360 Degree Feedback: Using the Data

Over the last several years, I have noticed a trend in 360 degree feedback that I think should be a “watch out” for organizations taking part in the process.  What I am seeing more and more, particularly from organizations that are new to the process, is a disproportionate amount of attention on the “bells and whistles” of the 360 survey tool.

In conversations with potential clients, I’m asked about our web-based survey, its features, who handles the administration of the survey, what is the technology behind the process, etc.  While each of these questions is valid and important to understand, these questions often come at the expense of the true value of the process – what are individuals going to do with the data? So much attention is placed on the survey tool and not enough attention is placed on the internal processes an organization should put into place to ensure 360 feedback participants are taking the data and implementing some action that will benefit the organization.

Without the connection to and support for the action, the 360 degree feedback process (and the tool with all the “bells and whistles”), will never be seen as anything more than a task to be completed once a year.  For those of you looking to implement a 360 degree feedback process, don’t forget to answer this critical question, “once the data is collected, what are participants going to do with it?”

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