraisal process however must not be used for measuring the performance since its main focus will be on the behavioral competencies when opposed to the job performance and requirements objectives.

Benefits of the 360 Degree Feedback

There’re many benefits of using a 360 degree feedback technique both for business and for an employee.

Benefits for Organizations

  • It reinforces a strong link between behaviors, values, and competencies needed for a job role.
  • It offers quantitative and qualitative data that will be properly analyzed on the departmental & company-wide basis.
  • It promotes the company’s commitment to employee development that is the best recruitment & retention tool.
  • It offers a transparent and fair process that encourages the open culture that truly values feedback.
  • Employees are offered a sound understanding of their strengths or weaknesses that in turn offers them the basis for growth.

Benefits for Employees

  • Providers them an opportunity to find the opinions of the people that they are working with & knowing how it compares to their thoughts
  • Gets feedback from many different sources.
  • Will improve teamwork through an increased understanding of how others perceive it.
  • Puts more focus on personal development or what they do well and what has to be improved.
  • Improves self-awareness

Disadvantages of 360 Degree Feedback

  • Questions need to be rightly thought out and executed which means spending a little time putting this process together.
  • People providing feedback may not feel very comfortable doing it and feel a bit stressed or pressured by its process.
  • If feedback isn’t clear & well-communicated to an employee you may risk causing more tension amongst the employees.

The Final Takeaway 

Look, when 360 done properly, isn’t any silver bullet. Your development and training initiatives aren’t operating in the vacuum. If right practices are catered and timely expert advice is taken you will increase your chances of success. Many organizations may attest to how much power the well-executed 360 feedback will be.

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