How to implement 360 feedback
We recently wrote about a new take on performance reviews. These 360 reviews provide a bigger picture by looking at an employee from all angles, aim ahead to the future rather than focusing on past work, and are often more efficient at making progress and positive changes. Sound great? Maybe this is something new you want to try with your workplace. So now the question becomes, HOW do we make the switch from our traditional performance reviews that our company is more familiar with?
First, make a plan. There are numerous ways a 360 review can work so first you need to decide what you want out of it. Which areas do you want to focus on? What questions do you want answered? Find templates online and choose your layout. There are even services that will create and conduct these reviews for you. Most tend to focus on leadership and team building qualities, communication skills, and decision making. How we can we bring out these positive traits in others and grow them to our fullest potential moving forward?
Next, decide who to include. Maybe you just want 360 feedback on your top-level managers. Or maybe you want to include all managers, or even all employees. This may depend on the size of your company or on the goals you hope to achieve by conducting this type of assessment.
After figuring out who will be reviewed, decide if the reports should remain anonymous or not. Maybe the feedback from managers will be authored, but the feedback from coworkers or direct reports will be anonymous? Or they can all be anonymous or all be signed—whatever works best for your situation! This will depend on the culture of your company and how colleagues may feel about providing this feedback—360 reviews will be most beneficial when they are honest and complete!
Finally, announce the plan. Explain the concept of a 360 review, how it will work, and your end goal. The last thing you want to do is put your employees in a panic, which can happen any time there’s a big change from the norm. They may wonder if you’ll be making cuts or how this is impacting the business. By being upfront and honest about the 360 feedback and how it will be used, they can be more open when they complete their reviews.
After your assessments are completed, take a look at the results and analyze the feedback. How can you target the strengths? Improve the weaknesses? Did you learn that a specific employee has amazing leadership qualities and is currently being underutilized? Or maybe another employee would be more efficient in a different department. A company is only as strong as its people!