Why You Should Give Employees 360 Degree Feedback

360 degree feedback

Who is responsible for delivering performance feedback to employees? Your first thought might be “the employee’s direct manager,” and while you’re certainly correct, that isn’t actually the whole answer. Organizations that prioritize employee development and retention have recognized that feedback from just that one source isn’t enough to truly engage an employee with their work, offer actionable feedback to help them improve and grow, and to ultimately retain high-performing employees. These organizations enable 360 degree feedback to better empower their workforce.

360 degree feedback collects information, both positive and constructive, from a variet of resources with whom an employee interacts, in order to paint a more complete picture of how an employee is performing in all of their job responsibilities. Individuals to tap for feedback include:

  • Direct managers
  • Department/business unit leaders
  • Colleagues in the department
  • Colleagues in departments/business units that closely align with employee
  • Outside department/business unit leaders that align with employee
  • The employee (through self-reflection and evaluation exercises)

How does 360 degree feedback better arm employees with the tools and knowledge they need to maximize their effectiveness? Here are just a few of the benefits:

Provides a Balanced, Unbiased View:

Managers don’t mean to, but they often provide biased or incomplete feedback. Human memory is flawed by nature, and managers often focus on the recent, as opposed to committing to delivering feedback on the full spectrum of an employee’s performance. 360 degree feedback allows the employee to collect information from a variety of sources, and from a variety of levels in the company. Peer learning is an important element to any organization; empowering 360 feedback programs helps facilitate that peer learning.

Empowers Employee to Take Control of Performance

Diverse, complete feedback gives an employee a better sense of how their performance is holistically across the entire organization. This increased self-awareness means the employee has a better sense of how their behavior is affecting multiple areas of the organization, and is empowered to make more informed decisions about the ways they complete their work, interact with their peers, and engage with their organization. Even better, the self-assessment portion of 360 degree feedback offers a point of comparison for the employee; they can see how they view their performance, and how others view those same elements. The differences and similarities between how an employee views them versus how others do can be a powerful catalyst for positive change, or a valuable reassurance that they are on the right path to success.

Delivers More Opportunities to Develop Skills

The 360 degree process not only collects a more diverse range of feedback, but it puts the employee in charge of their own development. Aside from giving the employee an opportunity for self-reflection and comparison, this range of feedback better identifies strengths, weaknesses, and uncovers new learning opportunities. Employees can then work with their managers to create customized learning plan that will address the opportunities uncovered by this review. This employee is now actively engaged in their own career development, firmly engaged in their work and with their hiring organization, and is more likely to stay onboard than a disengaged employee.

Organizations that want to provide 360 degree feedback need the right technology in place to gather information from all the disparate sources, organizes it in a cohesive way, and offers employees the opportunity to reflect on their own performance. This technology must also tie all of your employee information together into a cohesive talent profile. Learn more about how to choose a performance management system that can deliver all the functionality you need with our comprehensive buyer’s guide.

Want to learn more about best practices for an always-on performance management strategy? Join us for our webinar on Thursday, July 28. Register here.



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