360 Degree Feedback Advantages and Disadvantages
360 degree feedback can be a powerful tool for identifying strengths, pinpointing areas for improvement and measuring performance. But we’re not going to sugar coat it: The saying, “Nothing in life is free” applies here, too. If you want to reap the benefits of 360 degree feedback, it’s important to be aware of its problems, too. Keep reading for a primer on some of the biggest 360 degree feedback advantages and disadvantages.
360 Degree Feedback Advantages
Let us count the ways! And we’ve done just that in countless posts on the G360 Surveys blog. To recap, the benefits of 360 degree feedback are numerous.
Because it solicits feedback from multiple sources, 360 degree feedback is more comprehensive, providing a more complete picture of an individual’s strengths and weaknesses than a traditional, single-rater performance evaluation ever could.
Because it’s more comprehensive, 360 degree feedback also is more trustworthy. That’s because it’s easier to trust the validity of feedback when it’s coming from a variety of perspectives.
For that reason, 360 degree feedback also is more actionable. After all, multiple perspectives usually include lots of specific suggestions on how to improve. The open-ended feedback can be extremely helpful in changing behaviors that are ineffective.
Other advantages of 360 degree feedback is the role it can play in boosting a culture that values trust and transparency. When you solicit feedback from across your organization, you’re also sending an important message to employees that, no matter their job title or length of employment, their opinion matters. And when employees believe that, they’re more likely to share their thoughts and concerns and more likely to stay engaged with your organization.
360 Degree Feedback Disadvantages
Unfortunately, you can’t reap all of the benefits of 360 degree feedback overnight. To do so requires time, commitment, practice, training and communication. Give your team regular opportunities to give and receive 360 degree feedback and over time, your team will get better at giving and receiving 360 degree feedback. But they have to believe that the main purpose of the feedback is for professional development not performance evaluation.
Most of the disadvantages of 360 degree feedback come not from the feedback model itself, but from the environment it’s being used in or in how it’s executed. It goes without saying that 360 degree feedback isn’t for every organization. If there are underlying trust issues or low employee morale, a 360 degree feedback process could just exacerbate the problems. In addition, those that are giving the feedback have to be absolutely sure that their evaluation will be confidential or they won’t be honest. That’s one reason that an outside survey company might be seen as more objective and trustworthy.
Another factor jeopardizing the success of a 360 degree feedback survey process is the presentation of findings. At G360 Surveys, we believe success depends as much on the feedback report, including how it’s laid out and what it includes. They must be easy to understand and balanced, identifying both strengths as well as development opportunities. An added benefit is when they include resources to help address shortcomings.
Ready to implement 360 degree feedback in your organization? Partner with G360 Surveys to maximize the advantages and minimize the disadvantages of this powerful feedback tool. Get started by scheduling a demo today.