Before you start creating the 360 feedback form, you need to ask yourself – ‘what is the purpose of the data I’m trying to collect’? If you don’t know why you’re creating a 360 feedback form, then there’s not really much point of one being created.
Some reasons you may create one are;
- To gauge what an employee’s strengths are and where they feel confident.
- Work out where an employee needs to improve.
- Assessing progress on their skills and confidence over time.
- Detecting critiques from colleagues which they perhaps can’t see themselves.
- Finding out what the working relationships in the workplace are like and team morale.
Have you got a team member who you suspect needs to communicate more? Are you concerned if one member of your team is falling behind the rest? Has one member of your team emerged as a great leader without you realising? You should tailor the questions in your 360 feedback review form to help you investigate this.
Always have strategy and purpose for asking each question. Your 360 review questions should all have some beneficial information to help you problem-solve or develop a plan in the future.
Things to ask questions on; motivation, problem solving, interpersonal skills, leadership (if relevant to their role, of course) and efficiency. These are attributes that can shape your workplace.
“At any point have you experienced any difficulties with the level of the _____’s motivation?”
“Are there areas of improvement that you would recommend for _____, to help him/her accomplish their work more effectively?”
Don’t make it too long
Obviously, it all depends on what you would like to know. Research has shown that questionnaires with over 15 questions tend to provide less quality in depth in answers. If your review asks for open expansive answers, I’d recommend 4-8 questions. If it is multiple choice, I’d suggest 9-15 questions.
Be original and specific to your team
You must create your own 360-degree feedback form. It would have been very easy for us to publish templates used by other managers for their teams but the truth is, it wouldn’t help you much. To get great 360 appraisal data you must create your own which is specific to you.
I’ll give an example;
I once worked at a major corporation and had to fill out a 360 feedback form every quarter. It was very obvious that the forms had very little thought put into them – one of the questions was: ‘how would you describe Amy’s leadership skills?’ which is absolutely fine as a question. The problem was… I’d never met anyone in the company called Amy and I had been working there for months.
As an employee, this told me that no effort, honesty, or intimacy was put into creating this questionnaire for me, so why would I want to put effort into giving honest intimate answers?
Employees need to genuinely believe that the answers they’re giving will make a difference and that it isn’t just another pointless task to do.
Having the right HR software at your disposal can be a game-changer. Having tools such as; performance management software, goals and performance reviews can make organising and optimising so much easier. Our fully functional HR system will never take the place of the HR professional, but what it will do is save the HR professional time.
Before sending out your 360 reviews feel free to interact with your staff beforehand. Make sure they are aware that their reviews will have no devastating consequences. Many employees will give safe answers out of fear of repercussions. Explaining the process, asking for honestly and giving them the assurance that they will not be punished for honesty, can go a long way towards a successful 360 feedback review.