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How to implement 360 degree feedback

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The topic of this particular article is how to implement 360 degree feedback. Now, probably a large number of you readers have heard of 360 degree feedback and are curious about how it can help you and how you can implement. However, a number of you probably have no idea what 360 degree feedback is and you are trying to find new ways to improve the productivity and management of your workforce, which is the intent of 360 degree feedback.

Let us begin with a definition of 360 degree feedback. 360 degree feedback is a particular analysis and feedback process that will give a person structured feedback on their performance from a group of peers who have a lot of different perspectives based on their relationship to the person and their area of expertise. For example, since you are probably a manager, let's talk about how 360 degree feedback can function if a manager is the one who is the object of attention. You would receive feedback on how well you lead your workforce, how good your organization and communication skills are, your ability to improve morale, your relationship with employees, and how well you plan and work with your workforce. You will receive feedback from your own reports, other managers, your own manager, your employees, perhaps your employer, and maybe even customers.

The idea behind 360 degree feedback is that, well, since you are yourself, you can't see yourself clearly. Even if you think that you are doing a certain thing well, you don't actually know how other people are seeing it and how it is affecting the other people around you. There are bound to be-and nobody is the exception to this!-things about yourself that you just don't realize that you can improve on, or that you should focus on, that only other people can see. 360 degree feedback can give you a more complete idea of how your performance actually is based on the analysis of a number of different people who work with you in different areas.

To implement 360 degree feedback in your company or organization, you need to decide exactly how you want it to work. Do you already have certain performance analysis meetings where you also set quality goals for specific employees to work towards? 360 degree feedback should complement, rather than completely replace, performance goals and other such incentives. Is 360 degree feedback going to be your only performance review? You will want to test a number of different combinations of performance reviews, performance goals, and 360 degree feedback to see what works the best for your company. Make sure that you do not make things too complicated-if all of your employees' time is consumed by these different performance analyses, you aren't going to have any time or energy left to actually run your business.

You are going to have to decide how best to organize the way you run 360 degree feedback. Come up with ways to assign certain people to analyze another person. You will probably want to have anonymous reports that are then discussed with the individual privately. When should you do these 360 degree feedback reviews? Well, you could do them at the end of the year, which is what a lot of people do. The only problem is that the end of the year is such a frazzled time when people are wondering about their bonuses, about salary increases, about promotions. It's not really a time when you can sit down with someone and talk about concrete ways that they can improve and develop as an employee. All they want to know about is how much money they are going to make during the next year. I suggest that you schedule 36o degree feedback sometime during the year, perhaps the spring or maybe the fall (since summer is always a difficult time to catch everyone in work).

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Posted by DF
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