360° feedback is one of the core pillars of continuous feedback, giving management a well-rounded view of individual performance whilst satisfying employees' desire for more regular feedback. In this article, we explore the best way to gather peer feedback that is most conducive to growth and development.
360° feedback (or multi-rater feedback) is a feedback method where a number of peers complete a questionnaire on an employee's performance. Evaluators should include different levels of seniority, including peers, direct reports or more senior colleagues.
360° feedback gives employees a broad picture of their skills, working style and team relationships. It encourages open and honest communication between staff and ensures that feedback is not solely given by the manager. It also helps change employees' perception of their performance, as evaluators often have additional insights that the manager may not have. In this way, it helps provide a more complete and accurate picture of employee performance.
According to research by Forbes, 85% of Fortune 500 companies use 360° feedback.
The feedback process starts with the HR team who need to plan and design the process. Feedback should be given using a combination of quantitative and qualitative metrics, for example rating a series of specific behaviors or competencies, and open-ended questions to allow evaluators flexibility to comment on other relevant areas. This will allow the company to analyze the results and produce progress reports, whilst giving specific feedback to the employees on an individual level.
The process typically starts with the employee defining a list of evaluators together with their manager. Next, the employee, evaluators and manager should complete the evaluation form. The manager can then collate all the feedback and create a feedback profile for the employee. Finally, the employee reviewa the report individually, or with the help of their manager, to discuss the feedback and next steps.
Find out more by reading our Essential Guide to 360 Feedback
Whilst all feedback is useful for performance, 360° feedback is most effective when used for growth and development purposes. 360° feedback is designed to give the employee an idea of how they are perceived by their colleagues, not judge them on specific performance metrics which usually requires interpretation from their manager.
360 evaluations are meant to measure the perceptions of skills and behaviors that evolve and improve over time. The ideal situation is to collect feedback from peers throughout the year to measure how employees are developing their skills. This can of course be tied into the performance review, but it should not be used to assess employees on specific job related metrics.
First of all, click 'New 360° Feedback' from the app homepage, and then select 'New Draft 360° Feedback'. Enter a short title (this can be edited later), and then nominate three peer evaluators by selecting the blank spaces in the workflow. You can also add an optional message for the evaluators.
If your manager has already approved your list of evaluators, select 'Yes' and then click 'Create 360° Feedback'. If your manager has not yet approved it, select 'No' and then click 'Create 360° Feedback' to submit your nominations for approval.
The manager now has the opportunity to view the list of nominations, make any changes and approve the final evaluators.
To change an evaluator, select any of the participants in the workflow and choose a different participant. When the list is finalized, click 'Submit to next state'.
The employee must now complete a self assessment, give themself a rating on five key competencies and justify their response. Click 'Submit to next state' to send the form to the first peer evaluator.
Each of the peers will now have to complete the evaluation form. They will also give a rating, justify their response and can add an optional comment. They also disclose at the end of the form if they are happy for their comments to be shared directly with the employee. The process happens in sequence, meaning that each peer will have to submit their evaluation before the next peer is notified.
Finally the manager will complete the evaluation form.
NB: The questionnaire can be fully customized to capture the questions and rating scales in line with your requirements. Take a look at how account admins can edit app elements in PeopleGoal here.
Once the evaluation is complete, all of the evaluation forms will be sent to the manager who will need to read through the feedback and write a summary for the employee.
Click 'Save changes' to save your progress, and when you have finished and are ready to submit the feedback to the employee, click 'Submit to next state'.
The final step in the process is to release the feedback profile to the employee. As you can see, the employee will only see the average rating of each compentecy and the feedback summary written by the manager. We can also edit the process to release everything to the employee - the choice is yours.
Finally, you can create custom reports and analyze the app data from the 360 feedback process to draw the insights most needed for your business development. This can be accessed by navigating to the data tab. Below is a sample report which tracks feedback status, average scores per competency and a breakdown of scores by self/peer/manager.