5 tips to getting 360-degree reviews right

Francisco Homem de Mello

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Despite all the fuzz about recent articles undermining the importance and utility of multi-rater feedbacks, these are still very powerful tools to reinforce your company culture’s core values, and create an environment of constant development and high performance.

In order to get it right, here’s a handful of simple tips that may greatly increase your company’s chances of nailing 360-degree review.

1. Articulate and communicate purpose

People need to know why, in the grander scheme of the company’s strategy, the review process has been adopted, and how it will help both the company and its employees grow and develop.

2. Start with a focus on development

On the first few iterations, your review should not have any consequences on pay and promotion. That way, employees will be encouraged to be more candid on their feedback, and those on the receiving end, to view it with a growth-focused mindset.

3. Consider starting with a subset of the company

A great way to take your company on the performance review journey is to start the process with a subset of it, like a department or regional unit that’s more ripe for the kind of performance-oriented discussions that will arise.

4. Train, train, train

People should receive ample training on the following themes:

– Why is the process being undertaken (tied to goals and strategy);

– How the process will work (anonymity, time frame, consequences) ;

– How can they write useful and growth-oriented feedbacks;

– How can leaders give meaningful feedback after the cycle’s ended;

– How to generate doable development action plans (tied to training, coaching, and mentoring).

5. Follow through, follow up

Make sure reviews have a clear consequence on reviewed employees’ careers. They should yield practical development action plans, with short and long-term goals, and be thoroughly followed up by managers.

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