Also known as multi-rater feedback, 360 degree feedback involves collecting perceptions about a person's behavior from those around them. The feedback can come from the person's manager, peers, direct reports, and even external stakeholders such as customers, suppliers and board members. The feedback can then be used as the starting point for action planning, or to plan training and set development goals.
A 360 feedback program provides benefits for both the individual and the organization. The broad scope and fairness of the 360 feedback provides an accurate and well-rounded view of how others perceive an individual's efforts. Getting a clear picture of performance helps identify weaknesses that need to be improved as well as strengths that can be leveraged. Knowing the skills that need improvement is the first step toward creating a plan of development for the short and long term.
In an organizational setting, 360 feedback can renew focus on goals and objectives, encourage constructive feedback, and clarify the roles of managers, leaders and individual contributors within the organization. This facilitates an environment that encourages self-development, which leads to job satisfaction, minimizing turnover and the costs associated with replacing employees.
Choosing a 360 feedback vendor should be a deliberate and well researched step. Today many 360 degree feedback companies are popping up overnight and creating 360 feedback with little experience in the field. Such companies do not offer sound products and services resulting in poor ROI by your organization and a bad impression of 360 feedback. This is unfortunate because 360 feedback was created to generate positive change within an organization by focusing on confidential career development of its leadership talent.
To help you avoid choosing an inadequate vendor we have put together the below criteria. Whether you are looking at TBC or another 360 degree feedback vendor the below criteria will ensure that you and your organization will have a successful 360 feedback program.
Rather than relying completely upon raw scores when analyzing feedback, a combination of norms and centiles should be used. Norms can be thought of as performance benchmarks to help interpret results of the feedback more effectively. Viewing the feedback in context of a larger population of managers is essential for a full understanding of the data.
360 Feeedback Coaching or follow-up training is an essential part of any 360 feedback program. 360 degree feedback without one-on-one coaching or group facilitation is seldom, if ever, successful. A good training program will guarantee a strong return on investment.
Assessment questions should be clearly focused and specific around a particular set of skills, competencies or behaviors. Surveys designed for a specific role in an organization will effectively measure competencies relevant to the role.
Validation of an instrument means that individuals and organizations can make reliable strategic decisions, based on survey results, about where to focus their development efforts.
In order for an instrument to be valid it needs to be compared to another measure. In most cases the other measure is internal performance within the organization such as rate of promotion, bonus as related to salary, etc. If there is consistent high correlation between an ssessment measure and the performance measures internally then the instrument is valid.
Rater anonymity is a key part of a successful 360 feedback program. An instrument that guarantees that answers will remain confidential will lead to more honest and open feedback from raters.