Improve Team Performance with 360 Degree Feedback
360 degree feedback is a popular tool used in companies today to give constructive feedback to employees. But there are some things you need to keep in mind before implementing such a mechanism. Let us see how you could use 360 degree feedback to improve your team's performance.Dhanya Raghavan
Corporate businesses are fast-paced and each one of them is constantly competing against each other to place themselves in the global market. New demands and challenges throw themselves at them daily. Businesses are constantly trying to make amends to their existing performance management strategies, adopting new strategies to suit customer’s demands. The efficiency of delivering the strategic outcomes of the organization is what defines them as successful or not successful. Communication is integral to every organization and HR managers must ensure that it is carried out effectively among their teams.
Feedback is one such form of communication. It needs to be accurate and continuous. While we are busy trying to implement a feedback mechanism in our organization, it is important that we keep in mind the success factors involved in our business. Feedback must aim to strategically develop the team’s well being. Feedback must not just be linear, but it needs to involve multiple audiences including the self, peers, and external stakeholders. This is what we popularly call the 360 Degree Feedback mechanism.
In this article, I shall discuss the benefits of the 360 Degree feedback mechanism and how it can be implemented effectively to increase your team’s performance.
Benefits of 360 Degree Feedback
360 Degree feedback has numerous benefits for your team when executed effectively. It improves communication and collaboration, overall development of the team and increases business productivity. Let us discuss each one of them:
Employee self-development: The feedback mechanism is such that it elicits responses from multiple audiences. There is self-evaluation, peer evaluation and ratings from external stakeholders. With this, one could get an overarching perspective on an employee’s performance and it is often free from biases as there are multiple viewpoints.
Addresses Perception Gaps: There are times when communication creates several misunderstandings. People might sometimes mistake other people’s intentions. Since there is clarity in the feedback given, it leaves minimum room for any perception gaps. Employees can always approach their leaders in case there is a misunderstanding. They can attempt to address those gaps.
Here is how you implement it...
It is understandable that teams often confront challenges while implementing the 360 Degree feedback mechanism. But you could follow some of the strategies discussed below to increase your team productivity and transparency in your communication:
- Know your team completely: Before implementing a feedback mechanism like this, you ought to analyze the background of your team. You need to understand their history fully in order to implement 360 Degree feedback. Likewise, your team members need to understand each other completely and that is going to take a while. That is how to develop a feedback approach to suit the team’s needs. Once your team members know each other completely, they will be able to give appropriate feedback when you want to elicit their responses. Give them ample time to know each other completely.
- Delineate the rationale behind the 360 degree feedback: In order to effectively implement the 360 Degree feedback, your team members need to understand the mechanism completely. They need to possess the knowledge, the rationale and the structure of the feedback process completely. You need to tell them what it is and what it is not. You ought to tell them that feedback must be constructive and free from biases and prejudices. By explaining all the factors, you can negate the complications that could occur consequentially.
- Honesty and anonymity: Feedback must be solicited in a fair manner. It is your responsibility to bring in that kind of fairness into the team. Most of the time feedback is superseded by the subjectivity of individual experiences. When subjectivity comes in the way of the feedback process, it will fail to establish that kind of honesty and accuracy in feedback. Therefore, try to protect the anonymity of the rater and ensure openness in feedback. The feedback mechanism must be upward as well because even team members need to rate their leaders on their leadership and team development skills.
Before you implement a 360 Degree feedback mechanism in your organization, you also need to be aware of the challenges that it comes with. Keep in mind that you have the right parameters for rating. The parameters need to align with the behaviors and objectives of the organization.
Communicate the strategic intention of the 360 Degree feedback to prevent any ambiguity. You need to remember that implementing such a feedback mechanism also means that you invest ample resources to execute something like this. Invest in technology such as performance management software, that can engage your employees effectively and quicken the feedback process. But keep in mind the requirements of your business before disseminating it to the team.