While more companies are adopting 360-degree employee assessment, it is vital those companies prepare its employees for this kind of approach.
That’s according to Qualtrics, who says that a 360-degree assessment review approach can drive excellence among employees and managers, gathering employee feedback from a variety of sources, including managers, peers, and external evaluators can help companies and workers get a comprehensive view of performance.
“A 360-degree perspective helps companies see employees’ performance from any number of perspectives, delivering a more complete view of that person than was previously possible,” explains Bill McMurray, APAC managing director, Qualtrics.
“It is important for organisations to prepare employees for the 360-degree review approach. This will enhance organisations’ ability to create a successful and rewarding 360-degree review experience, where everybody is engaged,” he says.
Qualtrics recommends six ways to prepare employees for a 360-degree assessment review:
1. Define your objectives
Defining objectives is the first step to determining what competencies need to be measured, which questions to ask, and who should be involved in the process. If organisations don’t take time to work out their objectives, they may waste valuable resources without gaining any organisational improvements.
2. Communicate your purpose
If the purpose of a 360-degree review process is not made clear to an employee up front, it can lead to uncertainty and concern for the employee. This can work against the goal of engaging that person. It is best to clearly communicate the purpose of the review project early on and include the employee in the process as much as possible.
3. State your expectations
HR managers should lay out a clear timeline for completion to avoid the process being dragged out. Additionally, Some employees may never have been involved in a 360-degree evaluation, so it is helpful to educate all participants about how the process works and what the expectations are.
4. Disclose anonymity or attribution
Many organisations choose to make all 360-degree assessments anonymous because they feel it allows employees to give genuine feedback and avoid unnecessary bias. Other organisations make upward and peer feedback anonymous, but make all manager comments attributable. Be sure to inform employees in advance if the feedback will be anonymous or attributed so there are no surprises when the feedback reports come in.
5. Provide an open forum for discussion
It is important that employees have a way to voice their concerns or questions during, or after, the review process. By establishing a safe and open discussion forum, companies can give participants a voice, which leads to greater buy-in at all levels, improving the process and its results.
6. Make it easy
Feedback needs to be easy for reviewers to provide, or else people will simply not complete the review, and the program will loose valuable insight.
“Qualtrics 360 provides organisations with a sophisticated yet easy-to-use solution as we believe, if employees aren’t getting this range of feedback, they aren’t being given the opportunities to develop. That hurts both the employee and the organisation,” says McMurray.
“An organisation is only as strong as its people,” he adds.
“Gathering 360-degree employee feedback is an essential part of developing great employees because it provides employees with feedback from a variety of sources – managers, peers, direct reports, and external evaluators.”