Focus on Feedback

We are in the midst of a 360 Degree Feedback Review at Global. It’s our first time going through this process. We’ve added it at the mid-way point in our fiscal year to complement our annual performance reviews, and are excited about the impact it will have.

We decided to implement the 360 because we believe in the value of feedback. Whereas the traditional annual performance review is relatively one-dimensional (manager to employee), the 360 provides opportunities for an employee to get feedback from a cross-section of the company. Sometimes a co-worker who sits next to you sees different things than your manager does. Even people who don’t work closely with you have valuable perspectives about how you do your work and how you come across in the company. From management to line staff, everybody gets a say.

Some of the benefits of a 360 in addition to an annual review are:

  • they are accepted by participants because they provide a broader, more balanced and accurate perspective of the employee’s performance
  • they provide a richer understanding of the employee’s performance because different people see different things
  • they can reenforce organizational values of cooperation, teamwork, honesty, learning, etc.
  • they promote open communication that leads to personal growth
  • they provide a unique opportunity for staff to evaluate the effectiveness of their managers and others on the leadership team

We all need feedback, because most of us aren’t as aware as we could be, how we are perceived by others. People who are emotionally healthy recognize that feedback is an important part of personal growth, and people who want to grow generally seek feedback regularly. Feedback isn’t always easy to receive – sometimes it points out things that we don’t really want to see but it is only effective if we are willing to take in what others show us about ourselves. And growth only occurs if we use that information to make positive changes in our lives and our work.

Businesses need feedback too. Successful employers regularly seek feedback from their employees to see how they’re doing in providing a great work environment that motivates and inspires. We’re asking our employees all the time how they feel about this or that initiative and give them opportunities to contribute their perspectives on what and how we’re doing.

  • Companies need to seek feedback from their customers on a regular basis to ensure they are providing excellent service and staying competitive in the marketplace.
  • Professional athletes could not grow and develop in their sport without feedback from coaches.
  • Artists could not grow in their art without feedback from other artists, mentors and the people who view their art.
  • Children would never grow and develop in their life skills without feedback from their parents and teachers.

…and who hasn’t benefitted from the honest, compassionate feedback of a close friend who has helped us navigate a particular tough time we were going through?

Feedback is an essential part of personal and professional growth. We should seek it, welcome it, evaluate it and use it to move us forward on our life path. We hope our 360 will do just that for our staff.

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