Maximizing the Benefits of 360 Feedback Surveys

Actionable Feedback

Actionable feedback is feedback that holds the key to positive employee development and increased employee engagement. Unlike the feedback featured in job performance reviews of yesteryear, which often read like a laundry list of criticisms, the kind of actionable feedback that comes from a 360 feedback survey can serve as the foundation for an effective employee development plan.

However, knowing where to start can be a challenge. Below are eight tips to provide your employees with actionable feedback that can take their careers — and your organization — to the next level.

1. Be Specific in Your Actionable Feedback

When assessing an employee’s job performance, remember to keep your feedback specific and measurable. Use concrete examples to clarify and illustrate the points you want to make.

2. Accentuate the Positive

Yes, the reason your organization has instituted employee development plans is to improve employees’ job performance. Still, it’s important for all involved that the feedback remains positive. Avoid language that can be perceived as aggressive or overly critical. Keep in mind that employees are a little like plants in that they thrive in supportive environments.

3. Identify Behaviors That Could Use Some Tweaking

Rather than simply providing feedback on an employee’s job performance or skill set, help your employees understand where you’re coming from by identifying behaviors. For instance, if an employee has trouble meeting deadlines, ask about their approach regarding time-sensitive assignments to see how they might refine that approach. Be sure to avoid assumptions about the employee’s personality or character. Remember, accentuate the positive.

4. Keep the Employee Involved in the Process

Invite employees to reflect on their feedback and identify areas where they think improvement is needed. Then, make that feedback actionable by encouraging them to develop action plans on their own, either through the reading of work-related materials or attending conferences, workshops or other events focused on trends in the field. In doing so, your organization will be further promoting ownership and accountability among its employees.

5. Keep the End Goal in Mind

As with most projects, it’s easier to start an employee development plan when everyone knows what the end looks like. What would you like the employee to have achieved at the end of this process? Does the employee share this goal? Every step of the process should be directed toward the attainment of that goal.

6. Offer Opportunities for Skills Development

People develop new skills through practice. One great way to deliver actionable feedback is to offer the employee opportunities for practice. If an employee is developing a new skill, consider assigning a project or “stretch assignment” that calls on that skill. For example, if the employee is working on their leadership skills, have them take charge of a relatively low-stakes project or to lead a staff meeting and build from there.

7. Establish a Timeline

Outlining a time frame for your actionable feedback ensures that the parties involved see this as a necessity rather than some “pie in the sky” scenario. Ensure this timeline is realistic, based on its importance and the employee’s ability and availability to do the work.

8. Provide Ongoing Support

Schedule informal, periodic check-ins to review the employee’s progress, address challenges and provide extra guidance if necessary. According to this well researched study, employees who have weekly check-ins with their manager are more than twice as likely to trust and respect their manager than those who never experience check-ins. Also, be sure to recognize and celebrate the employee’s achievements and milestones. Ongoing support increases employee motivation to take on new challenges.

Allow actionable feedback to boost your organization’s employee development with help from G360 Surveys. Our survey options can be customized to meet your employee development needs. Contact us today.