Understanding 360 Degree Feedback and How It Is Used…
360 degree feedback is a process whereby employees can receive confidential and anonymous feedback from their colleagues or managers. It is conducted online via a feedback form, which can be designed completely by you to get responses to the questions which concern you most. Rather than being a form of secret whistleblowing or an opportunity for staff to complain about their manager or team leader, 360 feedback is a constructive tool which allows your organisation to identify its staff’s strengths and weaknesses and then act accordingly. Although it is primarily used on management staff, you can also apply this form of feedback collection to non-managers as a development tool.
With the right software, designing and distributing your online feedback questionnaire is simple, as is reading the results. Rather than having to sift through each questionnaire and trying to make sense of what they mean collectively yourself, the results can be put into a straightforward report which is easy to understand. You can use this report on its own, or even see the latest results compared to those from previous 360 feedback questionnaires.
It is important to understand that 360 degree feedback does not measure skills sets, achievement of performance objectives or whether what the individual does meets their job description. Instead, it measures behaviour and competencies. Knowing how others perceive you is important for becoming an effective manager or leader – after all, the best way to increase productivity is to understand the best way of handling those who work directly below you and gaining their respect.
As well as colleague feedback, 360 degree feedback can also incorporate the opinions of customers and direct reports. Customer feedback is just as important as that of a colleague because it provides an important external viewpoint that colleagues inside the company cannot. Even if a manager doesn’t deal with customers directly themselves, this feedback can help understand where the team as a whole is going wrong (or right) and implement the correct strategies to change (or continue).
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