A 360 review of 360 employee reviews
As an employee who’s worked for organizations with—and without—360 reviews, I can vouch for their importance in an employee’s success. When I first heard about the 360 review process, I appreciated my company valuing all perspectives—not only managers—to evaluate team members and help them grow. It made me feel as though I had a voice. In past employment, if you had difficulties with a doctor or manager’s approach, you either kept it to yourself or risked losing your job.
What it does for the reviewer
It was also a challenging but beneficial exercise to create evaluations for my coworkers. It’s necessary to ensure you’re evaluating them from a big picture perspective throughout the entire year versus letting that annoying email they sent or comment they made a week ago cloud your feedback. It made me evaluate myself as well. I asked myself, how would I rank my own performance for these behaviors and skills? It helped me understand what was important from my employer’s perspective, and where I should direct my focus for career growth.
How it feels to receive 360 reviews
I won’t lie and say the feedback never hurts. It’s always tough receiving some commentary. But the more you go through the process, the better you’re able to acknowledge the valid, useful feedback versus any vindictive, I-obviously-ticked-this-person-off-recently comments. It was a huge help that my supervisors went through the feedback with me to help me understand from their perspective what was important and what I shouldn’t focus as much on. It was also a huge boost to hear some of the comments about my strengths, as you don’t always know if your actions are making a positive difference with coworkers. This helped create a sense of purpose in the organization and added to my job satisfaction.
Ready to offer real feedback about team members' performance—and help them develop growth plans to match your practice's core values? Consider these tips to transform your review process—and embrace 360 reviews.
To get valuable feedback, give thought to the questions you ask in the review. The questions should help identify behaviors that are important to the vision of the company and team. The goal is for employees to have a clear understanding of what skills and behaviors are important and desired. If your company has a set of core values, wrapping these into the review questions can help further perpetuate the mission and vision of the company. (For examples of what to ask, see the sample 360 review forms for team members and managers.)
2. Make a plan to follow up
It’s important to analyze the data and formulate a development plan and summary from the information you collect. This makes the feedback easier to use and less overwhelming to employees. If you hand team members the raw data without any discussion, it’s easy for them to focus only on the negative feedback, and their emotions can overtake the usefulness of the data. Instead, you want to focus your discussion on broad themes versus one-off comments.
3. Create a safe space for honest feedback
Finally, it’s vital for employees to trust the system and feel comfortable being honest in their feedback. When introducing a 360 review platform, explain how you will protect the information you collect. It’s best to have a third party pull the results, rather than any team members, even supervisors. Only the team member’s supervisor should have access to the performance feedback.