Online and interview-based 360-degree reviews can be a valuable way for leaders to get feedback that they wouldn’t otherwise. But these tools need to be implemented thoughtfully and carefully. First and foremost, explain upfront how confidentiality is ensured and guarded. Coworkers can be more honest and direct knowing that their comments won’t be attributable to them. It’s also critical to emphasize how important it is for respondents to be candid. They shouldn’t worry about wounding the subject’s self-esteem, but you need to set the expectation that their feedback should be productive. You should also be transparent about the purpose of the 360. Is it for general development purposes (say, to establish a baseline for coaching)? Is there a specific performance issue that’s of concern? Finally, the results of the 360 assessment shouldn’t be delivered in a vacuum. Without context and support, the subject may not be able to make use of the feedback. At a minimum, the subject should have a conversation with someone who is skilled in the interpretation of the results and who can help them develop an action plan.
This tip is adapted from “Getting the Most Out of 360-Degree Reviews,” by John Behr
Categories: Management and Career Tips