The process of giving and taking feedback often fails when not handled effectively. Feedback requires a lot of thought and planning in order for it to achieve its objectives. Leaders in organizations need to ask themselves how good they are at giving feedback, and in turn be open to receiving feedback from others in the organization.
One way of ensuring that everyone benefits from each other across organizational hierarchy is through 360-degree feedback. In this article, I am outlining the benefits of a 360-degree feedback system as a part of the performance management process.
1. Makes feedback holistic and worthwhile
360-degree feedback gathers feedback from all across, including managers, subordinates, peer groups, self-assessments and sometimes even feedback from customers (depending on the role of the employee). Such a system ensures diverse and varied information, which makes the scope for employee
improvement much higher than a plain one-on-one with a manager. A varied audience and response base highlights a variety of critical points that may otherwise go completely ignored. Such a system also provides a unique opportunity to uncover areas that may need more work. Such feedback can be incorporated into employee engagement and development plans.
2. Continuous feedback can help shape organizational culture
Every performance review is done on the basis of a few fundamentals. These fundamental values on which performance is reviewed on carefully revolve around the beliefs of the company. In such a case, if a 360-degree feedback system is introduced, it can be implemented in a manner that the competencies reflect the organization’s vision and standards for behavior, performance, and interactions.
Such a practice, if reinforced multiple times over time can enable setting standards that define and shape organizational culture. By adhering to such core competencies and making them a part of the performance management system, employees across levels can receive feedback about how they are doing when it comes to following company values in their daily performance. This will help instill these values in the everyday life of employees.
3. Professional development of employees
Most organizations are working towards making their employees more competitive and productive so that they feel that employees don’t feel left out when it comes to investing in their professional development. This is because professional development is one of the most important reasons that employees stick around in the same company. A 360-degree review system makes this easier for companies as multi-rater feedback serves as a great source of information about improvements needed to become a better professional. The anonymous surveys help employees understand what exactly they need to work on in order to be their best selves at work and otherwise.
4. Reduced sense of discrimination
One on one feedback from managers might be taken wrongly as it might seem to be subjective and on the basis of the biases of the managers towards the employee. An anonymous 360-degree review system negates this aspect as it comes from a number of individuals in various job functions. So the feeling that one is getting discriminated against in the basis of identity such as race, age, gender etc. gets removed. The sense that a personal event can stir negative reviews also gets minimized.
Many organizations have adopted the 360-degree feedback approach in the hope that it will magically solve all their performance management problems. While the 360-degree review process does have a significant positive impact on employee engagement and motivation, it also needs to be handled effectively. Or else it is doomed to become a failure. Exercising caution and using technology the right way can only make such reviews a success.
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