3 Things Every Organisation Should Do Before Launching 360° Feedback
“There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.” Benjamin Franklin
Imagine viewing yourself in a certain way for a long time only to be told people see you really differently.
When starting 360 feedback, if you are not prepared to receive critical feedback its easy to turn away from the processes and the source of the threat. There’s a real emotional risk here.
Ensuring you do the right things before and after the 360 feedback process is essential to reducing the emotional risk and ensuring feedback lands well. Under preparing risks skeptical participants and a lack of confidence in the programme.
Here are three ways to prepare your people to get the most from a 360 feedback programme.
1. Ensure you are measuring the right competencies
Create a 360 feedback programme that measures the competencies that are relevant to your organisation. If the behaviours you are measuring are not relevant or hard to respond to then it’s likely you’ll not only head down the wrong path but disengage participants too. The more relevant it is, then the more useful participants will find it.
2. Define the objectives and communicate the purpose
On-board participants a few weeks before the process begins:
- Start with the ‘why’. If it relates to their development then explain this and highlight the support they will receive afterwards that will help them leverage their strengths and improve their blind spots. If it’s related to the performance appraisal process or succession planning then be clear about it. Whatever the reason, be upfront from the get–go. In some cases you will have people who have never participated in a 360 and the ‘why’ becomes even more critical.
- State who will be seeing the results and feedback. People are often worried that a lot about themselves will be exposed. Regardless of how senior someone is, the process can still be daunting. The ‘hidden self’ is something we want to keep close to our chests and feelings of ‘imposter syndrome’ are something we want to avoid. So explain what will be done with the data and who will see the results (typically the self, coach and manager).
- Remind those taking part that this is not just about identifying areas for improvement but also strengths they should further make use of.
3. Ensure a follow-up is planned
The 360 report is only useful to the extent that it gets accepted and acted on. If no plan is set following the feedback then expect no change in behaviour. The best way to do this is to ensure a 121 session is already in the diary before the 360 feedback process even begins. A 121 session with a coach or consultant will help:
- Ensure the participant interprets their report objectively
- Knock down some of the ego–driven defence mechanisms and resistance, allowing the period of accepting and digesting to kick in for the participant
- Encourage reflection on development opportunities and strengths
- Identify behaviours that are critical and relevant to the participant’s role
- Convert their report and reflections into actions that will help the participant achieve agreed goals
We’re often asked how to run a successful 360 feedback programme. Having buy-in from the start and well-planned follow ups are usually the catalysts for getting it right. That’s why our consultants support the roll-out of 360 programmes with proper participant and user onboarding, then coach through follow-up – ensuring everyone accepts and harnesses the power of feedback to help develop and improve.
Find Out More About our 360 service
Thanks to Costa Antoniou for this piece.
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