Grace Smith
January 23, 2024

In a time and age where employees leave companies at breakneck speed, organizations are looking for anything and everything that makes their employees stick longer with them. One of those answers is feedback.

It turns out, employees don't just appreciate feedback; they thrive on it. It's a game-changer that makes them feel truly valued. Did you know that organizations practicing regular feedback have a whopping 14.9% lower turnover rates?

So, why not take your feedback strategy up a notch with 360-degree feedback? In this blog, we'll unravel the nuances of 360-degree feedback and explore how it can revolutionize your employee engagement strategy.

So What Exactly is 360 Degree Feedback?

360-degree feedback offers a comprehensive evaluation of an employee, gathering insights from various sources like their supervisor, peers, and other workplace interactions. Unlike traditional performance reviews, where only the direct manager provides feedback, a 360-degree approach includes perspectives from a wider circle.

In this system, feedback comes not only from the employee's boss but also from colleagues and other key figures they interact with regularly. In some workplaces, feedback from clients or customers is even considered. This multitude of viewpoints is compiled to form a holistic assessment of the employee's performance and achievements.

At times, an external consultant might create a detailed job profile for the assessment. Alternatively, someone from the HR department, who wasn't directly involved in the feedback process, might compile the reports. The feedback typically covers various skills, and the employee, along with their manager, discusses these to identify areas for improvement.

The process often involves surveys with both structured and open-ended questions. Observers might rate an employee's performance on specific tasks on a scale of 1 to 5, while open-ended questions allow for detailed examples of the employee's strengths or areas needing growth.

While 360-degree feedback provides a rounded view of an employee's performance, it's not without its pitfalls. Since everyone comes with their own perspectives and biases, gathering feedback from multiple sources can sometimes amplify these biases. Therefore, organizations using this method should proceed with caution. It can offer a more comprehensive understanding of an employee's work, but it's important to be aware of its inherent biases and limitations.

Is it important to go for a 360 Degree Feedback?

Certainly, implementing 360-degree feedback can be transformative for an organization, but it requires careful consideration of several factors:

1. Aligning with company goals

Make sure your 360-degree feedback aligns with what your company aims to achieve. This could mean focusing on enhancing teamwork, fostering personal development, or strengthening team relationships. The idea is to ensure that feedback supports these bigger goals.

2. Meeting employee needs

It’s essential that the feedback process is tailored to what your employees need. This approach isn't just about evaluations; it’s about helping individuals grow both professionally and personally, and spotting areas where they can improve.

3. Clear communication and training

Open and transparent communication is crucial for the success of 360-degree feedback. It's important that everyone involved understands their role in the process. Adequate training can also help everyone give and receive feedback in a constructive way.

4. Expert analysis

Interpreting feedback from 360-degree reviews can be tricky. It often requires HR experts or consultants who can make sense of the feedback and use it effectively for employee development.

5. Cultural fit

The culture of your organization can greatly influence how well 360-degree feedback is received. If there's a lot of resistance to change or if the organization is very hierarchical, it might be challenging to implement this kind of feedback. It's important to consider whether your organization is ready for such a step.

In short, while 360-degree feedback can offer detailed insights into employee performance, its effectiveness depends on how well it is implemented and whether it fits with your organization's culture. It's vital to carefully consider these aspects and involve HR professionals to guide the process.

The Right Way to Conduct a 360 Degree Feedback

The Right Way to Conduct a 360 Degree Feedback

Conducting 360-degree feedback effectively requires a methodical approach to ensure meaningful outcomes. Here's how you can do it in three phases:

Phase 1: Setting the stage

Firstly, define what you aim to accomplish with the 360-degree feedback. This could range from fostering personal growth, assessing performance, or enhancing collaboration. Identify the competencies and skills that need evaluation. Ensure diversity in the feedback providers, including supervisors, peers, subordinates, and even external partners. Emphasizing confidentiality encourages candid responses. Educate participants about the process's significance and their role, preparing them for the feedback.

Phase 2: Gathering feedback

This phase involves using a specialized feedback tool to collect perspectives from selected individuals. These tools typically combine quantitative scores and qualitative comments. Look for patterns and trends in the data collected. A skilled manager should review the feedback, highlighting strengths and areas for improvement. Compile the feedback in a manner that respects individual privacy through anonymity while providing constructive insights.

Using an employee experience platform like ThriveSparrow is one such way to collect feedback anonymously and analyze it. ThriveSparrow is more than just a platform, it's an employee experience management ecosystem that allows for effortless gathering and analysis of employee feedback.

ThriveSparrow's anonymous survey response

This platform streamlines the creation and distribution of a diverse range of employee surveys, enabling you to create and distribute them within minutes. With the advanced Reports module, you can delve into the survey results, gaining valuable insights that are essential for informed decision-making. These insights can be conveniently shared with direct reports and senior executives at the time of your choice, ensuring everyone is aligned and informed.

ThriveSparrow's Manager Reports module

ThriveSparrow not only simplifies the interpretation and analysis of survey results but also offers customizable views tailored to your unique requirements. This feature empowers you to clearly identify areas needing improvement in employee engagement. Armed with this knowledge, you can take well-informed and actionable steps to enhance engagement effectively. Try ThriveSparrow for free today and experience it yourself.

Phase 3: Feedback delivery and development

Feedback is scheduled to be delivered in a supportive environment. A skilled facilitator guides the session, helping the individual understand the feedback's content and implications. Based on this, develop a personalized growth plan with clear objectives and action steps. Provide ongoing support through training, mentoring, or coaching, focusing on identified improvement areas. Regularly review and refine the feedback process, ensuring continuous improvement and relevance.

Does a 360 Degree Feedback sound like a good fit for your company?

Whether or not a 360-degree feedback method is right for a company depends on a number of factors, including the culture of the company, how open the employees are to feedback, and what the company's goals are.

But 9 out of 10 times, a well-structured 360-degree feedback process has proven to be instrumental in propelling companies out of stagnation and into a phase of active growth.

The program allows you to evaluate your employees thoroughly and entirely, so you will definitely identify the problem factors slowing down your company at one point or another.

If you face challenges coming up with the right questions and designing a survey, don't hesitate to contact ThriveSparrow. Just click the chatbox in the corner, and we'd be delighted to help you with everything 'people' and 'engagement'.