360 Feedback is a process that deals with the 360 degree perspectives of a focal leader by their co-workers, peers, superiors and sometimes even customers that culminates in a feedback report for that individual. This process takes place by choosing individuals from all levels of the organization that work with the focal leader to rate them along with the focal leader doing a self-rating. Because you have views from all different angles of the organization you can get the most well rounded 360 feedback results.
The results of the report are one of the most important aspects of the 360 process, and how those results are explained to the focal participant is extremely important. The report will deliver identified areas in need of development along with the strengths (sometimes hidden) a leader possesses. These may be items that the leaders are unaware of or things that leaders did not know needed development. That is why it is important to know how exactly to deliver these results to the focal leaders that are participating. We will work through to understand the who, when, where, and why behind the delivery of 360 feedback results to ensure the best delivery of 360 feedback results.
Who: Delivery of results given by a neutral party.
At times, the content that is being delivered may come as a shock to the focal leader. For example, there may be an area of development that the focal leader did not think was needed. Because of this you want to ensure that a neutral person is giving or is present during the initial feedback delivery. This could be an HR representative that helped distribute the surveys or even a 360-feedback coach who will be there to mentor the individual and explain the results in the best way possible and be there as a mentor throughout the development process. Another criterion is that the person delivery the feedback knows how to interpret the results and coach the person through getting to the underlying reasons behind the data.
Where: Delivery of feedback should be in a professional setting.
Although nowadays many individuals are working remotely you want to make sure that where the feedback is being delivered is in a professional non-threatening environment. This could be a conference room, or HR representatives’ office if it is being given in person. Zoom, and Teams are another terrific way to get all the individuals together needed to give the 360 feedback results in a virtual yet professional manner. The point is to make sure that the conversation focuses on the results and not distractions. This also sends a message that the process is important enough to pay close attention.
When: Initial results should be given right after the focal leader gets their feedback report.
There is a balance that is needed around when to provide the feedback report to the participant. The feedback report should not be given to the participant much before the first feedback session is going to occur (within hours). The reason is that sometimes participants misinterpret what the ratings mean, and we do not want them to think some results are bad when in fact they are not. Conversely, we do not want to wait too long after the surveys are completed to start the development process. You want to make sure that from the start that the focal leaders have the best understanding of the report that is in front of them. Giving them the initial results will jumpstart their development process and capitalize on any momentum that has been created through the survey completion process. We want leaders to create an Individual Development Plan (IDP) that will jumpstart their development in the areas that need it. By starting the feedback process as soon as possible leaders are given more time to achieve the goals in their IDP.
Why: To ensure that the results are have correlation with the purpose behind the 360 processes.
It is important for the leaders to know and remember why they are participating in the 360 processes. Whether it be development or something else knowing why they are going through the process will help them understand the results the right way. For example, the most common reason behind 360’s is development. If the leader knows the purpose behind this, they will have more of an understanding of their strengths and areas of development and work towards making those developmental changes.
To ensure that the focal leaders develop make sure that you do a follow-up 360 process after the initial feedback report. This will help track the progress and results of the focal leader’s development. Knowing the answers to these questions gives you a good idea behind how you can deliver your feedback report from individuals giving the results to the timing of when these things should happen. Knowing the best way to deliver your 360 results will make sure that you have the best ROI and outcome from the 360 processes.
Related Resource: 360 Feedback- Your complete guide
Related Blog Post: 5 Key Factors to Maximize Results when implementing your 360-Feedback