Traditionally, 360 Degree Feedback is focused on individuals, getting feedback from their colleagues, boss and customers. So how does it help teams?
The concept of 360 Degree Feedback can be applied to a team as well an individual learner. So, as a learner gets 360 degree feedback which helps her to understand how she is perceived by her colleagues, a team can get 360 Degree Feedback too.
Teams are like individuals. They have goals to meet, and aspirations as a team. Goals might be deliverables, like sales or software. Also, they might aspire to be more innovative, for example. Like individuals, teams can have personalities and characteristics that are unique. They have their good days and bad days. They also have good and bad habits.
When you’re working in a team, you may not see these habits, or team characteristics.
And if you’re the team leader, it may be even harder for you to have an objective view of your team.
That’s why tailored 360 Degree Feedback can be as effective for developing team behaviours and culture as it is for individuals.
Team 360 Feedback can be a powerful tool for:
- Identifying the culture of the team, how it works, what it does well and where it needs to change
- Aligning the perceptions of the team leader with those of the team itself, as well as those outside the team who have different interactions with it
- Aligning the team with the goals of the organisation, and with its values and aspirations
Different views and perceptions
There will be many overlapping perceptions and experiences of working with a particular team.
The team leader will have a certain view, for example, how effectively the team communicates to customers. Team members will also have a view. Their views will be influenced by their interactions with each other, customers and colleagues outside the team. The team leader may not be aware of the views of her team.
Colleagues in other teams will also have a view, for example that the team in question is not always responsive to customers. In addition, customers or suppliers may have their own very different view of working with the team.
So how does tailored team 360 work?
Designing the team 360
With a tool like Track 360, you can set up a 360 that is specific to your team’s goals and behaviours. You can base this on individual or team competencies that you have already defined. Alternatively you can use a team model such as The T7 Model of Team Effectiveness or LaFasto and Larson’s Five Dynamics . This provides a basis to create a bespoke 360 that is suitable for your team to use.
The key to success is to remember that the feedback is:
- Tailored to the team’s goals and aspirations
- Based on perceptions of team as a whole
- Completed by individuals who interact with the team on a regular basis. This can include members of other teams and support staff. You can also invite senior management and customers. It’s useful to get the team leader’s views. They may be quite different from the teams’!
- For team members to reflect on what it’s like working in the team
- Not intended to identify behaviours or give feedback to individuals, but rather to the team as a whole. Therefore the questions must be team-focused.
- The team leader must be fully in favour of the feedback
- Team leader and members must be committed to learning and improvement
It’s critical to communicate the purpose of the team 360 to all involved. This includes people outside the team who will be invited to give feedback.
It’s also important that team members understand what the feedback is for. They need to know how it will be used.
Gathering the 360 feedback
Using a specially designed tool like Track 360, the administrator can set up the team 360 online. This makes it ideal for teams working remotely and in different locations.
Each team member will be able to complete their ‘team’ assessment confidentially in their own online feedback portal. Their colleagues outside the team can also respond. The process of feedback completion happens easily online. It continues until the agreed deadline date, then the administrator closes the feedback.
Reporting and acting on the team’s 360 feedback
The 360 tool then generates a report which pulls all the team feedback together in one easy-to-read document. The report will highlight areas where the team’s feedback aligns with others, and areas where there is a gap – similar to a Johari Window for teams.
The team leader can share this report with his team to discuss the feedback, understand and interpret it, and agree together where they as a team will focus their development goals over the next month or quarter.
Team performance and development
In this way the 360 becomes an active tool which can be revisited again as the team and the team leader focus on the changes they want to make.
For more information on 360 Degree Feedback and how it can help develop your leaders, managers and employees, please contact us.
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.