Feedback is used to constructively enhance an individual or a group. In any successful business, the feedback mechanism in place should work well. A well-functioning feedback mechanism leads to higher productivity and greater profits.
Perils of Being Sunny All Day
If all the feedback the leaders of an organization received from their subordinates and clients was good, the organization would never learn what its weaknesses are. When such weaknesses remain unaddressed they may prevent an organization from reaching its goals. However, once there is a good feedback mechanism in place everyone involved benefits in the long term.
A feedback mechanism ensures that a company’s managers know about the important operations in their organizations for which they can be held accountable for. When the feedback mechanism in an organization is good, it becomes easier to anticipate and solve problems before they arise.
Challenges Associated with Feedback
One of the biggest challenges concerned with giving feedback is that most people, senior management included, want to be liked. If the feedback necessary to spur an employee into action will be harsh, even a senior and seasoned manager may hesitate giving it. Yet, it can all go downhill if too many managers in an organization refrain from giving the feedback required.
What Managers Fear
One of the biggest fears of managers who have to give feedback is that the feedback they give will not be received with professionalism. This unintentional impact of a potential feedback session that turns into verbal combat often holds back competent managers from giving feedback. Even when feedback sessions turn out well, the long term impact may still be detrimental.
We, humans, crave feedback. An organization’s top performers love to be appreciated, and feedback is one such way to for them to be seen. Similarly, subpar employees need to be made aware of their performance and a constructive feedback can affect both, the organization and the subpar employee to forge a new road ahead, together or apart.
The 360 Degree Review is a great tool to use when providing feedback.
One of the advantages of the 360 Degree Review is that it offers an opportunity to collect feedback from multiple sources and perspectives. When a manager receives such feedback it helps them evaluate how they are perceived at various levels within an organization.
Using a 360 Review a manager receives anonymous feedback from 4 different groups
- Their Superior
- Their Reports (People who report to him or her)
- Their Co-workers
- Their Customers
The purpose of the 360 Degree feedback mechanism is to find strengths and weaknesses and to find ways of improving a manager’s performance. Yet like any good feedback mechanism, the 360 Degree feedback mechanism is not flawless. It should be supplemented with other assessments including face-to-face feedback, and feedback based on a manager’s performance.
Advantages of 360 Feedback are
Once the feedback from so many sources is analysed and evaluated it creates a highly accurate picture of an employee and how his or her work is perceived by others. Other evaluations may miss the patterns that emerge from a 360 Feedback.
When the entire leadership team in an organization undergoes this exercise it leads to greater bonding within the team as every member realizes that each member has unique strengths and weaknesses.
Weaknesses of 360 Degree Feedback
Lack of trust within a team may create resentment and anger among team members upon the resulting feedback. The purpose of the 360 Degree Feedback is not to cause tempers to flair but rather to provide constructive feedback from a wide range of sources which can be used to benefit all members of an organization.
Employees may need to be trained to provide accurate, honest, and fair assessments on the 360 Degree Feedback. The results of this assessment may be skewed due to the internal dynamics in an office or if participants suspect that their answers may be used against them.
One of the greatest challenges of this system is that it’s very difficult to gauge the credibility of the feedback. The feedback can be adulterated with emotions, hypothetical situations and personal vengeance. In order to get rid of these impediments, the company needs to lay out the DOs and DON’Ts before engaging in this activity and strictly adhere to it. Any discrepancies in the feedback should be supported and backed by statistical performance-based data. This will make sure that the feedback remains constructive and help the organisation move in the right direction.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)