We uncover the most commonly made mistakes in 360-degree feedback design--so you can avoid them!
Articles » Six Common Mistakes in 360-Degree Feedback Design
All too often, professional development programs fall short of
their intentions of providing accurate, objective insights. In our
more than seven years of experience conducting thousands of 360-degree feedback reviews, we've identified several common mistakes that prevent
survey programs from working.
1. Failure to Inform Participants.
Before initiating the
survey, it is imperative that Targets and Raters receive a letter
introducing the 360 process. This letter should come from a member
of senior management within the company, explaining why the survey
is being conducted and how the results will be used to develop
managers. It is only after participants understand the process,
that they will be able to offer candid and honest feedback.
2. Misuse of Data.
The purpose of 360-degree feedback review data should be
limited to professional growth and development. The results should
never be used to render employment decisions. Once the data is
misused, Raters will no longer provide the Targets with candid
feedback. Scores become inflated once participants believe the
data is used to limit or punish Targets.
3. Confidentiality is Not Guaranteed to the Raters.
Most, if not
all, survey companies state that the Raters' responses are
confidential and anonymous. However, the reports are presented in
such a way that individual scores are presented. We insure
confidentiality and anonymity by presenting the scores as
4. Targets Fail to Include Appropriate Raters.
Targets will accept the results of the survey more easily
when they have participated in the selection of the Raters.
However, it is common for Targets to "cherry pick" those
who they believe perceive them most positively and eliminate those
whom they do not have as strong a relationship. In order for the
process to be credible, both friend and foe most be invited to
5. Company Does Not Review the Rater List. If Targets
are allowed to select their own group of Raters, it's imperative
that an internal Auditor verify those lists for appropriateness
and objectivity. To counteract the problems associated with
unchecked, self-selected Rater lists, the EchoSpan service utilizes internal
Auditors to approve all Target generated Rater lists. The Auditor is an internal person who knows the organization and the
colleagues. Before Raters begin providing feedback, the Auditor must approve the
Rater list. The Auditor may also add or eliminate Raters based upon their ability to provide honest feedback.
6. Survey Items are Not Consistent with the Company's
Performance Competencies. Many large survey companies have an
"off the shelf" survey that they sell their customers.
All EchoSpan surveys are customized to represent the company's
core management competencies. We at EchoSpan believe you
know your business better that anyone else. Furthermore, you
should be the one who defines success in your organization, not us
or anyone else.
EchoSpan is one of the fastest growing and most
valued Web-based performance management services providers
on the market. Through our comprehensive suite of online
tools, we provide an unprecedented level of insight into
companies' human resource and goal-management activities.
Currently, EchoSpan's suite of tools includes 360
feedback, performance reviews, total goal management and
employee surveys. All of our tools share a common platform,
which means data is easily exchanged between each module.
This provides managers complete access to employee and
company performance metrics from a single Web-based