What Are the Benefits of 360 Degree Feedback?

Written by Explorance.

Illustration of people discussing data

Synopsis: 360 degree feedback offers a comprehensive overview of talent, where it lives in the business, and how it is being developed. The proper employment of 360 feedback process will ensure a company has far better capacity to recognize, retain, and nourish talent. This is because only 360s offer a truly comprehensive way for businesses to gauge talent being lost, the professional development being achieved, and how to identify and retain your most vital employees.

At many enterprise-level businesses, employees are voting with their feet.

The desire to change employers and grasp new career and earning opportunities, pent up over the last number of years, is fueling a fight over skilled employees in the labor market.

Any professional working in the current economy will have experienced their fair share of departing colleagues. Their loss has brought with it considerable disruption – delaying projects, impacting team performance, leading to a loss of corporate knowledge, and often impacting morale.

Leaders know that retaining effective workers is preferable, rather than struggling in a highly competitive labor marketplace for adequate replacements. This begs the following questions:

  • How to identify those key skilled workers?

  • How can you ensure the talent you’re bringing in is really replacing what’s being lost?

  • How are employee skills being improved to service both the business’s goals and satisfy professional development expectations?

The Available Approaches

Different approaches to bridging the skills, knowledge and competencies gap can be taken by businesses.

These range from carrying on in a business-as-usual manner with the hope of finding good candidates, to focusing attention a few key employees, to hiring semi-qualified candidates in the hopes of finding a diamond in the rough. The drawbacks to these approaches are obvious, with a bad hire potentially costing businesses up to $240k in each instance.

By contrast, adopting a data-informed and comprehensive feedback approach offers clear benefits. One of the most comprehensive methods of gathering feedback across a business, 360 Degree Assessments are under a fresh spotlight due to post-COVID workplace disruption and the Great Resignation.

Even more so, by focusing on data that is clearly in line with organizational and business priorities, it’s easier to identify and define what is truly an effective skillset for each business. These are the kinds of priority abilities that can vary from organization to organization, so defining efficacy in line with business goals is really the important first step of the process.

Crucial Factors Before the Win

The assessment of performance, ability, and needs amongst employees can be regarded as highly subjective. As such, the application of 360’s key elements, those being multi-rater assessments, is vital.

Multi-rater assessments ensure that individual discrepancies, or prejudices, do not skew the dataset. By encompassing feedback from the individual, their direct supervisor, peers, the department’s overall manager, and even clients, a far more layered and accurate image can be identified.

Additionally, confidentiality is key in this context, removing bias and personal relationships away from the calculation as much as possible.

A solution like Explorance’s Blue is especially helpful in this regard, ensuring a fully automated and orchestrated 360 feedback process, that brings together diverse feedback in a fashion that keeps defined business goals and competency firmly in the process’s crosshairs.

In this regard, the 360 process can be used as a powerful toolkit alongside the ongoing Learning and Development efforts. This approach ensures a far more positive use of 360’s insights, rather than any sort of punitive performance-review application.

Building Towards Success

Once a 360 degree feedback process that is attuned to your needs has been implemented across your organization, you can start to move towards a business that displays better organizational agility: noting what skills are leaving, what new ones are being brought in or fostered from within.

Many organizations will note a newfound ability to shift more effectively to new priorities.

On the managerial level, 360s are adept at highlighting competency gaps, and can make it clear exactly what skills need to be prioritized. After the first assessment has been done, it creates a baseline for the effectiveness of your L&D efforts, allowing your organization to document objectives and how they are being achieved.

Orchestrating this might sound demanding, but that’s precisely what Explorance’s Blue can facilitate. Imagine a single solution, guided by experts, that can set up the flow of feedback in a way that always points to action, rather than gathering a mountain of data for the sake of it.

On a broader level, across teams and larger departments, the process lays the basis for team upskilling. Where certain skills are lacking or being lost, an intervention can be made before their loss begins to impact the business’s performance. Overall, the efficacy of workforce planning is made visible and more easily.

Pulling back to an overview, with a properly implemented 360 feedback system in place, it simply becomes far easier to connect the dots in your organization’s talent management ecosystem, adopting proven processes that reduce the amount of time being spent recruiting, onboarding, coaching, and developing.

Employees will continue to depart many businesses. But with an effective 360 process in place, employees’ satisfaction with ongoing development and the retention of their teammates is made all the easier. Most importantly, disruption is limited, helping you to focus on what really matters. 


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