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3 Tips to Consider When Identifying A 360 Degree Feedback Tool

For many organisations appraisal season is approaching so I thought that I would share three tips with you to consider when identifying a 360 degree feedback tool to use when objectively measuring managers performance.

Tip 1 - Be clear about what you want to achieve from the 360

Taking the time to ask questions of colleagues at different levels of the organisation to find out how a 360 could help them will give you an indication of what to measure and who the respondents might be.  Do colleagues want to gather feedback to improve performance, encourage a culture change, understand skills gaps, or a combination of all three?  The answers to these questions will help you to determine whether to assess skills (what someone is good at) or behaviours (how someone approaches their work and relationships).

Tip 2 – Think through the positioning of the 360 in your organisation

Many organisations are encouraging colleagues in organisations to take personal responsibility for their performance and development, even doing away with formal appraisals and focusing more on regular, constructive coaching conversations between colleagues. If we apply this sense of personal responsibility to a 360, then the colleague completing the 360 will want to take ownership of their feedback report.  Whilst they may welcome a conversation with someone about the results, if you are working towards a culture of personal responsibility in your organisation, then you certainly don’t want to introduce a sense of the 360 being ‘done to’ your colleagues.  Positioning the 360 as a voluntary tool to support development, or linking the tool to a training programme is typically more effective than insisting on completion at appraisal time.

Tip 3 – Invest time in finding a 360 degree feedback report that’s developmental for your managers

Typically, individuals will keep their 360 degree feedback report for quite a while, dipping into it as a source of reassurance for their strengths and building their development plans from it.  It’s therefore very important that the report is easy to understand, interpret and learn from.  A simple layout that considers strengths, development areas and allows for anecdotal feedback works very effectively.  As a guide, if you can pick up a report and understand it on first read, then your managers will be able to as well.  If you need a training session to interpret scores and graphs, then this would flag up to me that the report is complicated.  If it’s complicated for you, it will be complicated for your managers.

Aspire have been working with an array of companies and services over the past 2 years on the 360 and have received excellent feedback and continued use of the tool.  From Wincanton’s ‘Get Ahead’ program, S. Shakespeare praised the 360 ‘Getting feedback from my team helped me to understand my strengths as a leader, and where I need to focus more.’

If you would like more tips and advice, please feel free to contact me and I would be more than happy to support you.

For more info about Aspire’s 360 Degree Feedback Tool visit:

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