The 360 Degree Journey

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This is a guest post by Laura Kemp, HR Coordinator at wattsnext


360 Degrees Feedback ConceptA lot of people have varied opinions about the 360 and depending on who you read, it gets good, bad, or ugly reviews. Generally, the feedback doesn’t address a performance issue or strategic need. Instead it’s being done because it’s the latest management trend or because a senior manager thinks it’s a good idea.

For those who haven't heard of it, 360-degree feedback is a system or process covering a broad range of competencies in which a person receives anonymous feedback from the people who work around them. Most often, 360-degree feedback will include direct feedback from employees, peers and managers. It can also include feedback from external sources, such as clients and suppliers or other interested stakeholders. The person receiving the feedback also fills out a self-rating survey that includes the same questions.

There are too many 360 implementations that are a waste of time, resources and opportunity. You certainly want to make sure to address the pitfalls before embarking on a 360-degree journey.  Here are a few simple tips to consider:

  • Clear communication - Provide detailed information about the 360 to everyone involved to ensure trust is a top priority. You will fail to get your preferred outcome and positive involvement if you have not clearly explained the exercise and how the data will be used to assess development.
  • Keep it simple - select competencies that actually reflect the business' desired leadership attitudes, behaviours and skills. Measuring several competencies will become overwhelming, lengthy and irrelevant. Performance should be measured against the goals and priorities that are most important to the business.
  • Keep the feedback anonymous - When the information is kept confidential, increased ratings and other non-productive feedback is reduced providing valuable, honest and useful information.
  • Have a plan - 360 data is only helpful to the extent that it gets acted upon and used. The majority of results simply give the feedback and then it gets quickly forgotten.
  • Don’t forget the strengths - Don’t disregard the strengths that get uncovered in the 360 process. Address the weaknesses but never stop relying on the strengths.

When 360s are done poorly, they can be a disaster; however, when they’re done well, they can be a major part of driving accelerated growth for a team and business.

Does your company use a 360 process to develop leaders?

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Laura Kemp wattsnext HeadshotLaura Kemp

HR Coordinator. wattsnext

Laura has a genuine passion for people and performance that is unquestionable, always searching for HR solutions that benefit all parties. Her warm, kind, pleasantly addictive nature means clients welcome her into their business like an old friend. Laura embeds herself as a trusted and essential advisor to her clients.

You can connect with Laura on Twitter and LinkedIn.



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When not looking at ways to use technology to create a competitive advantage for his clients and build better businesses, Ben is a husband, busy father of boys, avid gardener, and keen runner and cyclist.

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