A 360-degree feedback system has proven to be an enormous tool for performance management in many companies. First things first, what exactly does 360-degree feedback mean?
The 360-degree feedback that is also commonly called an employee feedback system, gives an employee the feedback that is generated from the people working with them. In layman’s terms, employees get feedback from varied raters who can be their peers, managers, team leaders, juniors, clients, etc.
More and more companies are implementing employee feedback systems in their development plan. Needless to say, it is proving to be very useful as it offers data that highlights employee’s strengths and weaknesses.
Successful implementation of the 360-degree feedback system has shown a direct positive impact on organizations. It promotes productivity and healthy competition in the work culture.
Top Benefits Of 360-Degree Feedback System-
There is no doubt that feedback is the future!
A 360-degree feedback system offers the managers a significant opportunity. It enables them to give helpful and accurate feedback personally. Some studies show that the employee feedback system is much more useful than the performance appraisal system.
The Appraisal system is solely based on monetary benefits, whereas the 360-degree feedback system improves the performance metrics as well. With proper implementation, many benefits can be achieved from this system, some of them are-
Being self-aware is knowing what strengths and weaknesses you possess. But even the smartest of people sometimes need a push in the right direction. The feedback system encourages employees to think about their evaluation in regard to their peers.
It highlights their strengths and lets them know where they can improve their performance. It helps employees getting an insight into their performance in real-time so that they can work on it.
Accurate Performance Evaluation-
The 360-degree feedback system is extremely useful for every employee. The performance report gives them a well-rounded perspective of their performance. Many times, employees feel that their performance reviews are bad just because their manager isn’t fond of them.
The best part about the 360-degree feedback system is that it doesn’t just come from their managers, but also their co-workers, clients, and other managers as well. This guarantees that the evaluation is purely based on the performance and not any other aspect.
An essential part of handling performance is creating skill development plans. 360-degree feedback system brings about the fundamentals of team dynamics. It provides answers to important questions such as, – Who is the best team-player? Which employees go above and beyond? Which employee has leadership skills?
Such feedback is eminent in building a robust team of employees. Teams evolve and develop better functioning and improve overall team performance. Additionally, it gives every employee ownership over their performance improvements. It helps an individual to take over accountability and enhance their skills.
With the help of an employee feedback system, every individual gets a clear and accurate picture of what their strengths and weaknesses are. This enables them to use their skills to their benefit and work in the areas where they are lacking. Having control over their skills and development plans automatically enhances the engagement of the employees.
A continuous and effective employee feedback system helps employees to realize their problem areas which creates a positive culture of taking accountability and responsibility. This ensures that the feedback is fair and constructive and thus if an employee fails to perform, only he/she will be responsible for it.
Communication is the first step in the transition from evaluation to improvement. A self-aware mind along with constructive feedback creates an opening for effective communication. It usually onsets with the communication between the reviewer and the person being reviewed.
It helps the reviewer to get a clear insight into the employees’ life and thoughts and likewise the employee gets a safe space to share their concerns and ideas. Such effective one-on-one conversation aid in-
- A better work relationship.
- Addressing significant issues.
- Builds loyalty and trust.
- Promotes two-sided conversation.
- Helps individuals in realizing their goals.
Uncovers Blind Spots-
Many times, employees don’t know which of their actions or behavior might be affecting someone else. Moreover, we always feel superior and we think we are perfect at what we do. Getting 360-degree feedback helps an employee to uncover those blind spots.
If a person never comes to know what they are exhibiting is affecting others, they will continue to do so. Uncovering shortcomings are very essential to ensure continuous growth and development of employees.
Measures The ‘How’-
Heavy is the head that wears the crown! It is no secret that every leader or head of the company is held responsible if the results are not up to the mark. They are held accountable even when it is not their fault and the shortcomings have occurred due to an underperforming employee.
An effective employee feedback system helps to determine how success is achieved and thus the person responsible for it gets the deserved credit. Many times, employees waste too much of their time just developing strategies and letting their thoughts go haywire.
Not only does this affect their performance, but also affects the working relationship and leads to high turnover. Thus, it is very important for employees to work together and use each other’s strengths, and 360-degree feedback helps in achieving that seamlessly.
Once the feedback is received, the next main step is follow-up. More than often, employees need clarification on why they have been rated low in the area in which they thought they are good. When the employee follows-up with the concerned rather, not only does their confidence increase, but it also promotes healthy communication.
This also helps the employee to get review what their managers and peers expect from them. The feedback helps them in improving their weak areas. In a work environment, it is very crucial that everyone should be comfortable speaking to one another without feeling shy.
The feedback system helps to break the ice amongst everyone and open conversations on performance are valued and encouraged.
The performance appraisal system is now history. It simply focuses on the past. An employee feedback system is more relevant to any organization to provide useful insights for the company’s future. But it is very important to make sure that the 360-degree feedback is implemented correctly, otherwise, it will be a failure. This can be done by-
Collect Everyone’s Feedback-
As an organization, more than anything, you should make sure that every employee is treated equally. The feedback should be created for everyone, employees should give feedback for their peers as well as leaders and likewise.
When a person knows that even they are about to be rated, they are likely to behave less selfishly. At the same time, since the feedback system is confidential, many people who are otherwise scared to share what’s on their mind can do so easily.
Usage of Correct Tools-
Your attempt at effective implementation of 360-degree feedback will bite the dust if incorrect software is used. Use software that is easy for everyone to understand and use yet flexible and smart enough to provide you with the accurate data needed.
When using a 360-degree feedback system becomes organized, managers can use it as often as they’d like, unlike the performance appraisal system that is done either once or twice yearly. Choose a solution that never obstructs the valuable data and then the potential for the system is endless.
Use the Data to Your Advantage-
Insight is effective only when you take an action on it. Your goal should be to grow and retain talented employees. The ultimate purpose of the 360-degree feedback system is to create fully engaged, productive teams where every employee holds accountability for their action.
A very tried and tested method is to compare an employee’s self-evaluation to the evaluation done by their peers and managers. This will shed a light on the weak and strong spots of the employee which they are unaware of, and accordingly, help them in developing in that area. Another important strategy is to compare client’s feedback to the employees’ team feedback.
Team dynamics directly affect client experience, and in turn, enhance customer loyalty. Identify and reward the employees who are amazing team players. Even if their individual metrics are not up-to-the-mark, they still play a vital role in the team’s success.
Using 360-degree feedback is without a doubt a game-changer and should be implemented by all companies to build a robust performance management system. It encourages employees to progress as they know that their opinions are valued. Extend the employee feedback system to every corner of your organization and you will have the most successful and talented employees.