7 Common Major Mistakes Of Most 360 Feedback Plans

Written by Explorance.

Earlier this week, we discussed a number of steps that your organization ought to consider in developing an effective 360 degree feedback process. While there were many important points that were brought up, one thing that is obvious is that implementing a 360 review plan is a very complicated endeavor.  However, in our experience, most of the flaws inherent within most 360 feedback initiatives stem from a lack of foresight from the word go.

Here are the most common pitfalls of most 360 degree feedback processes:

  1. Having no clear purpose

    One of the main reasons why the 360 degree feedback process is often deficient is the lack of a clear purpose. When this is the case, it’s because management is trying to be trendy and be seen as following a good idea or principle. Good plans stem from strategic initiatives such as employee development or executive leadership training.

  2. Not conducting a pilot test

    Let’s face it. Introducing 360 degree feedback into an organization is a big deal.  Most organizations have a tendency to move too quickly when introducing 360 degree feedback plans, especially when it pertains to organizations that have a very top-down culture.  Introducing information sharing that comes with 360 feedback often requires changing people’s mindsets and day to day behaviors.  Doing a pilot forces organizations to plan and consider who its key stakeholders are.

  3. Insufficient communication to key stakeholders

    Stemming from the previous point, key stakeholders need to be involved in the beginning phases of the design and communication of the 360 degree process. They need to not only be made aware of important decisions and the rationale behind them, but more importantly they need to be involved in providing the necessary input and assisting with the initial implementation.  Without this, the process is highly theoretical.

  4. Compromising confidentiality

    The whole point behind 360 degree feedback is that people can feel safe providing anonymous but completely honest feedback.  It can be killer if confidentiality is not insured or even if the perception exists that it does not.

  5. Not providing enough resources to support the 360 feedback process

    So you’ve gotten the feedback.  Now what?  In order for a 360 feedback process to be effective, those being reviewed need to be made aware how to act on the feedback they receive. Do these individuals need individual coaching? Do they need training or self-study? A plan of action stemming from the initial review needs to be in place.

  6. Making it an event rather than a purpose

    Very often 360 feedback initiatives can be considered flavors of the month that quickly fall into either disuse or out of favor.  Without ensuring at the very least a minimal commitment to development and growth that come with the requisite follow-ups, 360 assessments will not have a positive effect.

Have you participated in any 360 feedback initiatives? Have you noticed any of these mistakes being made? Let us know!

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