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9 Common Mistakes to Avoid while Conducting 360 degree Performance Reviews

This 360 degree feedback or multi-rater feedback is a process in which employees receive confidential, anonymous feedback from the people who work around them. To successfully implement 360 degree feedback in your workspace, it is important to be aware of the common mistakes that are made while conducting the 360 degree feedback, and how to avoid them.

Here is our guide to avoiding 9 common mistakes when introducing 360 feedback in the workplace.

Mistake 1: Having no clear purpose of 360 degree feedback

One of the main reasons for the unsuccessful implementation of a 360 degree feedback process is the lack of a clear purpose.

Suggestion: Ideally, the 360 degree feedback process should be designed for a specific purpose (for example, management development, succession planning, performance management, or career development.)

Mistake 2: Using 360 degree feedback as a substitute

Multi-rater feedback is not a substitute for managing a poor performer. It is a process for helping people like managers and peers gain a rich, accurate perspective on how others view their management practices, interpersonal style, and effectiveness.

Suggestion:  Managers should provide feedback to their employees on an ongoing basis, without relying on a 360 degree feedback system as a replacement for performance management.

Mistake 3: Not involving key stakeholders

It is important to involve key stakeholders in the design and implementation of a 360 degree process. They need to be aware of important decisions and logic behind the processes. They should provide input to such decisions and assist with the implementation.

Suggestion: Stakeholders, the immediate supervisors or managers, and the potential feedback such as peers, team members, and customers should know the strategic competencies to be measured, and how the feedback will be integrated with existing development or evaluation systems.

Mistake 4: Lack of communication

Complete communication is especially important with 360 degree feedback. To avoid potential misunderstanding, it is also essential to communicate clearly about confidentiality issues.

Suggestion: It is important to have clear decisions and a communicated understanding of how the 360 degree feedback will be processed and routed to people. It is also essential to communicate about such major issues as to how confidentiality will be safeguarded and what the potential impact of negative feedback might be on someone’s career.

Mistake 5: Compromising confidentiality

Multi-rater feedback is based on the idea that employees can feel safe providing anonymous feedback. It can ruin employee if confidentiality or anonymity is compromised.

Suggestion: Pin down which data is confidential and which is anonymous. Even though feedback recipients may argue that they can benefit from more information, safeguarding the feedback providers’ confidentiality is a greater concern.

Mistake 6: Not making clear about the 360 degree feedback use

It can cause great confusion if you are not making sure employees know whether the feedback will be used for evaluative or development purposes.

Suggestion: The organization must decide to use it for development and/or evaluation purposes and ensure to make that clear to employees.

Mistake 7: Not clarifying who controls the 360 degree feedback

The employees do not possess enough control over the feedback data when feedback is used for evaluative or development purposes.

Suggestion: In a 360 degree process whether used for development and/or evaluation, employees can get to choose exactly when and with whom they share their feedback. Provide proper guidance on the best ways to share data so that the feedback is constructive for everyone.

Mistake 8: Having unfriendly administration and scoring

The administration and scoring of any 360 degree feedback process should be user-friendly.

Suggestion: With a good survey questionnaire and a logical and communicated set of procedures, the feedback recipients’ response rate may be high.

Mistake 9: Linking to existing systems without a pilot

The organization integrates a 360 degree feedback system into their performance management thorough job of piloting.

Suggestion: It is essential to define relevant, measurable performance competencies and develop an administrative process before the pilot stage is completed. Only then can you proceed confidently knowing that the introduction of 360 degree ratings will improve rather than hinder performance management.