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6 Tips for Conducting 360 Performance Reviews

Remember when performance reviews involved sitting in a room with your manager and listening to them give you feedback on your performance?

These days, things look a bit different. While there are many ways to approach performance management, many organizations are replacing the traditional feedback process with 360 performance reviews.

A 360 performance review involves gathering feedback from all of the people employees work with, such as managers, colleagues, and direct reports—providing a more holistic perspective on them. The elements of an effective 360 performance review include confidentiality, candor, transparency, customization, and follow-up.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at 6 tips for conducting a successful 360 performance review:

1. Communicate the Process

To help employees understand important details about the 360 performance review process, it’s crucial to educate them on the requirements, deadlines, and other related information. 

You can use internal communication tools like guides, one-pagers, and presentations to communicate the purpose of 360 performance reviews, while explaining the steps to the process. For instance, creating a compelling infographic that outlines the dos and don’ts of participation will give employees a visual guide and help them better retain the information. 

Since many employees may still have questions, make sure to use a mix of team chat tools, email communication, and meetings to address any concerns.

2. Customize Review Templates

To evaluate an employees’ strengths, weaknesses, and areas of development through 360 reviews, you need to customize them by using company-specific metrics and incorporating core values. Performance review templates can help you strategically create your reviews and ask the right questions, whether they’re about employees’ communication skills, leadership skills, or productivity.

By using intuitive performance review software, you can easily create different reviews for each of your employees. Since 360 reviews evaluate performance from different viewpoints, you can tailor the different templates for all of your reviewers.

3. Select Reviewers

One of the most important parts of conducting 360 performance reviews is selecting the right reviewers. For instance, only coworkers who have worked with or known the employees for at least 3 months should be reviewing them.

In addition to involving direct reports, managers, and colleagues, it’s essential to get employees to evaluate their own performance too. Self reviews give employees the opportunity to reflect on their strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for growth.

4. Gather Feedback

Once your templates and reviewers are ready, it’s time to gather feedback. Reviewers should focus on specific actions, efforts, projects, etc. that the employee has done well, and describe what they’re happy with and would like to see repeated. This is also a good place to explain the impact that the employee has had on the larger company goals. 

Make sure you set a clear deadline for everyone to record their responses so that you have enough time to read through them. Doing so before meeting with employees will enable you to provide them with thoughtful and constructive feedback.

5. Deliver Feedback

Even if the prior steps are done properly, the key to successful 360 performance reviews is having managers deliver feedback effectively. 

When going over reviews with employees, make sure it’s a two-way conversation and that you ask them questions throughout the discussion. Focus on their growth and development by highlighting their strengths and discussing ways to improve their weaknesses. If your employees are still working remotely, use face-to-face video conferencing tools to ensure that the conversation is still as personal as it would have been in person.

6. Create a Development Plan

360 performance reviews shouldn’t end after initial feedback is given. Managers should work with employees to create a clear development plan and set SMART goals. Setting goals holds employees accountable for their performance and helps keep them motivated. In fact, simply writing down goals makes employees 42 percent more likely to achieve them. 

These goals should align with overall team and company goals and should be actionable, making it easier for employees to take accountability and track progress.

360 performance reviews can provide a comprehensive assessment of employee performance, as well as guidance for their professional growth and development. To learn more about how you can set your employees up for success, check out our Manager’s Guide to Performance Reviews, Goal Setting & Professional Development.

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