Optimize your 360-degree review process with development planning
Articles » Development Planning and 360-Degree Feedback
The purpose of a 360-degree feedback review is to clarify areas in which an
employee is excelling, as well as areas in which improvement is needed. This
process is greatly enhanced when a manager, coach or consultant actively engages
the employee in a conversation about their results immediately following the
review, and accompanying this debrief with a tangible, yet flexible development
planning tool that allows agreed upon goals to be set, monitored, and updated
over a period of time.
A debriefing meeting can increase the impact of feedback for your employees
in several key ways:
It assists the employee in understanding his or her feedback and
identifying themes in the ratings and comments received.
Helps the employee prioritize behavioral areas that require development.
Provides structured time with an employee's manager or coach focused on
creating an actionable development plan. If using the
Development Planning Module, create a draft development plan for the
employee to review during this meeting.
A debriefing meeting ultimately helps the employee see that the feedback they
have received, even if perceived as negative, is being directed to a positive,
It's usually best to present the feedback report to the employee a day prior
to the meeting or at the meeting. This is so that any conclusions that the
employee reaches by reading it can be addressed quickly. If the employee hasn't
read their review report already, let them do so. Sit quietly while they digest
the information it contains. Once the employee has read the report, ask what
their reactions are. Once you let him/her process their reactions, and have
expressed empathy for what he/she may be feeling, then move on to the content.
Ask what they think the underlying themes are. These may or may not line up with
your pre-identified strengths and developmental opportunities.
If both of your observations align, this is a good time to begin the
discussion on development planning. If you disagree on the key observations in
the report, discuss them and try to work toward a common agreement on areas for
Create a development plan that drives results
Once you and your employee have reached a mutual understanding of the key
strengths and developmental opportunities outlined by the report, it's time to
craft a development plan around them. In this plan, we recommend focusing on no
more than three strengths and three development opportunities. This helps ensure
employees do not get overwhelmed by trying to set too many goals that they
ultimately cannot achieve in the designated timeframe.
The creation of this plan is most easily done by using an automated tool such
as EchoSpan's Development Planning Module. Because it's fully integrated with
the EchoSpan 360-degree feedback system, it can
automatically identify key strengths and weaknesses, as well as recommend
developmental reading and
based on review results. It also allows the employee to structure the
development plan around a standardized framework, so his or her efforts are
directed and quantifiable.
It's important to track progress on the development plan regularly. Using the
EchoSpan Development Planning Module, you are able to create automated reminders
as each development plan item reaches its stated milestones.
The EchoSpan module organizes developmental activities into the following
Identify the behavior and/or competency to be developed.
State an objective. What does the employee seek to do better?
Create measurements. How will the employee measure progress against the
Take action. What activities will be done to achieve the objective? By
what dates should actions be complete?
Document the outcome. What was the result of the actions?
EchoSpan's development planning module is easy to use and requires no
additional training for your Participants. Each competency has an action guide
that helps the Target craft their objectives and solicit feedback from observers
who participated in the initial 360-degree feedback process.
Click here to
learn more about the tool features.