Grace Smith
December 13, 2023

Do you know what Forbes said about 360 degree feedback for leaders? They said that more than 85% of all Fortune 500 companies make use of the 360-degree feedback as a foundation of their overall leadership development process.

The industry leaders choose 360 feedback as the foundation to develop their leaders, so what’s stopping you? Help your managers grow and learn with a robust feedback system, and let them do the same for the rest of the employees in turn. Come on, let us understand how managers can make the most of 360 degree feedback with the help of some useful practices and tips!

360 Feedback and Managers: The Significance

Managers are the ones who deal with 360 degree feedback the most. They are the ones who carry out the process and hand back the feedback to employees.

It is important to understand the relationship managers hold with this process for us to develop the right practices to go about it. So let us look at the relevance of 360 degree feedback for managers.

1. The value of 360 degree feedback to managers

Managers need 360-degree feedback to see their performance from all sides. 360 input from colleagues, subordinates, and external stakeholders helps managers understand nuances that top-down evaluations miss.

The comprehensive approach illuminates blind spots, helping managers connect their behavior with organizational goals. Understanding how their behaviors affect coworkers promotes empathy and collaboration. It also helps managers recognize their strengths and weaknesses for targeted professional growth. Managers gain self-awareness, improve, and lead by accepting 360 feedback.

2. Self-awareness for managers

360 feedback effectively mirrors management conduct. Managers rarely consider how their actions affect others. This feedback method allows a holistic perspective of trends and behaviors that may hamper teamwork or morale.

Thus, managers may identify and correct these behaviors, improving workplace morale. Managers may improve communication, motivation, and decision-making by knowing their perceptions, conducting one-on-ones, and gauging their team's engagement by asking them a specific set of questions.

Effective leadership requires self-awareness to strengthen connections, enhance team morale, and motivate subordinates.

3. Promote accountability and responsibility

Feedback from teammates emphasizes the manager’s responsibilities to both their leaders and their followers. Accountability makes them more aware of their activities. Feedback also emphasizes how managerial actions affect team productivity and job happiness.

Managers must make more educated decisions to benefit the team after understanding these effects. This accountability builds trust because team members see their supervisors as attentive and open to feedback-based change.

4. Leadership agility development

360 feedback helps managers improve leadership agility. The fast-changing corporate world necessitates flexibility. Multiple views give managers diverse ideas, providing flexibility.

Managers who accept 360 feedback can quickly adjust to market or team changes. This adaptability requires changing plans and trying new things. Managers gain confidence by leading their teams through change.

5. Promoting continuous improvement

A major benefit of 360 feedback for managers is continuous improvement. Managers reflect and improve with regular and thorough feedback. Thus, this continuous improvement culture fosters creativity, productivity, and long-term success across the organization.

12 Best Practices and Tips for Managers to Make the Most out of 360 Feedback

We now know what 360 degree feedback is and what big of a role it plays when it comes to a manager. Let's learn about the best tips and practices to make 360 degree feedback useful and effective.

1. Understand the purpose of 360 feedback

360-degree feedback uses peer, subordinate, and superior perspectives to evaluate managerial performance.

Managers must know that feedback boosts self-improvement. It can disclose blind spots and provide subtle insights that top-down judgements cannot. Recognizing the intensity of constructive criticism can help managers improve personally and professionally.

Adopting its mission implies seeing it as a mirror reflecting triumphs and opportunities for improvement, enabling transformative leadership evolution.

2. Create safe feedback

An organizational culture of trust, confidentiality, and respect is needed to create a feedback safe space. Managers influence this atmosphere by stressing transparency and anonymity. Employees are more likely to speak freely when they feel their perspectives are safe.

In this safe space, constructive criticism and varied opinions can flourish. Allowing team members to speak freely promotes a culture of genuine debate where every perspective is valued, creating a strong feedback ecology.

3. Setting clear feedback goals

Clarity in feedback goals guides managerial development. Vague goals can obfuscate improvement, making feedback ineffective. Based on feedback, managers must set SMART goals.

These goals guide management to specific areas for improvement. Managers may focus their energies and turn feedback into good leadership improvements with clear goals.

4. Active listening/reflection

Effective leadership relies on active listening, an underappreciated skill. Managers must go beyond words to understand the emotions and viewpoints in feedback. Feedback reflection requires patience and introspection without impulsivity.

