360° Feedback

May 18, 2014

With performance appraisals coming under fire from academic and corporate fronts, it is no wonder companies are looking to new methods of measuring and evaluating their employees. With some reports suggesting that 90% of Fortune 500 companies employee some form of 360° perhaps it’s time the not-for-profit sector catch up.

What is 360° feedback?

Also known as multi-source feedback, 360° feedback draws seeks to measure personnel development and performance and has also been used for performance coaching and organisational intelligence. In addition to direct supervisors, 360° feedback can draw on the opinions of co-workers, team members, customers and reports in order to provide a holistic and accurate account of an employee’s development.

How do I use it?

Typically 360° feedback is structured in three phases: Process design, Process Implementation and Process evaluation.

  1. Process design encompasses the building of the survey and generating buy-in from senior leadership.
  2. Process implementation is comprised of six steps including the selection of evaluation teams, explaining how to deliver meaningful feedback, conducting the evaluations (using software or otherwise), grading the reports, explain the process of maximising and receiving feedback and most importantly, create action plans to ensure that personal and organisational goals can be tracked and ultimately met.
  3. Process Evaluation consists of analysing safeguards and conducting user assessments. This is essential to refining the process so that the data collection remains robust and that the system is reliable and useful.

Does 360° feedback work for not-for-profits?

The short answer is yes. The internet and increasingly digital workplaces mean that the 360° feedback process can be undertaken by smaller organisations even without large HR departments. The real value of the process is receiving holistic, constructive feedback, that can be subsequently acted upon.