3 Ways to Improve the Effectiveness of 360-Degree Feedback Surveys

Posted on: 5 March 2020

If you want to come up with a feedback process that empowers your team to grow and develop their skills, 360-degree feedback is the best option. Unlike conventional reviews, 360 feedback is a collaborative process that allows managers, supervisors, peers and other stakeholders to give reviews about a colleague. As a result, people can get a well-rounded view of their strengths and weaknesses and how they can better grow their skills.

A 360-degree feedback survey is only useful when done correctly and with the right reasons in mind. With this in mind, here are three ways you can improve its effectiveness.

Make Coaching a Part of the Process

To most employees, 360 reviews are just mandatory annual reviews that they have to undergo to evaluate their performance. Most people don't think too much into them afterwards. However, for these reviews to have a positive impact, workers need to know how to take full advantage of them by working on the feedback they receive.

For this reason, it's crucial to include coaching as part of the process. Train your employees on the importance of these reviews. Equip them with skills they need to handle the extensive feedback and tell them what to do with it. Show them how to take full advantage of it so they can build their strengths and work on their weaknesses.

Focus on the Right End

Some people view 360-degree surveys as an opportunity to address an individual's weaknesses. However, this shouldn't be the case. These reviews should aim at magnifying the strengths instead of paying attention to the weaknesses only. When you create a survey that's centred on strengths, it's more likely to help people grow. 

What's more, most individuals tend to be defensive when their weaknesses are pointed out, and this can prove counterproductive in the long run. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't highlight the shortcomings. However, don't make them the highlight of your review process.

Come Up With a Follow-Up Strategy

360-degree surveys are only effective when there's a follow-up meeting. Once the review is over, don't go back to business as usual and forget about what was addressed. Therefore, create a follow-up strategy that allows you to stay in contact with reviewed workers and continuously examine their progress. If possible, assign follow-up tasks to a responsible person in the organisation. Doing this keeps candidates on their toes to improve their performance and continually work on the areas addressed in the survey.

360-degree feedback surveys can be useful when they include a transparent management process with a definite end goal. As you formulate your survey, have these issues in mind so you can attract reviews that will prompt the candidates to take advantage of the feedback and better themselves.