How to Give 360° Feedback to Your Peers

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Giving feedback

How to Give 360° Feedback to Your Peers

Feedback is a vital component of a productive workplace. In the past, feedback has been mostly limited to owners or higher-ups commenting on the performance of those they manage. However, more managers are now embracing the idea of the 360° feedback concept, where peers are encouraged to give anonymous feedback to those they work with.

Some team members may be uncomfortable with the thought of reviewing their co-workers. However, according to a recent survey, 72% of employees thought their performance would improve with the help of feedback. This means that your team wants and needs the information given in a review to become better employees.

If you plan to utilize 360° feedback in your workplace, understand that your employees may be hesitant at first. Reassure them that their feedback is anonymous and confidential. Once they realize their feedback will not lead to resentment or harmed relationships, they will be more open to participating. Here are some suggestions that will help your team give useful, beneficial feedback.

Be Honest, Yet Kind

There is a difference between being honest and being mean. When you are honest and constructive, it means that actions are being reviewed, not people. Encourage your employees to point out areas of improvement, but don’t allow them to critique character or personality. Keep in mind that most employees are motivated by positive feedback from their peers. Make sure to remind your team members to balance the good with the bad and find ways to bring positivity to their statements.

Don’t Go Overboard

It will be tempting for your employees to talk about every single aspect of their co-workers’ performance, especially in the beginning. However, too much feedback is almost as bad as no feedback at all. Encourage your employees to be specific and point out a few of each of their co-workers’ best attributes as well as one or two areas that could use improvement.

Provide Examples

Help your workers give detailed, complete feedback by asking for examples. It’s one thing to say, “Sally never seems motivated to help out on projects,” and quite another to say, “When working on group projects, Sally misses meetings and is often on her phone while others brainstorm.” The first is vague and unproductive, while the second is specific and can lead to actionable solutions.

Focus on Your Feedback, Not the Results

When you first start utilizing 360° feedback in your workplace, it’s important to set expectations. Employees might start feeling resentful if they don’t think their feedback is being acted upon by management or their co-workers. Make sure they focus on the importance of giving good feedback and try to release expectations of how it will be used. When they focus on the part they can control, they’ll be motivated to continue.

Do you give your employees the amount and type of feedback they need to succeed? About 65% of employees in a recent survey said they wanted more feedback, so don’t be afraid to incorporate more of it in your workplace. Showing your employees the value of 360° feedback and how to best give it results in higher morale and a happier team.

If you would like help collecting and reporting on 360° peer in your organization, take a look at emPerform for integrated 360° reviews, ongoing 360° feedback using tag, and 360° client surveys.