Guest blog post by Beth Steinberg. Beth has over 18 years of experience in organization development, talent strategy and leadership development. Her focus has been to help leaders and companies with complex organizational and growth issues. Beth focuses on driving useful employee programs, leadership coaching, executive development and organizational development.
Few concepts in psychology have been written about more uncritically and incorrectly than that of feedback.. . . Actually, feedback is only information, that is, data, and as such has no necessary consequences at all. – Latham & Locke
360 feedback has continued to gain popularity over the years. Once a process used only for senior executives, new technologies, and transparent company cultures have propelled the process to include many levels of the organization. While much of this change is positive, there are many things to think about when you embark upon a 360 feedback process for your team.
Traditionally 360’s have been done for the following reasons:
- To understand how the employee is viewed across an organization, including peers, key stakeholders and direct reports as part of a company feedback process. It can also be used as “upward” feedback on a manager.
- As an intervention designed to look at an employee’s performance when the manager has a concern that the employee is not performing well, does not align with the values and behaviors of the company, or to gather data on specific issue.
- To gather feedback to help the person succeed and develop in their career for development purposes.
During my career, I’ve observed many different reactions to the 360 process. Many times, I’ve seen 360’s go well, and watched the employee benefits from the process. I’ve also seen the opposite. Occasionally, I’ve seen total denial and a lack of trust in the feedback and the process, especially if it was used as an intervention, when the manager was looking for negative feedback. The reaction has depended on why the 360 was being done, how it was delivered, and what happened after the feedback was given. Continue reading