Avoid 360 degree feedback questionnaires?

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 11:56 AM

360 degree feedback within your organisation can give great results and be a key part of your talent management strategy. But get the use of 360 wrong, and it can become a 'tickbox' exercise.

360 reviews can provide self-insight, inform development and succession plans, focus attention of what behaviours are needed and identify those with 'high potential'. But we believe there are 4 key areas which are deadly mistakes when it comes to 360 degree feedback programmes - and we've included these in an article published on HRZone.

The first of these core mistakes is talking about "filling in 360 degree feedback questionnaires"

The objective of a 360 degree process is to provide individuals with constructive and actionable feedback that will help them to develop themselves and improve their performance. However, the minute you mention “filling in a 360 degree feedback questionnaire”, the whole initiative descends into a tick-box, compliance-driven exercise.

360 degree feedback can be a collaborative and culture-changing process. But when you ask someone “can you just complete this questionnaire?”, it fundamentally diminishes the importance of the process - and it changes the context of your project into something that can be dismissed as a low-priority.

So, be very careful about the terminology that you use when you describe your 360 degree process. Never ask people to go and fill in a questionnaire. Ask for people’s contribution: “We’d like you to go on-line to a website to provide constructive, structured feedback”.

Stay output-focused, not input-focused, and keep the bigger picture in mind about what you’re trying to achieve. Make sure everything you do - and how you describe the process - is aligned with that overall objective.

You can read the full article as part of our collection of opinion pieces.

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