Knowing what we are good at and not so good at provides a foundation for understanding how we can grow, develop and take on new challenges. Calibrating our own view with the perspectives of others can enable us to be more effective now and in the future.
360-degree feedback is a highly effective comprehensive performance appraisal system and development tool that provides individuals with anonymous feedback from their manager, colleagues, subordinates and others who know them well, in order to understand their strengths and weaknesses better.
Typically, it involves a confidential assessment of employee performance and skills in an online survey. In some cases, it may be conducted through confidential interviews with management, peers, direct reports and other stakeholders by an experienced coach who then debriefs the participant on the results.
Unfortunately, critical feedback can be hard to come by. Managers and executives everywhere are busy and tactically focused, which means that time and attention to giving careful and thorough performance review feedback on how we are doing is easily overlooked.
Many organisations have come to recognise that 360-degree feedback is a powerful way to help people perform better and realise their full potential. Done well, it enables the participant to target personal development against business goals and personal career aspirations.
There are some simple, yet effective steps to ensure the 360-degree feedback process is positive and constructive for participants and their raters. Here are some critical elements to keep in mind as you get started.
In addition, it is important that the 360-degree survey instrument you use contains items that are directly related to the skills that lead to success at work. For this reason, we recommend the following 360-degree feedback systems:
- Korn Ferry 360 – using the rich, research-based library of the Leadership Architect™ competencies that give a comprehensive overview of a person’s leadership capability.
- Agile Leader 360 – measuring the level of agility a person demonstrates in the skills associated with leading change and transformation in disruptive environments.
- Life Styles Inventory (LSI) – used to help individuals and teams understand their thinking and behavioural styles and the impact they have on other people.
With over 15 years’ experience in administering 360-degree surveys and providing feedback to individuals and teams, LDN has some tips for getting the most from your investment in this form of employee development.
We recommend aggregating 360 data for groups in order to identify common strengths and capability gaps. Set in the context of business strategy, this enables organisations to predict the group’s likely contribution to business results and respond to overall long term development needs.