Most people in the business world will at least have heard of 360 degree feedback. The idea of providing employees with feedback from all sides (including a self-evaluation) is now a staple for performance reviews around the globe. The benefits to the individual are clear. Gaining feedback from various sources helps to highlight real areas for improvement. As well as it may act as a strong motivator for effective performance. For the company, the benefits include identifying employees in need of extra support. This type of feedback can also highlight widespread developmental needs among employees which can then feed into staff training plans.



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360 Degree Feedback Form

There are various theories about when to carry out 360 degree feedback form. Many companies have an annual review process already in place, which often corresponds to salary assessment. Others believe there are benefits to reviewing less extensively and more often. As well as that feedback is more likely to have a positive effect when not linked to compensation. New employees in particular may benefit from regular progress meetings with feedback on a 360 degree basis.

A question of form

The very nature of 360 degree feedback requires that the forms be answered by people with varying perspectives on the person in question. For example, the feedback received by a middle manager may come from his or her superiors, peers and subordinates, as well as him/herself. It makes sense, then, for the questions to be phrased in a slightly different manner. As well as to address different topics in order to get the best and most informative feedback. Questions may also vary according to the frequency of the review. More frequent feedback allows for more specific questions, perhaps relating to specific projects or incidents in the company. Questions usually require the respondent to rate the person on a scale – thus providing numerical values. However, it is also important to include some open-ended questions to allow for qualitative feedback and comments that may not fit any of the rateable categories.

Avoidance tactics

It may be counter-productive to include questions that invite any sort of comparison between the employee and his or her co-workers and/or predecessor. Even if the feedback is positive, the judgemental aspect of such comparisons is usually damaging and could fuel departmental rivalries or lead to demotivation among employees. It is also best to avoid vague and generalising questions and try to stick to concrete facts and specific examples.

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