This is how you get employees to assess each other through the use of 360-degree feedback

by Danique Geskus | Nov 8, 2023

The traditional way of assessment is well known to us. The manager uses the end-of-year performance review as the only time to give feedback. The employee has little to nothing to prepare and hears the points during the interview. Often such a judgment call then feels more like a judgment call.
The employee then probably does too little with the feedback so behavior remains the same and a subsequent performance review hears the same feedback. This vicious circle does not contribute to good mutual cooperation and more importantly often causes employees not to develop (further).


Review 2.0

A new, more modern form of assessment that is becoming more common is one in which the employee writes a self-assessment and proactively solicits feedback. Using this 360-degree feedback puts much more responsibility on the employee. The benefits are much higher involvement in the assessment cycle from the employees and a time savings for the manager because the employee takes some of the work away. .Kilian Wawoe (organizational psychologist) advocates frequent collaborative reflection, especially looking ahead and asking the question: how can we do better tomorrow? That leads to better performance and more fun at work, Wawoe argues, because making progress is one of the most motivating factors in our work.


Different type of feedback

The distinguishing factor in feedback is whether it is one-, two-, or multi-directional.

  • 90° feedback means that only the supervisor provides feedback.
  • In the case of180° feedback, in addition to the supervisor, the employee also provides feedback (two-way feedback).
  • 360° feedback involves supervisor, employee and colleagues. In the case of 360° feedback, it is also common to ask for feedback from external parties such as customers or suppliers. This provides feedback on the employee’s performance from all directions.

Research from research firm Gartner in 2018 shows that when feedback from colleagues is included, ratings are up to 14% higher. This makes for motivated colleagues and better mutual cooperation between colleagues.


Here’s how to provide constructive feedback

How feedback is given is critical to how it is interpreted. The purpose of feedback is for the other person to modify their behavior in the future in a way that is more effective than before. How you tell someone this makes substantial difference in how it is understood and importantly, acted upon.


Start, Stop & Continue

A positive constructive way for giving feedback is the start, stop & continue method. This is a modern alternative to the development and or evaluation interview. The goal is to foster a feedback culture and exchange feedback among themselves using a format that includes three questions that keep the focus on the employee’s positives and talents.

Three questions according to the framework of the start, stop & continue method.

  • What should the employee start with?
  • What should the employee stop doing?
  • What should the employee continue with?

Wondering how and if the start, stop & continue method is applicable to your organization? Download the template here.


4G Feedback Model

If you want to provide specific feedback on certain behaviors and what effect those behaviors have use “the 4G feedback method” to create a constructive feedback culture.

The 4G model feedback, as you probably expect, consists of four Gs, namely:

  • Behavior: actual specific behavior of the other person
  • Consequence: the effect of a person’s behavior on the environment
  • Feeling: feeling reflection of what the other person’s behavior triggers in you.
  • Desired: Name the behavior you would like to see.

Giving feedback is a powerful method for increasing employee performance and engagement. At the same time, it is also one of the most difficult activities in the workplace. Whether as a manager to a team member or to an immediate colleague. Many find giving feedback difficult and exciting.

Learned’s Q3 2021 user research shows that up to 65% more feedback is provided by Learned’s software. This means much more engaged employees, faster anticipation of potential problems and greater job happiness.


Anonymous or not anonymous

Most companies that use a 360-degree feedback method work with a written form of feedback. In some organizations, it is customary to pass on this feedback anonymously. The idea behind this is that feedback givers often dare to answer more honestly and there is no friction between them.

However, Learned advises against giving feedback anonymously. Anonymous feedback can seem like stings and is often not constructive. By not forwarding feedback anonymously to the recipient, it contributes to a transparent culture and increased engagement. After all, you can have a conversation with each other about the feedback given. By asking very specific questions in response to the feedback given, it is possible to elaborate on the feedback to get a clearer picture.


Have employees also evaluate the supervisor

To fully close the circle of 360-degree feedback, as a manager you can also solicit feedback from the employee. This is then not so much about the employee himself but much more about the manager’s performance or feedback on processes or agreements, for example. As a manager, this gives you a good idea of how you are perceived by employees and what you yourself can do to improve your performance. By actively soliciting feedback on processes and agreements, you create a transparent and motivating work environment by encouraging employees to think of efficient improvements to current work processes.


Best practices based on Learned customers

  • Keep it manageable. Maximum of 2 to 3 feedback requests per employee.
  • Determine in advance the guidelines for giving the feedback. Consider, for example, core values that are important within the company.
  • Provide a good balance between giving positive feedback and points that still need to be worked on.


Receiving feedback

An important component within 360-degree feedback is that the employee proactively asks for feedback. Of importance then is how the feedback is received. Feedback that is not substantiated or that the employee does not agree with can quickly be considered criticism.

Therefore, give employees direction in receiving feedback so that they are actually open to the points given and can work with them. This means that feedback should be supported by examples, for example. This motivates best, even if the judgment is disappointing or negative for the employee. Concrete examples provide guidance, starting points for setting new goals and formulating achievable steps.

Tips for receiving feedback

Have the employee find out in advance if anyone, especially in the case of externals or customers, is willing to give feedback. Make sure the employee asks specific questions about the points where feedback is desired and use, for example, the 3 B’s for receiving feedback:

  • First of all, it is important to understand the feedback well, ask well if certain feedback is not clear.
  • Thanking for giving feedback is important and often skipped. Giving feedback is not something people naturally enjoy doing and sometimes even find exciting
  • Judge for yourself what you do with the feedback is up to the person being assessed. Use feedback to develop and make sure you value feedback.

” A clear explanation of levels and directions makes it very easy to ask and give targeted feedback. This makes feedback easier and more complete “, says Leonie Koelmans of Fronteer. Fronteer has been working with Learned for a long time and has noticed a rapid and positive adoption of using Learned’s software within the team.


Learned makes giving 360° feedback easy

  • Easily design your ideal feedback form within our software with feedback based on goals, open-ended questions or even core values, competencies and skills.
  • For each type of question you decide what form of feedback you want to apply; 90°, 180° 360° feedback or even feedback from external (clients etc).
  • automatic reminders eliminate the need to chase employees.
  • All feedback and call notes in one central location.
  • Sign forms digitally, no more paper printouts needed!

Wondering which of these best practices can be deployed in your organization? Watch a video demo of the Learned platform or create a free trial account below.

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