Introducing 360 degree feedback can be a daunting task. We are often asked what can be done to ensure that the organisation and its people get the best outcome. Ian Lee-Emery shares the key areas in our video - and in this article.
#1 Allow enough - but not too much - time.
Communication is key - and probably allow a couple of weeks for communication. At the start of an implementation, it's crucial to set the scene, allay any fears and be clear with people about why the data is going to be captured and how it’s going to be used - and emphasis the benefits for them. It is also to make sure that you are setting out ground rules for those being asked to provide feedback in terms of why they are being asked, and dealing with the anonymity and confidentiality issues that always arise when individuals are asked to provide feedback on their managers. We'd suggest allowing maybe four to six weeks for people to complete the questionnaires that you’re asking them to complete. After completing the reviews, we would say you really must get share the feedback within two weeks.
#2 Be clear of its purpose.
You need to be very clear about why the data is being used. There’s nothing more toxic in a 360 for people to believe that they’re being rated and that rating is going to be used for developmental purpose, when actually it’s not. Another area for consideration is to ensure that the questionnaire is congruent with the purpose. So, for example, if you're positioning a 360 in terms of leadership development, then you shouldn’t really be asking many questions around management capability, because that’s not very congruent with leadership and developing leadership; it's a different set of questions. You also need to be clear with those involved that the underlying reason for this is feedback to enhance development and improvement. And it’s not just the organisation carrying out a 360: it’s about quid pro quo here. The organisation is spending its time providing feedback to an individual then there is some accountability for on that person to take some action on this. You also need to ensure that the questions asked are those which enable a feedback conversation to happen both at the high and low end (in terms of score range) - whatever the feedback is. And that the managers are skilled to be able to manage such conversations.
#3 Build 360 into an on-going programme - and not a one-off exercise.
Are tactical or one-off 360s useful? Yes, they have a place and a purpose, but they’re really missing the point in a lot of cases. If you can integrate 360 into a broader talent management strategy, into a broader leadership developmental or coaching programme, then you have a much greater ability to generate an increased return on investment.
Watch the video now.
You may also like to read our other 360 support resources or get hold of a copy of our Good Practice Guide for 360 degree feedback.