360° feedback, feedback from clients
360° feedback occupies a choice place in the panoply of managerial skill development tools. Its impact can be maximised, provided some basic rules are followed. In addition to our article on “the well-tempered 360°“, some recent experiences encourage us to highlight three additional key success factors.
The right moment
The 360° is above all a development tool. By using it as part of annual performance assessment campaigns, companies risk diverting this tool from its original purpose. The potential link with pay (fixed and / or variable) and promotion decisions, leads to a bias that often automatically results in assessment by an artificial hyperbole of scores. Therefore, whenever possible, it is advisable to shift the dates of 360° campaigns well away from the annual interview period. Leave, budget or inventory periods are not very favourable either and could lengthen the response times for solicited observers.
Finally, we must remember that the 360° gives feedback at a given moment in a given situation. In the case of a person who has just taken up their position or is going to change to a radically different job, it’s better to wait until they have made their mark in their new role.
Every 360° project can raise questions and fears and it is absolutely critical to invest in robust communication. This communication must be about ethics, of course, but not only. It should be made sure that all actors understand certain principles, for example that the line manager will be identified as a category and that their answers to the closed questions will be visible to the beneficiary. It is also necessary not to change the rules for publishing results during the project, otherwise the initiative and its initiators will be discredited.
Information to different targets.
Lack of follow-up
The success of the project is based on the use that will be made of the feedback through the appropriation of the results by the beneficiaries and the implementation of their development plan. The debriefing possibilities available today are many: individual face-to-face, online or through a smart interactive platform. It should be ensured that beneficiaries understand their results and are able to build a development plan. Finally, the relevance of this plan must be validated with the N + 1 and the HR expert, who must monitor its implementation and make sure that the investment represented by the 360° will bear fruit on individuals and the organisation.