360 feedback tools enable actionable and honest feedback to be shared between employees. This feedback can also inform learning and development initiatives within an organization. Feedback given on a day-to-day basis is valuable and essential, but a more structured approach is required to nurture development over time.
Typically with a 360 process, an employee’s strengths and areas for improvement are assessed. This feedback is then commonly reviewed by the HR team, a manager, and/or senior leadership. In some situations, the process is part of a performance appraisal, but it is becoming more common to use 360 feedback exclusively as a development-oriented tool.
While looking for an effective 360 feedback tool, look for these five things
Centered Around the Employee
Employees take more ownership of their own careers and development. They should be asked for feedback when they’re ready and they should select who will review them. An employee-centric 360 feedback tool allows them to take the same survey as their reviewers. This way, they can compare their self-assessment with the feedback given by their peers and seniors.
Short Survey and Concise Questions
Effective feedback at its most basic level can be divided into two categories: reinforcing and redirecting. In other words, what someone is doing well and what they can improve. A survey with brief but comprehensive questions helps to replicate an actual conversation between two people. Instead of priming the person providing feedback with a list, starting with open-ended questions ensures that the feedback is more relevant, honest, and provides context. A short survey provides people with a manageable amount of feedback, rather than confusing them.
Focuses on Strengths but Doesn’t Ignore Opportunities
We generally focus on negative comments. Focusing on strengths starts the process of reinforcing productive behavior. If a feedback tool is solely focused on strengths, employees may miss opportunities for learning. If it’s purely evaluative, employees may be overwhelmed or upset. A blend of strengths and opportunities allows them to respond more effectively to the feedback and be motivated to act.
Moves Beyond Numbers
Scores and ratings become an unnecessary focus during the process of learning through feedback surveys. They don’t motivate employees to change their behaviors or develop. Ratings also don’t provide specific examples: telling an individual that he/she got 3 out of 5 rating doesn’t give them anything specific to change or reinforce. Employee feedback tools are focused on individual micro-data instead of organization-wide macro data. This is why it’s important that your 360 feedback tool also accounts for summary and roll-up data.
The Intention is Development Not Evaluation
When choosing a feedback tool, it’s important to understand what you’re seeking looking. The requirements for performance evaluations are different from those of 360 feedback tools. 360 feedback tools are different from traditional performance reviews as they are employee-centric, and move beyond numbers. However, a flexible 360 feedback tool can be used in a variety of contexts.
Ambivista’s 360 feedback tool, CompleteView™, has been crafted by professionals to ensure that it meets all of the above criteria. It’s quick and easy to use the tool to uncover areas to focus on learning and development.