Should 360° feedback provide surprises? (Part 5 of 10)

5. Should 360° feedback provide surprises?

According to CIPD best practice4 the 360° feedback process “should not provide any surprises” to the focus. It is assumed that the thought behind this is that the performance feedback process should be effective enough within the organisation such that any points raised in the 360 report have already been highlighted previously. It could be argued that this is an idealistic view and in fact „real time‟ performance feedback is a rarity. It could also be argued that in order for 360° feedback to be purposeful it should offer insight not otherwise available. If it is simply repeating past feedback the individual may not fully engage with the process.

“If the 360 process is not adding value over and above the other processes in place, then given the time and resources required, why bother?”

With this in mind it could be argued that 360° feedback is most beneficial to organisations where „real time‟ and/or multi rater feedback is not the norm. For these organisations the additional insight that helps individuals understand aspects such as: what behaviours get results; how their self-perception differs from others perceptions; how perceptions of different groups vary; where they are unaware of things that others see (blind spots); and where they are aware of things that others don‟t see (facades), may provide surprises and be helpful.

Our view at Talent Innovations is that surprises should be expected, at least in the level of agreement and disagreement between an individual‟s self-perception compared with the views of others. Furthermore surprises this will help the process to be seen as adding value, after all what‟s the point of just being told what you already know?

Next topic in part 6 is around rating scales…..

For the full paper, download it for free here.

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