Friday, April 9, 2010

What is 360 degree feedback?

Friday, April 9, 2010
I recently conducted this feedback exercise for an organization, starting with the head office staff and then expanding it to the entire field sales managers. During the briefing for the exercise, I asked them what they understood by the term '360 degrees feedback' and received varied answers. Some examples - 

1. Getting feedback about all the aspects of my work and my personality.
2. Giving feedback to everyone in my office.
3. Getting feedback from everyone in my office.
4. Getting feedback from all those who I interact with at work.

The system for 360 degrees feedback (also called multi rater feedback) has been in use for several years and has steadily increased in its popularity. Fundamentally, it involves receiving developmental feedback about yourself from three levels of people in the organization. Your subordinates, your peers and and your superior(s). Hence the term 360 degrees, denoting the fact that you would stand to receive feedback from 'all sides.'
It all sounds very good, but implementing it without sufficient care and preacution can have disastrous consequences. It is important to find the answers to these questions before embarking on the exercise.

What kind of feedback are we trying to solicit? Is it purely knowledge- or skill-based ('Knows his subject well and can explain to others efficiently') or is it also attitude- or personality-related ('Is highly committed to work and follows timelines diligently)?

What are we trying to assess or measure? Frequency of expressed behaviour or selectivity in expressing behaviour? Or both? Consider the following questions.

Measuring frequency - Keeps in touch with all concerned stakeholders - Always / Frequently / Sometimes / Rarely / Never
Measusing selectivity - Has a dialog with stakeholders? With all / With some / With few / With nobody

What are the systems and checks to ensure anonymity of feedback?
Who in the organization will see the results?
How will we convey this to people? 

Anonymity of feedback is a sensitive issue in organizations and negilgence in this area can lead to things getting spoilt rather than improving.

Intersted in knowing more? We can design and customize to perfection a 360 degree feedback exercise for your organization. The system would involve all (or those relevant) steps from the following.
1. Designing the questionnaire according to your needs.
2. Developing the web-based application required to collect feedback.
3. Implementing the feedback system across the target group.
4. Compilation of data and generating reports for individuals.
5. Conducting coaching sessions with individuals based on the received feedback.


360 degree feedback system said...

360 Degree feedback program can help if you are seeking aligned, strategic and sustainable organizational improvement, and enable leaders to drive change within the entire organization, 360 degree feedback system.

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