360 Degree Feedback for Leaders

360 Degree Feedback for Leaders

We all know how important leaders are to a business. Their ability to inspire and motivate their teams is an essential ingredient of business success.

Often in leadership development the focus is on what we want our leaders to improve, what we see as gaps in their knowledge and the results we want them to achieve.

If our leader’s success is achieved through their people, doesn’t it make sense to turn that around and ask what their team want from their leader?

360-degree feedback surveys are a powerful tool for figuring out exactly what a leader’s real development areas are. Every team is different, and every organisation is different, so leadership skills need to be adapted and developed continuously to achieve great results.

Making this a meaningful exercise can be challenging, so here are a few of our top steers:

  1. Let you leader choose the feedback participants alongside you

Typically, you will have 8 to 10 team members complete the 360. Choosing a balanced group is essential. Working together to select this group will ensure that the leader is engaged and receptive to the feedback.

  1. Brief the participants well

Sometimes the feedback in a 360 can be tough to take, so making sure your participants understand how to provide this feedback constructively is important. Phrasing questions so that they feed forward can help, using questions like “What would you like to see your leader do more of?”. Participants should also focus on skills and actions, not personalities. A personal attack in a 360 will never achieve good results.

  1. Have the leader rate themselves too

It’s always interesting to compare how we think we are doing against how others see us doing. This opens the conversation about why there may be differences in perception. Often leaders will establish an environment which motivates them but may not work for their team. Seeing these differences will help leaders realise that their team may have different needs from them.

  1. Make the feedback session a safe space

Its normal to be nervous receiving 360 feedback, and this can make your leaders defensive. The best way to approach this is to let them work through it in stages. Provide the report for them to consider, meet to help them work through it and discuss their thoughts on it. Then meet again to agree development areas. Having time to process the feedback can make it more meaningful. It can pay to use an external person or your HR Manager for the feedback session, as they can discuss the results dispassionately and the leader can respond honestly.

  1. Agree the development areas together

Just like any goal setting exercise, if your leaders have development areas chosen for them they won’t completely commit to them. This may mean that there are some compromises in their development plan. However, any development that moves them forward and improves their skills will benefit your business.

“If your actions inspire people to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

John Quincy Adams

 

Positive People have 24 years’ experience helping medium sized business’s develop great leaders. Contact us today to discuss how our 360-degree feedback surveys can work for you.

360-Degree Feedback Surveys

360-degree feedback surveys:

Forming a rounded view

What is 360-degree feedback?

360-degree surveys are a tool that allows employees to receive performance feedback from their manager, peers, direct reports and other internal or external stakeholders. It provides a rounded view of the individual and usually results in employees accepting the feedback, as it is validated through coming from a range of people and angles.

People who are chosen as feedback providers are selected in a shared process by both the employee and their manager, with support from HR. Generally, they will be people who regularly interact with the employee who is receiving feedback.

What is the purpose?

The process aims to assist the employee to understand their strengths and weaknesses and to provide insights into where there are opportunities for development.

360-degree feedback surveys can help an organisation to:

  • Get better quality employee feedback that is more accurate and insightful than only considering feedback from an employee’s manager. Also, if there is a personality issue between the employee and their manager, multi-source feedback reduces the risk of this impacting their relationship and performance assessment
  • Highlight gaps in perception between the employee’s own perspective (demonstrated through completing the survey themselves) and the perception of others
  • Improve leadership strength by including employees in the leadership feedback process
  • Gauge the relative strengths of a team through gathering comparative peer related information
  • Identify individual and organisational development needs, so learning and development spend can be more effectively allocated
  • Help team members to work more effectively together – improving communication and processes
  • Empower the employee to take responsibility for their own development and career
  • Improve the level of customer service the organisation is providing where external stakeholders, like customers, are included.

How do you implement a 360-degree?

For a 360-degree feedback survey to have a positive impact on your organisation, it must be integrated into the learning and development goals of the business and your performance management and review system.

It’s also important that the feedback is shared with the employee by a trained coach. This allows the employee to understand the feedback by discussing unclear comments or seeking more information about the ratings and their basis. A good coach will also help the employee to focus on the positives and how they can build on their strengths, rather than dwell for too long on the negatives. Where areas for development are identified, a coach will support the employee to find solutions and make positive change.

360–degree feedback surveys are a powerful but under-utilised leadership development tool. Improve performance and ask us about them today.

We support businesses to implement effective 360-degree feedback systems. Contact Positive People today to discuss how we can help you introduce this valuable performance enhancement tool. info@positivepoople.co.nz or 09 445 1077