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How 360-Degree Feedback Helps Talent Management

If we can leave a feedback about Uber drivers (and vice versa, by the way), then why is it impossible to establish two-way feedback between managers and employees at work? After all, this is a valuable opportunity for employees to tell their team leaders: “What results do you expect from me? And let me tell you what I expect from you!”

A 360-degree feedback (also known as multi-rater feedback, multi-source feedback, or multi-source assessment) is a process of assessing competencies and skills of employees from different perspectives. The subordinates from below, the leader from atop, and colleagues holding the same positions from the sidelines. Everyone’s self-assessment is taken into consideration.  This is not a typical KPI-based performance review, which is often used in the IT industry. The 360-degree assessment is a way to draw up an employee development plan and examine team relationships.

In the traditional performance analysis, when only one person evaluates an employee (be it a project manager or team leader), it is highly likely that this assessment will be subjective. In the case of an assessment of 360 degrees, a person receives feedback about their skills and competencies from a number of people, holding different positions regarding to the person being evaluated (colleagues, managers, subordinates), which makes the assessment results much more significant.

Why 360-degree feedback is necessary?

In her popular book "Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead" Sheryl Sandberg wrote "feedback is an opinion, grounded in observations and experiences, which allows us to know what impression we make on others."

Without doubt the main capital of a company is highly qualified specialists. Therefore, it is important for management to understand how employees work together, in order to be able to assess the skills of each employee, to build effective performance management and to create a good personal development plan. With increasing frequency feedbacks are being received with the help of the 360 method, especially regarding such questions as: 

  • “How open is the employee to new ideas?”
  • “In case of obstacles, does he or she analyze the causes or simply solve the problem?”
  • “What is a particular employee good at?”

Since the assessment itself is anonymous, this is a great way to find out about your "strengths" and "weaknesses" without adding tension to professional relationships.

The purpose of this method is to give feedback about the work of each employee, provide an opportunity to look at themselves from the outside and provide assistance in solving problems. 360-degree method contributes to the career growth of a specialist, increase productivity and loyalty to the company. Often this method is used to avoid the departure of a valuable specialist from the company and to eliminate conflicts in the team.

Not all managers manage to successfully implement a 360-degree feedback system for their subordinates. The reason is the subjectivity and opacity of estimation methods.

Benefits of 360-degree feedback for company and employees:

People are more aware of themselves and what attitude their colleagues have towards them. When feedback is provided correctly, employees perceive things less personally and are more likely to perceive what has been said. In turn, getting feedback allows the employee to identify gaps in knowledge, to understand strengths and weaknesses. If necessary, adjust their behavior, identify areas of personal and professional development in the organization.

This improves communication within the organization and promotes a more open culture where the provision and receipt of constructive feedback becomes the norm. It can be a very powerful driver for change, both for individuals and for organizations in general. People are inspired when given the opportunity. They want to discuss their goals regularly, share with others, and see the achievements of colleagues.

When to create 360-degree feedback

In order to maximize the benefits, 360-degree feedback should be an integral part of the company's workflow and talent development. If you don’t know how well you work, how can you become better?

It is recommended to use the 360-degree survey when the company want to:

  • Understand who among employees deserve promotion. This is especially true for those companies where the HR department does not have the ability to track the progress of each employee.
  • Conduct a training session. When employees need additional skills, but it is not evident what skills specifically.
  • Assess the leadership qualities of managers. Since all employees are involved in the assessment, you can get reliable information of what they think about their team leader. Provided, of course, that anonymity is respected.
  • Provide feedback for employees. Thanks to the assessment from all sides, the leader can voice not only an opinion but also share the information received from other participants in the assessment - without giving any names.
  • Assess soft skills. Help employees understand personality traits and behaviors people display in different situations.

How to create 360-degree feedback

Previously, employees had a different understanding of how and when to give colleagues “feedback”. This could have taken form in a specially convened meeting, or constructive criticism and wishes about improving work during the lunch break, or even worse, not expressing their opinion at all.

Nowadays, technology and programmers have made feedback between colleagues easier and more affordable. The developed automated personnel assessment systems in the organization allow for full certification and assessment of staff performance in all respects. At the same time, the time and effort spent on evaluating personnel in a company (gathering information, analyzing assessment forms, drawing up analytical reports for each employee, etc.) is reduced tenfold. The effectiveness of such work also increases many times. Now there is no need to view the entire report on the assessment of staff work, looking for the necessary parameters - you can request and build analytics arbitrarily, on the necessary points, with one click of the mouse.

One of the high-performance tools for companies working with Atlassian software products is the “HR.360 plugin for Jira®”. You can easily customize the plugin, add competencies, create a survey for employees, and then analyze the results without leaving the familiar Jira interface. You can create questions and answer options according to the specific needs of your organization.

The HR.360 plugin for Jira® allows:

  • Get an assessment of the competence of employees based on the opinions of colleagues and team leader;
  • Compare employee`s self-esteem with the assessment of other team members;
  • Conduct a comparative analysis of the performance of company employees (departments), and identify the most promising and successful;
  • Identify weak areas and create an individual development plan for employees.

Learn more about 360-degree feedback plugin at Atlassian® Marketplace →

Automation of staff performance assessment helps to quickly and accurately evaluate company employees and make appropriate decisions for further staff development. Thanks to such automation, the personnel department saves a lot of time on assessment procedures, and the company's management receives up-to-date data on the competence of personnel and will be able to more effectively manage the work of individual employees and the whole company.

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