360-degree feedback is a process where a given employee gets feedback on not only their performance, but also on job-related behaviors, competencies, and skills from a number of different employees that have different working relationships with the employee or employees. This 360 feedback helps employees to become more aware of their weaknesses so that they can grow as an employee, helps them to understand their strengths and also learn how to fully capitalize them. Furthermore, it helps employees to decrease conflicts within the team and make employees feel that their feedback is appreciated.
How to administer 360-degree feedback? 360-degree feedback usually includes 6-10 employees who complete an anonymous online feedback form. This anonymity helps employees to become completely honest with their feedback. The feedback form includes questions such as how well the employee is the work, teamwork, interpersonal communication, and respecting organizational and cultural values. These respondents are those employees whose work gets affected by the employee for example coworkers and managers. The employee themselves also fills their feedback form and usually, all of this is supervised by an external professional who can be truly unbiased.
Implementing a 360-Degree feedback system also needs the whole team to be on board with the idea, including higher management. This becomes necessary because if the managers are not leading by themselves as an example, then the rest of the employees will have no incentive to follow the program. Furthermore, it is necessary to make sure that the objectives and process of the feedback are clear for all those who are involved. The objective is to improve employee’s growth and the process should include providing support to the employee to grow instead of criticism.
Remember, the goal of a 360-degree feedback program is not to use it as a one-time process to assess employee appraisal, but to implement a long-term solution for performance as well as overall improvement of the employees. Hence, organizations should encourage regular feedback reviews, maybe at the end of every week or month, that will allow employees to build a positive feedback culture in the workplace.
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