360 degree feedback is a (typically on-line) process for gathering information about an individual’s skills, abilities and attitudes from a variety of sources to help plan development and improve performance. This process involves getting feedback from people with whom the individual (the participant) works closely; typically, this will be the participant’s manager(s), a selection of peers (colleagues at a similar organisational level) and direct reports (those the participant manages or supervises). These individuals completing the feedback on the participant are called respondents. This process is designed as a way of helping participants look at their behaviour and performance as others see them.
In general, such feedback creates:
- conversations about how individuals are seen by colleagues
- increased self-awareness and understanding about impacts of behaviour
- increased clarity about performance strengths and development needs
- an environment where people are more connected to each other and thinking about each others’ qualities
- the embedding of a performance culture
As an internal Consultant at the BBC I was in charge of their 360 degree feedback process (used as part of their Leadership development Programme). I have also designed competency based questionnaires at a variety of levels.