Best Practice for 360 Feedback Reviews

Best Practice for 360 Feedback Reviews

Best Practice for 360 Feedback Reviews

360 Feedback  Review is one of the best ways for a leader or manager to find out how they are perceived in the work environment.  They can then compare their self-assessment of their own behaviours and style with that of their line manager, peers, direct reports, and even customers, in order to identify areas for improvement.  Some companies try to save money and conduct a non-confidential 360 Feedback Review in-house, with the line manager often delivering the feedback directly to the ‘subject’ of the review; this is not best practice and can often end in major  disagreement, disengagement, and has even resulted in resignations!  At Natural Talent we are sometimes called in to repair the damage done by such interventions.

When the 360 process is conducted in a professional, confidential, and anonymous manner, the resultant data can be very insightful for the leader or manager; the feedback can form a solid platform for Executive Coaching and Mentoring and Leadership Development Programmes.  It can make managers and leaders even more effective by allowing reflection on strengths and by providing a prioritized list of the skills and behaviours which could be modified for even greater impact and success.

If an online 360 Feedback Review is conducted, performance is usually rated on a sliding scale from 0 - 5 or 6 with the opportunity for ‘raters’ to provide free text anonymously, which is included in the final 360 Feedback Report unedited.  The report should be delivered to the leader or manager and worked through with an Executive Coach who is a qualified Assessor so they can address any challenging comments or scores and identify recognizable patterns in a safe, trusting environment.  The feedback should be delivered by a qualified Assessor who can analyze and understand the feedback in an objective manner, explaining the consequences of certain behaviours and offering options and recommendations in order for the leader or manager to develop, change, and improve skills and behaviours.

Open and honest feedback can sometimes create a sensitive reaction, which needs to be dealt with by a professional and objective Executive Coach and Assessor in a safe environment.  The feedback results need to be delivered in a focused way to make a clear link with the key business issues and objectives, as well as the individual’s KPIs or OKRs, in order to improve performance.  The overall impact of the process is significantly reduced, if the correct balance of challenge, Coaching, and support is not available.  A qualified Assessor and Coach can provide frank discussions around the results and can identify key trends, key observations, and ask appropriate probing questions to find out the root causes of issues and assist the individual in obtaining solutions. 

Additionally, an Executive Coach can identify if raters have consistently used the ‘default 3’ button sometimes when they are not able to comment; for example, peers may not be able to provide feedback on observed behaviours regarding performance management as these conversations usually take place in private.  The Assessor can also explore and explain what may appear as unusual comments, which may have been made following a recent event, as raters will often give feedback on the most recent example of behaviour they have witnessed.

In Face to Face 360 Feedback Reviews confidential 1:1 interviews are conducted with line managers, peers, direct reports, and other key stakeholders, who may include customers. The data is then analyzed and included in the 360 Feedback Report; it is used to identify certain characteristics and examples of management and leadership styles and how they impact the effectiveness of team members and the overall business.  The feedback represents the opinions and perceptions of the raters and may include specific examples of strengths to build on and areas to work on, thus presenting a valuable opportunity to understand and modify leadership or management styles.  This information is very beneficial for Talent Management and Succession Planning.

Once the 360 Feedback Report has been read a few times and the content absorbed and understood by the leader or manager, a SMART Coaching and Mentoring Action Plan or PDP can be produced, which may be shared with the line manager.   

‘Thank you for your professionalism in providing such useful feedback to the leadership team.  Your meetings and subsequent reports were all managed expertly and top drawer. You’ve helped us to upskill and retain key members who may have been a flight risk, as well as providing an objective process for identifying my own potential successor – as per our brief!  As you promised, ROI is significant.  Our combined feedback back to you is 9.75 out of 10!’  CEO 

About Jill Maidment

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Executive Assessment, 360 Feedback, Face to Face 360 Feedback, Talent Management and Succession Planning