Why This Diagnostic Tool is Still a Key to Business Growth

It has been said that 360 degree feedback assessments, also known as multi-rater evaluations, are the most widely recognized assessments in the business industry. The purpose of any 360 degree feedback assessment is to diagnose the strengths and weaknesses of an individual by considering the input of several individuals who have a relationship with the subject. Yet the most crucial component to 360 feedback success is not in the responses, but in the questions themselves.

Since they were popularized in the 1990s, most Fortune 500 companies have experienced this diagnostic tool as a way to determine areas for development and growth. Just as diagnostic medical exams are used to determine treatment plans, the 360 degree feedback assessment is the ideal diagnostic tool to determine an individual’s strengths and weaknesses before constructing a development plan towards superior performance.

A 360 degree feedback assessment is a very powerful tool when used under the right circumstances and for the right reasons. Unfortunately, when 360 degree assessments became popular, they were also widely misused, leaving behind a bad reputation in the business industry. With amateur questions, improper use of results and little follow-through, the 360 degree feedback assessment practice became scrutinized. Perhaps 360s have even left a sour taste in your mouth? While they should not be used as a basis for termination, promotions, performance reviews or popularity contests, 360 degree feedback assessments make a great resource for coaching, performance management, training, skill development and personal growth.

Is there a bad 360 question?
Yes, the key to effective use of a 360 degree feedback assessment is in the questions themselves. This means the challenge begins before the 360 feedback assessment is even taken. In fact, bad 360 questions usually start when someone chooses or writes 360 questions and does not have a clear focus on what the job requires for superior performance. Instead, their personal bias is projected on the questions which often times leads to nothing more than a personality contest.

What makes a good 360 question?
In order to be effective, all 360 degree feedback questions must be job related. To ensure relevant questions, they must reflect the key accountabilities and a clear understanding of personal skills, behaviors and motivators that a person should have in order to be successful in the position. Once you have identified these factors, it will be easy to determine which questions will reveal pertinent information.

Contact VantageTEAM BUILDING today to see how your organization can benefit from the use of a 360 for your leadership development.