How Should I Prepare My Team for a 360 Degree Feedback Session?

Effective performance reviews include everyone, especially the evaluated employee. A 360 degree feedback looks at an employee from all angles (as the name would suggest), from managers, coworkers, and even the employee. The up-and-coming trend isn’t familiar to many people, considering 69% of companies still assess their team’s performance with outdated tools. That means they will need a little bit of preparation to gear up for their 360 degree feedback. So, take these 5 steps to get your team ready for their performance appraisal.

 1. Define the goals of the 360 degree feedback 
All too often organizations view their performance reviews as routine documentation of their team’s performance at work. 360 degree feedback sessions can have honest results, but only if you take the time to think about what you actually want as an outcome. Defining objectives is crucial to measuring and tracking performance thereafter. Decide:
  • What is important to organizational success and how does my team work towards those accomplishments?
  • How will I measure my employees’ performance?
  • Who will be involved in the 360 degree feedback?

Share this information with your team. The more they know about the performance appraisal ahead of time, the less apprehensive they will be during the review. Because it is a 360 degree feedback, you want employees to be involved in the assessment of their performance. We said in a previous post:


“Performance reviews are not one-sided, or at least they shouldn’t be. The dialogue between a supervisor and their employee is invaluable to the successful outcome of a performance appraisal.” 

That is the very essence of a 360 degree feedback. The point is to include the employee so the process becomes more qualitative than quantitative.  
2. Communicate what the feedback will cover
Whether you conduct performance appraisals annually or bi-monthly, it is important to tell your employee exactly what it will cover. The success of the last project? Overall performance? All of the above? Employees don’t want ambiguity in their review, they want real constructive feedback. Over 90% of people would rather have properly delivered negative feedback during their review. Employees need to know if their performance matches company standards, and they want to live up to those expectations. While it can be stressful to give employees this news, it will also turnout better results after the 360 degree feedback. 
3. State expectations for those who’ve never participated in a 360 degree feedback
If you’ve never conducted a 360 degree feedback, it will be a learning curve for everyone. Establish how the process works and what it will look like when the time comes. In the United States and Canada alone, 47% of companies use this form of review to garner and deliver information about employee performance. What’s left is a surprisingly large number of organizations that don’t participate in 360 degree feedback sessions for performance evaluation purposes. It stands to reason then that a majority of your team won’t know what the process entails from the outset.
4. Disclose Anonymity
Some companies disclose which co-workers participate in the 360 degree feedback, others allow for anonymity. Reviewsnap gives users the ability to use as many anonymous participants as they please. The use of nameless input allows employees to feel they can participate without being chastised for their opinion and it eliminates unneeded bias.
5. Leave room for open discussion and questions
Before, during, and after the review, employees may still have questions regarding their 360 degree feedback. It is important to be open and responsive to the queries as to eliminate any anxiety towards the review. During the performance appraisal, your team may bring up questions or points you might have overlooked. When you establish an open environment for discussion, you give participants a voice, which in turn makes them more receptive to the feedback they receive. 
These 5 steps will help you to prepare your team for their next performance appraisal. 360 degree feedback sessions give managers a well-rounded and full-perspective evaluation of their employees’ performance. Performance reviews can be nerve wracking for some employees, but when you create an open environment for discussion, your team will be more receptive to feedback. 

Prepare your team for 360 degree feedback sessions by getting employees involved and engaged in the performance appraisal process. Take a demo of Reviewsnap to get started.

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