Performance reviews happen in companies the world over, and some of them are done well, and others aren’t.
In this article, we’re going to talk about how to conduct employee reviews so you can see the entire picture of your team members’ performance.
We ask the question, “What is a 360-feedback review?”
The 360-Feedback Review
As the name implies, the 360-feedback review provides a full-circle review of each member of your team.
While you’re most likely familiar with the traditional annual or semi-annual review, this type of review is a bit different.
How? The traditional review only involves the manager and the employee, so there is only one opinion involved. The traditional review is appropriate in many instances, but it doesn’t give a total snapshot of the employee as a whole.
With the 360 review, which is not a performance review in the traditional terms, the employee is given the feedback needed to develop business and interpersonal skills.
The 360-feedback review provides the following:
- An identified place to begin working on new skills.
- A way to measure progress. For example, if your employee needs to improve conflict management skills, you have a starting point to begin measuring progress.
- The chance for you and the employee to identify personal blind spots of behavior that the employee may not notice. For example, the feedback review may alert you to personality issues or traits that bother co-workers.
Just remember: the traditional review is about the job the employee is doing, and the 360-feedback review is about the employee personally.
Who Participates in the 360-Feedback Review?
A team member’s co-workers provide the feedback on an employee’s performance. The manager requests this information.
The co-workers who participate may include:
- The boss or manager
- Other employees who come into contact with the employee
The best part of the 360-feedback review is that you can gauge your employee’s performance from 360 degrees of your organization. (tweet this)
Co-workers can weigh in on the skills and contributions of the reviewed employees. They’ll let others see how they feel about the employee’s contribution and performance. Areas they’ll weigh in on include:
- Interpersonal communication and interaction with employees and customers
- Work habits
- Accountability and punctuality
How Does the Feedback Work?
You’ll find a few different methods for gathering feedback about your employees.
In most businesses, the managers request and receive the feedback. They then analyze the feedback paying particular attention to the employee’s behavior. They aren’t just looking for the negative feedback but the positive as well.
The goal is not to degrade the employee, but to give them important information about how others view his work and his work habits so he can improve.
Some businesses hire external consultants to administer the surveys. This is most often true if it’s the manager receiving the 360-feedback review.
Other companies use electronic employee surveys to look at the results objectively in an electronic format.
With electronic surveys, employees can score their peers using supplied answers as well as open-ended questions.
Let’s look at how to use electronic 360-feedback surveys.
Crafting the Electronic Survey
One of the easiest and most effective ways to craft a 360-feedback survey is to do it electronically using an online survey software. You can also use the system to help you categorize and compile your results.
As with all surveys, don’t overwhelm your staff with survey questions. Think about what you’d exactly like to learn and only ask the questions you’ll use.
If you’d like to get started developing your own 360-feedback survey, here are some areas to concentrate on. Be careful, and don’t concentrate on all the areas at once.
Ask too many questions, and you’ll lose the concentration of your survey respondents. You might find they carefully consider the first questions and just start clicking buttons if it’s too long.
Here are some ideas for your 360-electronic feedback survey:
- Ask questions about leadership skills such as delegation, listening, approach-ability, communication, coaching, decision making and management.
- Pose questions about communication skills that include how the staff member listens, how clear they are, and their speaking and networking skills. Don’t neglect to ask about their non-verbal behavior, their ability to give and receive feedback and how they handle constructive criticism.
- Another area to concentrate on is team skills including their ability to work as part of group, listen to others and their openness to the ideas of others.
- Ask about organizational skills – can they handle projects, multi-tasking, logistics and fine details?
- You also want to know about their problem-solving skills – how do they identify problems? Are they creative in solving them? Can they brainstorm and come up with solutions?
- When helping employees grow, other good questions surround their interpersonal skills and include empathy, confidence, stress management, how positive they are, their negotiation skills, enthusiasm and personal appearance.
The 360-feedback review is valuable for companies and employees.
The review provides a chance to address core competencies and provide opportunities for developmental progress.
The 360-feedback survey allows employees a chance to see how they measure up in the areas of work as well as interpersonal skills.
This feedback review isn’t about their performance, but how they can grow as people and as workers.
You’ll find that the 360-feedback review allows managers to help their employees grow so they are the most productive employees possible.
Today’s workers appreciate this type of feedback. It helps them learn more about their strengths and weaknesses while justifying training and development opportunities.
You’ll find that 360-degree feedback reviews are important to your company as whole as well as employees and managers.
- Managers benefit because they get feedback from multiple sources, and they can improve their leadership skills and fine-tune their strengths
- Employees benefit because as we mentioned earlier, they want to improve.
- Your organization benefits with a more productive workforce and a culture that welcomes feedback and continual improvement.
Give the 360-feedback review a try in your company and learn how to help your employees reach their full potential.
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Images: Paolo Candelo