8 Questions Companies Must Ask Before Using 360-Degree Feedback

February 10, 2016 by Sandra Mashihi

This is the third post of an ongoing series on 360-Degree Feedback Best Practices.

Let’s be honest — Not all organizations are “ready” for 360-degree feedback. All too often it gets introduced in the middle of a very large organizational change (e.g., merger or acquisition) or some other untimely organization-wide event.

8 key questions to ask to determine if your culture is ready for successful introduction and use of 360-degree feedback assessments are:

  1. Is employee engagement and morale high enough to support a feedback intervention?
  2. Is the organization supportive of talent development and coaching?
  3. Do managers get trained, rewarded and compensated to act as performance coaches?
  4. Do employees feel comfortable giving feedback without reprisal?
  5. Has your organization had a bad experience with a prior 360-degree feedback intervention?
  6. Are people motivated to use the feedback they receive for their own professional growth and development?
  7. Does your organization have resources, training and other support to help employees create and implement professional development plans as a result of the feedback?
  8. Will employees be held accountable to discuss the results of their feedback with their bosses and to create a development plan?

If you feel your company is indeed ready for 360-degree feedback, here are a few tips to get your company ready:

  • Start the 360-degree feedback program with a pilot using an organizational sponsor or senior manager.
  • The use of a “180-degree feedback” assessment between an employee and his/her manager is a wonderful way to softly introduce the benefits of a full-blown 360-degree feedback to the organization.  This helps employees begin to feel comfortable with the feedback process and understand how they will be given honest, constructive and useful feedback.
  • Remember that 360-degree feedback processes should be used to solve real business needs so make sure it is introduced as a solution to improving leadership effectiveness or team building.

Coach’s Critique:

In my experience, organizations that had a culture of trust have been the most ready for the 360-degree feedback process.  A 360-degree feedback system might not be the best remedy for organizational cultures that consist of individuals that hold suspicions about the organization’s intent.

For example, I conducted a 360-degree assessment in a corporate culture that reflected a great deal of suspicion about the company’s motives. The 360-degree process was perceived for many as a plot from upper management to pursue self-serving and bureaucratic motives. While we were clear that the 360-degree system results would be confidential, a good portion of the raters did not believe it. We discovered that raters feared that their ratings would be revealed to their bosses and those being rated feared that their results would be held against them by their bosses.

Despite all the cautionary steps we took prior to implementing the program, employees were simply not buying into it. As a result, the 360-degree feedback process caused more harm than good. Some individuals grew more suspicious the intent of management, while others became more angry and hostile.

Before implementing a 360-degree feedback system, think about the times that you implemented the assessment in cultures that weren’t receptive. What impact did that have on the organization? What types of cultures were most and least receptive to the process?

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Leadership development: New Career Patterns

February 10, 2016 by Wally Bock

Yesterday I read Dorothy Dalton’s great post: “Career Path replaced by Cluster Career.” If you’re thinking about how to plan your career, this is a must read. But it got me to thinking about how we do leadership development in a very different world. Leadership development for a different way to climb Forget the career […]

Posted in Leadership Development

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Free Coaching Exercise: “My Behavior Change Self-Contract”

February 8, 2016 by Sandra Mashihi

This free exercise, and dozens of others, were created for our book, Clueless: Coaching People Who Just Don’t Get It. You can learn more about Clueless by visiting our site or you can buy it from amazon.com today. Purpose of Exercise: Leads clients to select a change goal and commit to a change goal. How to […]

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The Healthy Neurotic

February 7, 2016 by Ken Nowack

“A neurotic is a man who builds a castle in the air. A psychotic is the man who lives in it. A psychiatrist is the man who collects the rent” Jerome Lawrence Happiness and optimism have long been considered a positive asset in dealing with illness or life challenge. Happy individuals tend to have more […]

Posted in Engagement, Wellness

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Ouch that Hurt! The Neurobiology of Feedback

February 7, 2016 by Ken Nowack

“Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger.”   Franklin P. Jones We can all recall a time that a partner, family member, friend, or colleague gave us some well-intended feedback that seemed to really hurt. Most of the time, the intention of feedback is to convey […]

Posted in Engagement, Selection, Talent Management

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Top Leadership Development Blog Posts this Week: 2/5/16

February 5, 2016 by Wally Bock

Leadership development may be the most important thing any company does. That’s why, every week, I review blogs and other publications that cover leadership development to find the very best leadership development posts. This week, you’ll find pointers to posts about talent analytics, leadership development to make leaders fit for purpose, succession squads and leadership […]

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7 Reasons Why You SHOULD Be Using 360-Degree Feedback Assessments

February 3, 2016 by Sandra Mashihi

This is the second post of an ongoing series on 360-Degree Feedback Best Practices. Enjoy! “Amid all your list-making, organizing, and planning your next move, when was the last time you sat down and thought about your reputation?” –Marshall Goldsmith Multi-rater or 360-degree feedback is the process in which managers, direct reports, peers, team members, […]

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Leadership development: Four key dimensions

February 3, 2016 by Wally Bock

One of the more interesting leadership development articles I’ve read recently was Ron Carucci’s HBR article, “A 10-Year Study Reveals What Great Executives Know and Do.” You should read the entire article, but here’s what got my attention. Boldface is mine. “These seven factors led to our discovery of four recurring patterns that distinguished exceptional […]

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Free Coaching Exercise: “My Relapse Prevention Plan”

February 1, 2016 by Sandra Mashihi

This free exercise, and dozens of others, were created for our book, Clueless: Coaching People Who Just Don’t Get It. You can learn more about Clueless by visiting our site or you can buy it from amazon.com today. Purpose of Exercise: Guide to creating a plan for getting back on track How to Administer and Use […]

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Leadership Lessons Raising a Guide Dog: Saying Goodbye

January 31, 2016 by Ken Nowack

What’s my destiny, Momma? You’re gonna have to figure that out for yourself. Life is a box of chocolates, Forrest. You never know what you’re gonna get. Forrest Gump 1994 I feel like the proud parent sending their child off to college…..or leaving an organization for a new and hopefully better adventure…..For many, the experience […]

Posted in Engagement, Leadership Development, Relate, Selection


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