Why 360 Degree Feedback is Effective for Development

Written by Explorance.

In a previous post, we recommended that you do not use 360 feedback evaluations for performance assessments. That statement may have raised a few questions in your mind. If you’re not going to use 360 feedback for performance, just what are you going to use it for? This can be summed up in one word: development. The ultimate goal of this development is to encourage each employee to grow to their full potential within your organization.

The 360 degree feedback process is capable of so much more than just evaluating employee effectiveness. It is a strategic company tool you can utilize for employee development and organizational growth. Below we will look at some of the many benefits that using 360 degree feedback for development brings.

Benefits of 360 degree feedback for development:

  1. Planning.

    Did you realize that a 360 degree feedback process that includes employee development plans is more successful? The reason is because the feedback obtained is acted upon in a useful, tangible and beneficial way. Employees simply aren’t given a report that focuses on their weaknesses, but one that also points out their areas for improvement. Those improvement areas then become the basis for an actionable development plan for the employee.

  2. Individual growth.

    It is important that you establish the evaluation as a process, not just a one off event. That way, 360 feedback can be captured at different points in time to identify achievements and further development areas. Also, establishing the evaluation over time ensures that the process is focusing on individual growth and development.  Managers should meet with employees to discuss feedback and to create short and long-term personalized plans for development.

  3. Training.

    Training is where your employee development comes to life. The goals set in the development plan should specifically address any training that your employees require. Organizational support is crucial, as your company needs to encourage a training culture and back it with the necessary resources. Some common forms of employee training are coaching, mentoring, workshops, conferences, seminars, classes, etc.

  4. Feedback culture.

    Using your 360 degree feedback process for development purposes (instead of performance assessments) creates a positive feedback culture. The way the process is implemented, and how the results are utilized, can also create a stronger sense of trust within your organization. Confidentiality, the use of multi-raters, and the focus on individual growth all further establish a culture of trust, fairness and accountability.

  5. Organizational growth.

    The use of 360 degree feedback for organizational growth is a huge advantage. Through the evaluation process and subsequent training, you can identify and encourage potential leaders and talent within your organization. This could result in employees moving to higher positions, acquiring new strategic skills, or being crossed-trained in other key areas. All of these benefits ultimately give your company a competitive advantage.

  6. Team effectiveness.

    Not only does using 360 feedback for development promote individual growth it also improves team effectiveness. Through the evaluation process, groups can be assessed for their weaknesses and strengths. The feedback obtained allows the team to focus on achieving team goals and on developing team-building and effectiveness skills.

  7. Boosts retention.

    When you use 360 degree feedback effectively it can reduce employee turnover and increase retention. Having a strong focus on employee development shows a company’s commitment to their employees. Employees appreciate the training and development opportunities, which can lead to increased motivation, productivity and career satisfaction.

Do you use 360 degree feedback in your organization for development purposes? What are some of the benefits you gain in utilizing this approach?

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