360 Degree Feedback

"Oh what a great gift we would have If we could only see ourselves as others see us."

- Robert Burns

360-Degree feedback enables employees to receive feedback from a wider circle of people instead of just the immediate supervisor. The source of feedback can be colleagues, immediate subordinates, internal and external customers. The feedback should come from those who interact with the employee, directly or indirectly in their professional capacity.

Introducing the 360-Degree feedback system in an organization represents a dramatic change from the traditional ways in which assessments are done. It calls for greater participation amongst employees. It also requires a mindset that calls for a lot of openness and maturity to handle feedback that may not be positive.

In traditional organization structures, the supervisors could claim to know more than their subordinates and there was a need for constant supervision. Multi-disciplinary teams did not exist. Today, individuals work on multiple assignments, are specialists and have greater autonomy. In this environment, feedback from multiple sources provides a balanced and more accurate picture of an employee’s performance.

The feedback provided by those with whom the employee interacts regularly at work has greater validity, accuracy and credibility. The first hand experience of colleagues offers insight about work behaviour that a supervisor may not be able to observe directly.

Some of the reasons why this feedback serves as an important tool especially for people in leadership positions:

  • It provides an answer to the all vital question of “How am I doing?” It provides an employee with information that will act as a guidance mechanism for self-improvement.
  • Leaders serving as role models for the rest of the organization must have reliable, timely and valid information on how they are perceived by others to enable them to take corrective action.
  • The feedback received from colleagues helps validate self-perceptions. Honest feedback received from others helps to test own understanding of strengths and weaknesses. In addition it serves as a reality check.

Overview of Our Approach

Some key points while administering a 360-degree feedback process

  • Keep the 360-degree feedback process simple to use and easy to administer.
  • Allow each employee to select his own panel to receive feedback.
  • The feedback panel should include about 5- 6 people including self and his / her immediate supervisor.
  • Ensure confidentiality of the data.
  • Use the process as a development tool.

What makes our 360-degree feedback system effective?

  • The feedback form incorporates the organization’s ‘performance and reward’ philosophy and core values.
  • The feedback form gets validated by users within the organization prior to actual implementation.
  • Providing feedback is a voluntary and participative process.
  • Anonymity and confidentiality is maintained while giving feedback.
  • The collating, scoring and reporting follow accepted statistical models.
  • All participants are provided training in giving and accepting feedback.
  • Potential bias is removed in feedback data to make it fair and accurate.