360-Degree Feedback: Importance of a Feedback System
Feedback has an indispensable part to play in the growth of an organization. Most organizations rely on the performance of employers to improve overall productivity. Having said that, there isn’t a plain-sailing method of obtaining flawless performance details about the employers. Here’s a tool that most companies are leveraging — 360-degree feedback has garnered attention and is slowly being incorporated by more companies.
Strengths, challenges, appraisals — each of these can be brought to the notice of the superiors with this comprehensive feedback system. First, learn the basics, followed by a few upsides and downsides of using the feedback mechanism.
What is 360-Degree Feedback?
360-degree feedback is a commonly used evaluation system or a tool that provides members of an organization to anonymously share feedback of other team players like their manager, staff members, and customers, to name a few. The evaluation tool comprises a set of questions and a rating scale — it is handed over to raters to rate their co-workers and back their ratings with remarks and comments.
The feedback tool defines that particular employee’s significance in the company and how they are competitive in other departments; for example, behaviour and working relationships, and so on. The feedback received will help the organization to scale up its hierarchy.
Pros and Cons of 360-Degree Feedback
360-degree feedback, much like every other technical tool, is paved with benefits and challenges. To understand whether the rating system is a boon or bane to organizations and employees, here’s a quick overview of the pros and cons of this feedback process:
Pros of 360-Degree Feedback
- Upskilling: The most highlighted trait of this feedback system is — learning the personal and organizational skills of a particular employee. Organizations might assess the individual’s current strengths and instead help them build new skills. Upskilling an employee’s strength in areas that they can excel at — can work in the company’s favour and increase the overall effectiveness and productivity of those working around the individual.
- Encourages accountability: Letting coworkers know that they need to own up to their mistakes or become great leaders without any logical reasoning isn’t a simple task. Encouraging accountability is another outcome of the 360-degree feedback system. The feedback process allows the management to draw a judgment on whether the individual has exemplified the behaviour or not. Thereby encouraging accountability based on those behaviours.
- Building team relationships: This one-of-a-kind rating system brings other coworkers together and works towards one common goal — achieving results together. 360-degree feedback highlights areas that influence workplace relationships. The questionnaire might propel team members to rate your decision-making skills and how you communicate with people across all levels. It is imperative to have a well-executed process for enhancing team development and maintaining smooth communication.
- Feedback from multiple sources: One of the key reasons why the 360-degree feedback system is adopted is that the feedback isn’t limited to a single person — a variety of people, including coworkers and managers, take part in the process. The results procured from multiple members have more authority over one-person rating. Moreover, this also saves time and energy in evaluating/rating more people.
Cons of 360-Degree Feedback
- Lack of information: Since the process is carried out anonymously, individuals may not have clarity or a proper understanding of the review. They may have difficulties approaching the right person for the comments and understand the reason behind the ratings. The only way out is — to consider making feedback coaches. Members like HR staff, managers, and supervisors can assist individuals in learning or training them based on the rating received.
- Emphasis on negatives: The process, owing to the anonymity of the feedback, may sideline the positive aspects of an individual’s performance. The 360-degree feedback should have the right balance of positives and negatives so that the candidate can improve based on the remarks.
- Time-consuming: 360-degree feedback is a tiring and laborious process — both to the employees and the management. The supervisors and HR will have to put together feedback templates and use the procured feedback to develop an exhaustive document. Employees will be given the task of rating multiple employees simultaneously, leading to more chaos, thus consuming more time.
- Invites dishonest reviews: Feedback can be hard to stomach. As there are multiple sources of anonymous feedback, the candidate may receive criticism from someone holding personal grudges. Setting up and monitoring the process with precise guidelines is of paramount importance. Employees also agree to rate one another higher and others lower, so they can score higher than the rest of their coworkers.
360-degree feedback has shortcomings that are preventable. The feedback system needs some tweaking before it is implemented to rate your coworkers. Currently, the market is thriving with software that makes it easy for superiors at all levels to administer the process. 360-degree feedback can certainly eliminate plenty of problems — and all you require is the right software with great assistance.