Collecting & Using 360° Feedback in Performance Reviews – the Effectiveness will Depend on the Quality of Raters!
360° feedback is a powerful tool that can help provide a level of insight into employee performance not otherwise possible and result in:
- improved understanding of an individual’s strengths and weaknesses in key aspects of competency & behavior
- setting a baseline against which future changes/improvements can be measured
- a good benchmark comparison between the individual’s own perceptions and those of the “raters”
- the identification of specific training and learning opportunities to make changes and improvements
- identification and development of future stars
- platform for employee opinion and improved employee engagement
It isn’t surprising that the quality of results will depend on the quality of raters. Some organization assign 360° reviewers automatically; however, others are allowing managers and even employees to choose and nominate 360° reviewers. This has the potential to result in some great feedback – after all, employees and managers know best who should weigh in on an employee’s performance review. But things can still go wrong if you select the wrong mix of reviewers.
When selecting raters to provide 360° feedback to a participant, the following criteria should be considered:
- Ensure that the raters are people who know the participant well. A rater must have sufficient experience working with the participant to provide valid responses. Because the statements in the questionnaire are based on observable behaviors, raters must have been in a position to observe the participant if their feedback is to be useful.
- Ensure that a cross-section of raters is selected. Selecting raters who have had a wide variety of experiences with the participant (i.e., good and not so good, various projects, etc.) will provide the participant with a more balanced and complete “picture” of strengths and areas for further development.
- Ensure you select enough raters to ensure a truly multi-dimensional feedback. A typical process will contain categories of raters, with a total of 10-12 raters in various categories: Self, Superior, Peers, Employees, and Other.
Tips Courtesy of the Canadian Public Service Commission