5 Tips to Help Avoid Rater Fatigue – 360 Degree Feedback

Written by Explorance.

In an earlier post on 360 degree feedback, we discussed some guidelines for rater selection. A common pitfall you’ll want to avoid when administering a 360 review is ‘rater fatigue’. This is an issue that companies encounter when administering large scale 360 reviews.

Those providing the feedback often suffer from weariness as they have to complete multiple, lengthy 360 degree assessments in a short turnaround time. When reviewers experience rater fatigue there is the concern that the results will not be accurate or reliable. Below, we will examine five tips that you can utilize to combat rater fatigue.

  1. Rotate reviews:

    One way to avoid rater fatigue is to evaluate a limited number of participants at a time. You can develop a schedule to stagger the reviews over a predetermined period of time. That way, the reviewers do not become overwhelmed with the amount of surveys to fill out. Staggering the assessments will avoid rater ‘burnout’ and safeguard against unreliable results.

  2. Completion time:

    It is recommended that you communicate the time commitment to the reviewers at the beginning of the process. To ensure survey completion and avoid fatigue, you should create assessments that take no more  than 15-20 minutes to complete. According to research, questionnaires that take 20 minutes or less to finish have the highest response and engagement rates.

  3. Number of questions:

    To avoid reviewer burnout the questionnaire should be kept short. The number of questions to include depends on the company, the process and the position being evaluated. However, it is recommended that the survey contain less than 100 questions with the ideal number being 40. Keep in mind that a 360 degree survey using 40-60 questions would take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete.

  4. Limit rater selection:

    While planning your 360 degree feedback process, it is recommended that you limit the amount of times a rater can be utilized. If a rater is selected multiple times in a short span of time, fatigue can set in and possibly affect the quality of the results. You can use an online system to that allows you to automatically manage and track 360 degree rater selection so you can avoid having an individual give feedback over the recommended number of times.

  5. Relevant Questions:

    Another way to avoid rater fatigue is to limit the survey only to relevant questions. It is recommended that you use targeted questions that measure distinct, measurable competencies. This will ensure that the reviewer focuses on key areas and avoids time spent on superfluous details.


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