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Best Practice guidelines

It starts with the individual


We know All 360s are not the same, however, how do we ensure that we are consistent in our processes for every 360 we provide? Our Best Practice guidelines will help you to understand how we work with our clients and why we do things the way we do.

Although we offer bespoke products to fit our clients' needs, we like to approach 360 degree feedback as a process designed to spark insights and motivate personal growth and professional development. So, we invite the individual to give feedback to themselves; to rate their own behaviour in areas that are important to their organisation and the role they play within it. Further feedback – collected from people chosen by the individual, both inside and outside the organisation – completes the picture.

When it comes to presenting results we keep the reports succinct and user friendly. We're aware that different people prefer their information served in different ways so results are presented visually, as graphs and charts, and also in a narrative account. Where possible, an individual will receive their feedback in a facilitated session, with coaching to help them interpret the results and plan how to use them. Follow up, in the form of a second assessment twelve months later, gives the individual a chance to track changes in their performance.

Designing a valid and robust 360 degree feedback system


Research indicates that the following steps will help ensure that a 360 degree feedback system is valid and beneficial.

  • It is important that feedback is solicited only on relevant work behaviours that feedback providers are positioned to fairly evaluate.

  • It is a requirement of the process that feedback providers be advised on how their feedback is going to be used (i.e., development or performance appraisal or both).

  • Feedback providers need to be adequately trained, and alerted to sources of observer bias that could invalidate or compromise their ratings.

  • It is also important that only feedback providers who are adequately familiar with an employee's work behaviour provide feedback and are selected to participate; otherwise, feedback could be invalid.

  • Preferably, feedback will be obtained from an adequately representative sample of qualified feedback providers (direct reports, peers, managers, and internal/external customers) so that feedback is representative.

  • Behaviour and performance criteria need to be clearly job-linked and well defined, and valid rating scales used.

  • It is recommended that both open (written comments) and closed questions (Likert-scale) are used to solicit both qualitative and quantitative data.

  • It is important that mechanisms are included to ensure accountability, so that management can identify sources of feedback if abuses occur.

  • Results will ideally be followed up on and coaching provided, including development plans if feedback ratings indicate deficiencies.

  • It is important that quality controls are in place and management should monitor results to ensure that valid and reliable feedback is produced and the system is psychometrically solid.

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