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Fairness in 360 Degree Assessment

A recent piece of research from McKinsey* highlights how the perception of fairness is important to the success of employee performance management.

This matches our experience over many years with 360 Degree Feedback assessment. Perceived fairness in 360 Degree Assessment is one of the main reasons why people engage with the process.  So if people in an organisation feel that 360 is intrinsically fair, and operates transparently and equally for everyone, they will engage with it.

How to build fairness into your 360 Degree Assessment

Match the individual feedback to company goals

For 360 Degree Feedback, it’s important to link the employee feedback to the organisation’s goals, capabilities and values.  For instance, you can do this by matching with key competencies or KPIs.

Track 360 is a 360 tool that allows easy configuration of 360 degree feedback questions to teams, roles or departments.

Make the process transparent

Building a carefully structured communications plan, for all stakeholders, is something that companies will sometimes avoid or not give enough time to. However, the more you can tell people what feedback will be used for, who will see it and what the process will be, the more people will trust the 360 and engage with it.

Stakeholders in 360 are a wide group. They include the people getting feedback, and those giving feedback. Also, line managers, senior management and even customers.

Support managers to use 360 to provide regular coaching feedback

Managers are the critical ingredient in building confidence around feedback. Therefore, they need to nudge, encourage and make sure feedback conversations are taking place in their teams.

Many managers are not always very skilled feedback conversations, so training in using 360 effectively will make a big difference. The training should include:

  • How to work through the feedback
  • Clarify the key messages and give them context
  • Help the employee incorporate the positive messages
  • Get an action plan in place
  • Deal with unexpected criticism

As a result, the manager will be able to see their team members putting the feedback into action and help them to improve and develop.

Reward

Rewarding employees and managers who use the 360 process visibly makes a difference to the overall perception of its benefit. So, where feedback is regular and talked-about, especially from senior people for instance, this encourages employees to actively look for feedback. In turn, this gives the feedback value, rather just a box-ticking exercise.

Development or performance?

In summary, 360 is an effective tool for both development and performance review. In addition, it’s a good idea to create different 360s for different purposes. These will include different competencies and scale ratings. In addition, the process may be quite different, and tailored to your organisation.

More information

For more information on 360 feedback, and how you can use it in your organisation, please contact us.

Track 360

Track 360 is a online software tool you can customise to your organisation’s unique competencies. To find out how it works, and request a trial, click here.

*McKinsey April 2018: The fairness factor in performance management