Published on April 25, 2014
“360 DEGREE FEEDBACK PROCESS” An introduction
Background 360 Degree Feedback is a Multi- Rater Feedback System. Almost every Fortune 500 Company is using this in some form or the other. The most common & the one I will be sharing here in is the 360 Degree Feedbacks on Individuals. In this system the person (subject of the survey) is assessed by a number of assessors including his superiors, direct reports (subordinates), colleagues, internal customers and some times external customers. The assessment is made on a questionnaire specially designed to measure almost anything that you wish to check & verify. Normally we use the 360 Degree framework to measure leadership style, managerial qualities, behavioral skills and its impact and other important factors considered critical for the organization. The purpose of the 360 degree feedback is to assist each individual being assessed to to understand his or her strengths and weaknesses, and to contribute insights into aspects of his or her work needing professional/ personal development & improvement.
ADVANTAGES To the individual: • Helps individuals to understand how others perceive them. • Uncovers blind spots • Quantifiable data on soft/ people skills To the team: •Increases communication •Higher levels of trust •Better team environment •Supports teamwork •Increased team effectiveness To the organization: •Reinforces corporate culture by linking survey items to organizational leadership competencies and company values •Better career development for employees •Helps identify Right & Wrong Behaviors within the culture •Improves customer service by involving them •Helps identify relevant behavioral training needs
PROCESS POINTERS • 360 Degree Survey is normally an anonymous survey where no respondents should come to know who said what about the survey subject or the person being surveyed. • In reality all 360 Degree surveys are nothing but perception surveys. That also means, that the feedbacks that finally come out are the perceptions of people at various levels (inside & outside the setup) about the Person/ Subject of the Survey. Obviously, perceptions are a tricky subject which needs to be dealt with caution. • While I have usually advocated its use, 360 Degree tools can be dangerous if their use is not properly managed. Largely, the maturity of an organization will determine if the organization is ready to use a 360 Degree feedback process. • A 360 DEGREE Survey can not only be used for a Person but also we can use the same fundamentals to understand perceptions on any subject such as a new policy, a new facility, an existing policy, process & system etc. In the case of a subject based 360 Degree Survey, we utilize the feedbacks by sharing it with the Owner of the subject. • A 360 DEGREE Survey when dealing with an individual person must purely be used as a SELF & LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT tool & should have no bearing on either the compensation or performance reviews and appraisals. • The survey feedbacks should not be used for anything other than giving inputs for Leadership Development/ Identifying Competency Gaps, if any. • 360 DEGREE survey should be utilized to generate feedback reports on the Person/ Subject of the Survey. The survey reports should be shared with the concerned Person or Owner of the subject in complete confidence to help them understand the conclusive improvement areas as recommended & perceived by people.
The Concept – 360 Degree Feedbacks on Individuals A subordinate’s assessments of a supervisor’s approach or behaviors can provide valuable developmental guidance for improvement. Similarly feedback from Peer’s can be the heart of excellence in interpersonal relations, teamwork & creating better collaboration. Also finally without a doubt, customer feedbacks help focus on the quality of the team’s or department’s performance, approach & results.
The Process (Continues…….. )
PROCESS POINTERS • Feedbacks on STRENGTHS & OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT will be open for study by the INDIVIDUAL for building his/ her own independent assessment. • In strict confidence of individual & concerned superior, the company must form a MENTORING/ LEADERSHIP Development Plan based upon IMPROVEMENT FEEDBACKS received from all four angles – PEERS, SUPERIORS, CUSTOMERS, and SUBORDINATES. • The 360 DEGREE REPORT for YEAR 1 must be archived in YEAR 2 when the next round of 360 DEGREE FEEDBACK is taken. Analysis in year 2 should indicate some progress from YEAR 1’s feedback. • Attempt of the process should be to help the concerned individual achieve the right balance of PEOPLE SKILLS, BUSINESS LEADERSHIP & PERFORMANCE ORIENTATION without sacrificing relationships & motivation for any of the four stake holders described above.
Assessors Contributions – Individual based 360 Degree Surveys Superiors Contribution • The 1st line supervisor is often in the best position to effectively carry out the full cycle of assessment. • The supervisor may also have the broadest perspective on the work requirements and be able to take into account shifts in those requirements. • Superiors are usually able to observe and measure all facets of the work to make a fair evaluation. • Supervisors have the capability of coaching and developing employees as well as planning and evaluating their performance. Self’s Contribution • Self-ratings are particularly useful as it helps the employee to compare his own assessment vis-à-vis his other interfaces. • The developmental focus of self- assessment is a key factor. • Self-appraisals are particularly valuable in situations where the supervisor cannot readily observe the work behaviors and task outcomes.
Assessors Contributions Peers Contribution: Peer assessments have been an excellent predictors of future performance and “the methods of getting performance”. The use of multiple raters in the peer dimension of 360-degree assessment programs tends to average out the possible biases of any one member of the group of raters. The increased use of self-directed teams makes the contribution of peer evaluations the central input to the feedback process because often the supervisor is not directly involved in the day-to-day activities of the team. The addition of peer feedback can help move the supervisor into a coaching role rather than a purely judging role. Subordinates Contribution A formalized subordinate feedback program will give supervisors a more comprehensive picture of employee issues and needs. Employees feel they have a greater voice in organizational decision-making. The feedback from subordinates is particularly effective in evaluating the supervisor’s interpersonal skills. Combining subordinate feedback, like peer feedback, can provide the advantage of creating a composite feedback from the averaged feedback of several subordinates.
Customers Contribution • Customer feedbacks should serve as an “anchor” for almost all other performance factors. • Including a range of customers in the feedback process expands the focus of performance feedback in a manner considered absolutely critical to reinventing the organization. • Generally the value of customer service feedback is appropriate for evaluating team output (there are exceptions). • Customers, by definition, are better at evaluating outputs as opposed to processes and working relationships.
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