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Common 360 Degree Feedback Mistakes

360 degree feedback is the consequence of a rigorous performance appraisal process. It is most helpful in providing a complete feedback of an employee in the workspace.

The most common ways of getting a 360 degree feedback are to hire an external consultant, launching an in-house 360 degree feedback program for the people in the organization, and launching an in-house 360 degree program for the goals and visions of the organization. What can prove to be fatal for an organization is the implementation of such a feedback system when it is not ready for it. An extensive survey asking the following questions must be performed:

• Who is the decision-making body?
• Is this a voluntary program or is it mandatory?
• What are the metrics that will be used?
• What information will be disclosed to the public?
• What logistics are necessary?
• What systems are needed to accompany the change that will stem from such a feedback?

In order to design a 360 degree feedback, the managers must define superior performance. This involves identification of expectations and competencies for the firm. This performance must be differentiated by levels and positions within the firm. The survey must go beyond the core functional areas of the firm. Some of the top competency categories are knowledge, skills, character, innovation, and leadership. An effective 360 degree feedback process will aid in team development, incorporate feedback from many sources, lead to organizational and personal performance development, gives more individual responsibility for career development, reduces risk of discrimination, improves customer service, and provide an assessment of training needs.

Some of the most common feedback mistakes are:

• Being Nice – Honest feedback is the only feedback that is worthwhile. Giving a mediocre feedback in order to be nice is quite worthless.

• Lack of clear purpose – The feedback is supposed to address an organizational need or a strategic issue. It is not useful simply as a management trend.

• Use as a substitute – A multirater feedback might be quite unnecessary for many positions in an organization. It only creates confusion for the concerned employee. It may not even help poor performers do better. Rather, it may debilitate their self-confidence further still.

• Lack of communication is essential between the person receiving and giving the feedback.

• The rater may be inexperienced or ineffective or both.

• The confidentiality of the person interviewed is not maintained.

• The feedback is not followed up.

Training sessions and written materials aid in receiving and giving feedback. Management, facilitative and administrative functions must come together if the 360 degree feedback is to be made a success. Care must be taken that the feedback is not forced upon anyone and subjectivity must be maintained at all costs. It should be accountable and just enough.

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