5 Key Roles in an Effective 360 Degree Feedback Process

Written by Explorance.

In a previous post we examined a few of the different 360 degree feedback approaches. Through that post, we identified some of the key players in the 360 process: the subject, manager and coach. However, there are other important roles that should not be overlooked that of the administrator and raters. Today’s post will focus on five different roles in the 360 feedback process and the responsibilities of each.

  1. Administrator:

    One of the primary roles in the 360 degree feedback process is that of the administrator. The administrator manages the process from start-to-finish and is responsible for a number of tasks. The administrator plans, organizes, executes and oversees all aspects of the 360 process to ensure operational efficiency. The administrator is also responsible for communicating the process to all stakeholders. The administrator position can be an internal role (human resource manager) or and external role (feedback system provider or development consultant).

  2. Subject:

    The most important role in the 360 feedback is that of the subject or participant. Through the process, subjects are empowered to take control over their own professional development and training. Depending on the organization’s 360 approach, participants perform self-evaluations, select their raters and have ownership over the results. Individuals are the beneficiaries of the 360 process in a variety of ways leading to continuous improvement, development and/or behavioural changes.

  3. Manager:

    The manager plays a very important part in the 360 process from providing constructive feedback to guiding the creation of employee development plans. How involved the manager is within the 360 process depends on the type of organization and on the feedback approach. In some companies the manager is responsible for providing and/or approving rater selection. In other organizations the manager takes on the role of the coach and discusses the feedback results directly with the subject.

  4. Raters:

    The raters play a very crucial role in the process as they provide constructive feedback on the subject. They are the individuals who are responsible for completing the 360 questionnaires by giving open and honest answers. Raters can include direct reports, team members, peers and customers or business partners. The feedback provided by raters directly benefits the subject as it identifies their strengths and areas for improvement for development purposes.

  5. Coach:

    The role of the coach or facilitator is very important to the success of the 360 feedback process. Depending on the company, one-on-one feedback sessions are provided whereby the trained coach delivers the results to the subject. Coaches are fundamental in the process as they create an open and safe environment for feedback exchange. The coach helps identify and clarify the 360 feedback results and aids in creating a training and development plan for the subject. Coaches can be internal (manager or human resource specialist) or external (trained development coach).

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