360 degree feedback is a development process that provides a safe environment for a person to receive candid feedback from peers, supervisors, subordinates, and other individuals with relationships key to his or her success.
Perhaps surprisingly, 360 feedback has been in use since 1940, and has evolved to become a very effective management tool in employee development. 360 feedback grew out of the use of a training method called “T-groups” or training groups where participants met with their peers who were encouraged to share feedback in an open session facilitated by a trained moderator. 360-degree feedback was a difficult process to administer for early adopters because of the time and effort needed to collect paper forms, collate the data, and produce a summary report. These obstacles were overcome with advances in technology that now allow the entire process to be conducted online increasing confidentiality and greatly speeding up the process. Today, about one third of all companies and 90 percent of of Fortune 500 companies use some type of 360-degree feedback.
How Vital is 360 Feedback?
Without feedback, we tend to invent our own reality. Using 360-degree feedback is a vital part of performance, growth, and development.
Understanding ourselves and how we interact with others helps us understand the impact we have on those around us. The perceptions of others within our circle of influence, whether those perceptions are accurate or inaccurate, often impact our level of success. This is where 360 feedback comes in.
The first step in improving individual or organizational performance is gaining an awareness of our level of performance. Many of us have an incomplete perception of how others see us, which then leads to ineffective interaction and reduced overall effectiveness. Until we are aware of our behaviors, as well as how others perceive them, we cannot begin to improve.
Most organizations today use 360 feedback in some form or another, although the purpose varies. Based on the needs of your organization, we align the 360 feedback process to reach your objectives:
- Focuses on personal and career development
- Discovers where you are and where you need to grow or improve
- Results in the creation of a personalized action plan
- Focuses on team-effectiveness skills, along with strengths and areas for improvement
- Allows groups to come together on goals and work better as a team
- Promotes a safe environment to share “the undiscussables”
- Creates a 360 perspective of job performance and behaviors
- Provides a more objective and accurate view of individual contributions and effectiveness
- Results can be factored into administrative actions