Thursday, October 31, 2013

360 Degree Feedback Surveys

"[Horses] have always understood a great deal more than they let
on. It is difficult to be sat on every day by some creature
without forming an opinion of them. On the other hand, it is
perfectly possible to sit all day, every day, on top of another
creature, and not have the slightest thought about them
whatsoever."Ward, Peter. 360-Degree Feedback. London: Institute of Personnel
and Development, 1997.The assumption that the opinions of only ONE person can provide
a full and accurate picture of another's performance seems
rather absurd, doesn't it? And yet, we've been doing this for
eons without questioning it very much. Wouldn't it be nice to
have a complete 360 degree feedback?Most people avoid confrontation and find it difficult to tell
unpleasant truths to others--especially those they like. As a
result we seldom have an accurate picture of ourselves, as
others see us. In fact, the most subtly undermining or
self-destructive things we do, are often the very things which
others, even supervisors, are least likely to tell us about -
even though if we knew these truths, we might be able to change
at least some of them with 360 degree feedback.This is the problem that 360-degree feedback evaluation - also
often called multi-source assessment, multi-rater feedback,
full-circle appraisal or peer evaluation - is supposed to cure.
As Richard Lepsinger (co-author of The Art and Science of 360
Degree Feedback) puts it, "360 degree feedback is a reality
check, a way to overcome the false or misleading information
which we usually get about ourselves, by replacing it with the
truth, at least as others perceive it: candid 360 degree
feedback from people within our work environment, who are in a
position to judge various aspects of our performance, providing
information which can help us to avoid mistakes and improve our
ability to do our jobs in the way we would like."Today organizations have marked interest in considering
employees' and customers' opinions on such issues as
organizational communication, morale, values, decision-making
processes, quality and service. (Any or all of these may be the
focus of 360 degree feedback review processes.) Instead of the
old "every man for himself," worker-competition model once
common in most organizations, collaboration and teamwork are now
encouraged. And how can you determine whether a person is able
to be an effective colleague or team member?: You ask the people
with whom he or she interacts. The emphasis with 360 degree
feedback is always on behavior, not general traits, work-styles,
or personal characteristics.360 degree feedback performance appraisal helps supervisors, who
often hate more than any other part of their job, the
responsibility of doing annual performance appraisals. I'm sure
we've all encountered talented people who've actually refused
promotions into management at least partly because they don't
want to be in the position of having to make career-influencing
judgments of others - a sometimes unpleasant task - on a regular
basis. At the very least, if you ask supervisors what they
dislike most about their jobs, the frequent answer is dealing
with personnel issues, particularly doing performance
evaluations. Although nearly all of us pay lip-service to the
idea of providing regular performance feedback to subordinates,
the truth is that unless compliments are in order, most of us
avoid it as long as possible!Besides the fact that it is difficult to tell unpleasant truths
to or about others-in fact, we're trained from childhood not to
do so (who wants to be a tattle-tale, right?), in today's work
climate we even have to be concerned to some degree with
possible retaliation for being honest! Who hasn't heard enough
already about disgruntled employees filing grievances or even
suing their employers because of negative evaluations which kept
them from getting promoted, or worse yet, the ones who've
returned to the office the next day with a gun? Combined, these
factors lead to an unwillingness of supervisors to directly
confront poor performance.And last but not least, single source performance appraisals are
often biased, even if unintentional in comparison to 360 degree
feedback. The evidence points to the fact that some supervisors
are very rigorous in evaluations, while others apparently hail
from Lake Wobegon, where everyone is above average!In the end, 360 degree feedback is an excellent organizational
tool to identify critical needs and performance gaps and provide
a solid foundation for individual development when used as a
supplement to supervisors' appraisals, not a replacement for
them.What follows are summaries of a few of the organizational
purposes, benefits, and factors linked to success and failure of
360 degree feedback programs.The purposes for using 360 degree feedback instruments are as
varied as the organizations that use them, such as for:1. Individual performance development2. Organizational competency gaps3. Organizational training needs analysis4. Career planning5. Quality-service evaluation6. Culture change7. Team developmentThe benefits of 360 degree feedback are numerous, such as to:1. Demonstrate respect for employee opinions2. Increase employee involvement3. Communicate values through the competencies chosen4. Identify organizational, departmental, and individual skill
gaps5. Improve customer service6. Build more effective work relationships7. Form a basis for individual development planning8. Enhance open communication9. Reveal and resolve conflicts360 Degree feedback Factors Linked to SuccessOrganizations who experience success with the 360-degree
feedback methods have many environmental attributes present.
Some of these are:1. Feedback tool is based on organizational goals and values2. Organizational climate fosters individual growth3. Criticisms are seen as opportunities for improvement4. Higher compliance and consistency in providing feedback5. Assurance that feedback will be kept confidential6. Feedback tool includes area for comments7. Opportunity for individuals to respond to feedback8. Opportunity to support feedback with individualized training
or coaching360 Degree Feedback Factors Linked to FailureMany organizations have rushed into 360-degree feedback without
laying the foundation for success. Typical errors include:1. Feedback not linked to organizational goals or values2. Feedback tied to merit pay or promotions3. Comments traced back to individuals causing resentment
between workers4. Survey tool used as substitute, not complement to performance
appraisal5. Use of the feedback tool as a stand alone without review and
follow-up by manager.6. Poor implementation of 360-degree tool negatively affects
motivation7. Excessive number of surveys are required of each worker8. Excessive number of questions360 Degree Feedback - A Big No-No for Pay and PromotionWhile very informative and motivational for development, the 360
degree feedback method has not proved successful for decisions
tied directly to pay, promotions, selection or layoffs. Some of
the reasons for failure with 360 degree feedback are as follows:1. The 360 evaluations are based on observations in the natural
work environment. Some drawbacks of this are:a. Some environments 'dampen' or constrain job performanceb. Performance is based on the current job role onlyc. Observations are based somewhat on chance opportunities for
observation2. The observers in the 360 method have no special
training, may use differing standards and, therefore, can have
low inter-rater reliability (agreement), making the process
overwhelming for managers and large departments360 degree feedback has been successfully administered in
thousands of different companies and businesses all over the
world. Their sizes range from small family-owned companies to
multi-million dollar corporations. With correct implementation,
360 degree feedback will yield invaluable results for your
business, to help recruit and maintain top performing employees.
The benefits of 360 degree feedback are invaluable, for more
information on 360 degree feedback or to get started with 360
degree feedback at your business, please visit or call us at Success Performance
Solutions at (800)803-4303. We look forward to your upcoming
success with 360 degree feedback.