It entails immersing oneself in multiple ideas to see patterns and insights that hasty judgments may obscure. Active listening and reflective contemplation help managers find deeper meaning in feedback and inspire significant change. Preparing a set of questions before conversations could assist listening and gain better comprehension on feedback.

5. Value constructive criticism

Though uncomfortable, constructive criticism has great growth potential. Managers must distinguish between constructive criticism and unwarranted negativity. Constructive criticism requires divorcing personal feelings from professional assessments. This feedback can be given through 360 degree feedback or through one-on-one meetings.

It acknowledges the courage of honest critics and embraces criticism as a driver for change. Managers who embrace constructive criticism see it as a powerful instrument for improvement and appreciate the honesty of people wanting to help them become better leaders.

6. Create an action plan

Transformative feedback requires a well-planned action plan. This improvement plan details steps, tactics, and dates for addressing identified areas for improvement. It is a pledge to make meaningful change, not just a document.

Introspection, self-awareness, and transformation are needed to create a thorough action plan. It is turning feedback into action so that good insights don't remain in theory but improve managerial and interpersonal skills.

7. Regular checkups and progress

Regular follow-ups following feedback are like caring for a delicate sapling. It requires ongoing care and growth assessment. Managers must regularly review the action plan and progress. Follow-ups are reflective talks, not just formalities.

Managers can evaluate changes by talking to stakeholders. Through these interactions, new insights typically emerge, guiding action plan revisions. Regular assessment ensures that feedback-based changes become ingrained in managerial excellence, daily practices, and team interactions.

8. Seek coaching and mentorship

It takes intelligence and external instructors' vast expertise to recognize one's limitations. Successful managers seek advice from experienced leaders. These experienced mentors give personalized advice and viewpoints that can supersede self-reflection.

Mentorship fosters transformative learning because shared wisdom nurtures growth. Managers that respect mentorship engage in their own development and their teams' vitality and resilience, creating an environment where mentorship promotes professional growth.

9. Promote continuous feedback

Feedback, like a river, is strongest when it flows freely without impediments.

Managers should promote a culture of spontaneous feedback rather than scripted appraisals. Managers remove hierarchical barriers by normalizing feedback exchanges, producing an egalitarian environment where ideas and concerns flow freely.

Encourage continual input to create a continuous evolutionary process. Managers flourish in this dynamic feedback ecology, responding quickly to shifting dynamics and sharpening their skills with real-time, contextual inputs.

10. Develop emotional intelligence

Effective interpersonal relationships require emotional intelligence, which managers must have. It requires comprehending one's own and others' complex emotions. Managers with emotional intelligence read feedback's subtle indications to understand unsaid feelings.

Empathy, self-awareness, and observation are needed for emotional intelligence. Managers may turn criticism into a rich narrative of human experiences and opinions by mastering this competence. Managers with emotional intelligence can respond to feedback's stated content and underlying emotions, building relationships and promoting compassion and understanding.

11. Recognize and appreciate your team

Managers must celebrate wins, big and small, amid the constant quest for development. Celebrating team accomplishments inspires pride in employees. Recognizing efforts, regardless of results, builds resilience in them.

Identifying improvement efforts is essential to the feedback loop. It encourages good behavior and commitment. Managers who celebrate accomplishments and appreciate efforts create a workplace where people feel valued, fostering camaraderie and collaborative success.

12. Display a growth mindset

Growth mindsets underpin effective feedback use. Managers with this perspective see setbacks as opportunities to improve. They embrace comments with curiosity and a hunger for learning to accelerate their progress. A growth mentality turns criticism into an exciting opportunity.

Managers with this perspective value self-improvement and recognize that all feedback helps them become more perceptive, sympathetic, and effective leaders. Managers optimize feedback and create a culture where progress is encouraged and celebrated as part of the organizational DNA with this mindset.

360 Feedback: A Manager’s Best Friend

If used the right way, there can be no better tool to improve employee engagement and satisfaction than a 360 degree feedback. A manager who has mastered this tool will have no problem managing employees and getting productive outcomes.

It’s only normal to feel a bit stuck in the beginning, not knowing where to start. Let ThriveSparrow help you with this. Give us a call, and we will help you set up the appropriate 360 degree feedback framework for your company so that you don't fall behind in the feedback game.