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Taking a Closer Look at 360 Degree Feedback Functionality

360 Degree Feedback is at its heart, about making a complex process into something easy to comprehend for those involved, at every level in the business.

Whether it’s for development or performance, getting all round feedback is no small feat. Therefore, the usability of the on-screen interfaces is extremely important. Here, we take a close look at how we provide feedback and read the results.

When reviewing performance, 360 Degree Feedback software can span a whole department or the entire company, by casting a wide net, to get to the truth around someone’s performance. With so many people involved in a process of review, the software requires a way to simplify and order data gathering and then to crunch the information into meaningful graphics. It requires an intuitive presentation, both for those entering the information into the system and for those accessing the information, if they are to understand the feedback at a glance.

Therefore, the on-screen interface designs are critical for a successful process. This is true for:

  • Harvesting of feedback about performance from all the stakeholders in your business
  • Presenting the data in a coherent, useful way that can be easily interpreted

Here, we are going to focus on two screen shots that demonstrate these two important drivers of 360 Degree Feedback.

Drawing out 360 Degree Feedback

Our software uses a questionnaire format to help focus the feedback. It’s very straightforward to use and ensures the same question and therefore criteria, is used when there are multiple reviewers. More specialised needs can be met: for example, where certain questions are only seen by certain colleagues, e.g. a line manager or a customer.

By entering rating scores, (usually out of five), with the click of a button, it’s easy to do and feels more functional as an objective review and less ‘incriminating’ or personal. This can make it a more honest review. The questions can be around specific areas of performance that are relevant to the organisation, meaning the feedback will be relevant and meaningful. The questions will draw out strengths and reveal any unchallenged weaknesses around performance in a way that seems fair, holistic and reasonable.

A simple, effective ranking system allows for demonstrable 360 feedback, with a free text field available for qualitative feedback

In addition, there is room for comments to be added to explain ratings given but these will not be attributed to anyone specifically, when presenting results. This means further explanations and more detailed insight can be added to feedback, which can make sense of the results and prove helpful in later role development or training. With detailed comments, the anonymity for the person giving the feedback on another is important – where possible, to negate any fear of recrimination and encourage honesty. The greatness of 360 Degree Feedback is that it’s more that just one person’s view, it’s genuinely insightful and it can be effective for the role development of those involved.

Presenting the 360 Degree Feedback results

Once the feedback is in the system, simple graphs are generated that show the range of views around someone’s performance. The graphs can demonstrate where someone under review is not aware of performance issues they may need to work on and it can also highlight strengths.

Data collected from reviewers is presented visually to help the reviewee make sense of the data, with support from the manager

You can comprehend in seconds from this screen that there may be differences in how you perceive your own performance and how others perceive it. Looking over all the performance related questions, where it says Self (in red) – this is the opinion of the person under review – who clearly believes from entering the top score of 5 for every response, that they are flawless in the performance of their role and there is no room for improvement. We can compare in an instant the contrasting views of the line manager, peers and direct reports that tell a slightly different story.

To bolster the validation of these reviews you can glance at the far right of the screen to see how many responses were logged. In this example, you have 1 for Self (logically) and 1 for Line Manager and there are 3 Peers involved. Rather than a long, possibly highly subjective, wordy assessment that takes time to process, understand and accept – this graphical representation gives a very succinct and easy to digest overview of performance, taken from all the relevant sources for appraisal.

In conclusion, to collate a large amount of feedback and present it effectively requires a considered presentation.

These screenshots demonstrate:

  • The ease and simplicity of the system to use
  • How the review is loaded with relevant feedback data
  • How those providing feedback are protected
  • How those receiving feedback receive evidence for clear self-insight

360 Degree Feedback can change and develop work culture by providing a higher understanding of real performance issues in the company and it does so in a holistic approach that dilutes any personal bias and brings out truth to the fore. Being presented with a graphical representation of performance, based on everyone’s opinions, means you can compare your own opinion to the team’s in a way you would otherwise not be able to. It only takes a second to understand how your performance was measured and learn about yourself.

If you would like to see a more in-depth demonstration of this powerful appraisal tool, or you would just like to ask a question about it, please contact us and we would be happy to help.