How Does 360 Degree Feedback Improve Performance?

A few weeks ago, we discussed the benefits and potential drawbacks of 360 feedback survey processes. One of the primary drawbacks might be the resistance of employees, managers, and senior leaders to participate in this process.

To deal with this resistance and answer the question this blog poses, we first want to address misinformation regarding 360 degree feedback processes.

360-Degree Feedback Myths

These surveys are unbiased.

This is untrue. Because a 360 feedback survey measures the perceptions of someone’s competency, leadership, and behaviors, there is a measure of bias in these surveys. We're human. Bias is a part of us. Mitigate bias by training reviewers, giving them tips on how to best respond to the 360 survey. Moreover, the fact this is a multi-rater survey from peers, senior leaders, and direct reports can help reduce bias. The more raters, the less bias.

Only underperformers need it.

When 360-degree surveys are part of an organization's employee development strategy, they are used to help people improve and grow. The surveys focus on the process, not the result. The 360 assessment can help everyone. Conversely, this isn’t a tool to single out underperformers, and shouldn’t be used as such. Remember, 360 surveys primarily assess behaviors and competencies rather than job skills and performance objectives, so they do not provide a comprehensive performance appraisal. It would be unfair to use them for this.

Management gets the most benefit.

When participating in a 360-degree survey, the one who most benefits is the employee who receives feedback from everyone. This can be hard to be part of, but when 360 feedback is approached with a growth mindset, that employee (manager, leader etc.) has the opportunity to identify weaknesses (and strengths!), create a development plan, and improve their skills.

How does 360 feedback improve performance?

There is often a gap between how we view ourselves and how others view us. Many managers and leaders fail to fully appreciate the impact their day-to-day actions and behaviors have on others. When used as a development tool, 360 degree feedback offers a number of benefits, including increased self awareness, identification of potential problem areas and gaps in perception (blind spots, disagreements, hidden strengths and weaknesses, etc.), professional development, and increased communication and openness among employees.

Comprehensive Feedback:

360-degree feedback offers a holistic view of a person’s performance by collecting feedback from multiple sources, including supervisors, peers, and subordinates. This comprehensive feedback provides a more complete understanding of the strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement.

Identifying Blind Spots:

360-degree feedback helps employees identify blind spots and areas for development by gaining insights into how their behavior and performance are perceived by others. By receiving feedback from diverse perspectives, employees can uncover areas where they may need to adjust their approach or behavior to improve performance.

Setting Clear Development Goals:

360-degree feedback facilitates the setting of clear and actionable development goals based on feedback from multiple stakeholders. Employees can use this feedback to establish specific performance objectives and create personalized development plans that address identified areas for improvement.

An Increase in Accountability and Motivation:

Involving multiple stakeholders in the feedback process promotes accountability and ownership of performance. When employees receive feedback from peers, supervisors, and subordinates, they are more motivated to take ownership of their performance and strive for continuous improvement, leading to enhanced performance outcomes.

By leveraging the diverse perspectives offered by 360-degree feedback, organizations can drive continuous performance improvement and achieve greater success.

“Feedback is a gift. Ideas are the currency of our next success. Let people see you value both feedback and ideas.” – Jim Trinka and Les Wallace

How Does 360 Degree Feedback Improve Performance?

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