How to Deploy, Measure & Action Your 360 questionnaire
Colin Newbold, 31st October 2019
in Feedback, Human Resources
360 questionnaires are designed to provide individuals with anonymous feedback from other stakeholders within an organisation.
Previously, more traditional methods relied on simply receiving feedback from supervisors, often in the form of the annual appraisal. Online 360 questionnaires give individuals the opportunity to receive constructive feedback from their peers, direct reports and other colleagues on their skills, behaviour and communication.
How do I know if my organisation is ready to conduct 360 degree feedback?
If we start at the very beginning of the 360 process, the first question you may be asking yourself is ‘how do I know if my organisation is ready to conduct 360 feedback?’ or ‘is 360 feedback right for us?’
By conducting a 360 readiness review, you can determine if your organisation is ready to conduct 360 degree feedback. This process covers topics such as:
- Understanding of 360, how the process works and the outcomes to expect
- The purpose of 360 feedback and why your organisation is using it
- The organisation’s culture and whether the results will be fair and trusted
- Individuals’ willingness to give and receive feedback
- How prepared is the organisation to devote time and effort to the process
- What methods of individual and group development will be available to plug the gaps
360 Feedback Questions
Once you’ve decided a 360 feedback implementation is right for your organisation, the next step is to create the questions for the 360 feedback questionnaire. You can of course buy off-the-shelf examples, but nothing beats a questionnaire that is totally tailored to your organisation’s culture, vision, mission and, above all, values..
There are numerous ways of approaching 360 questions. A common and effective way is to consider the competencies involved in different roles (skills, knowledge and behaviours). These competencies can then form the ‘golden thread’ that runs through the talent management process to inform any promotion or succession decisions.
Another alternative way to approach feedback questions is to consider organisational challenges (such as desired culture or change readiness), personal qualities such as emotional intelligence or the leadership talent factors that predict career potential.
How Many Questions Should Be In The Survey?
To ensure that raters take adequate time to consider each question and provide positive and constructive feedback, the survey should contain as few questions as possible. If survey items are carefully researched to ensure relevance, the number of questions should not exceed 50. More importantly, the time to complete should not be more than 30-40 minutes per questionnaire, although survey completion can be split up into more than one session.
How To Write A Good 360 Questionnaire?
- Make the questions relevant to the participant’s job
- Questions should be concise and use plain English
- The questions should follow a similar tone of voice
- Each question should be similar to other questions used to measure a particular competency
- Questions should be objective and not subjective, e.g ‘How many times..., rather than ‘What do you think...’
- Questions that ask more than one thing at a time should also be avoided
- Use rating scales (likert scales) to measure responses
Want To See A Questionnaire Example?
Simply register on the site for free and navigate to the ‘questionnaires tab’. There you will be able to see the full content of our standard questionnaires. You can easily set up a free trial to see what one of our questionnaire interfaces looks like on screen.
Briefing The Participants
It is essential to communicate to the people who are receiving and giving feedback, this allows you to explain to the people being rated as to why they are being rated and what to expect.
Some popular methods of briefing include:
- Brief participants face to face in a meeting
- Via a webinar platform
- Sharing a series of explainer videos
- And the worst...email invitations
Deploying The 360 Feedback Questionnaire
At this stage, it is important to plan and prepare. Keep in mind the amount of people giving and receiving feedback.
If you are conducting company-wide 360 questionnaires, it is important to keep track of how many rating requests each person has received. As the deployer, you can help individuals manage the workload. For example, tell them to focus on completing the most immediate or important feedback requests, and let them know it’s okay to skip some of the other feedback requests.
Choose a tool that has the simultaneous rating feature, it will save people a lot of time and results in greater accuracy.
Ensure you have control over the invitation email content and that it reflects your company style. Same is true for the reminder emails and you also want to ensure these are programmed in before the start, with a sensible gap between the initial invite and the first reminder, as well as a sensible gap between all the following reminders. Plan for a suitably motivating final reminder on the last morning!
You Forget To Respond...
You can schedule reminder emails at the beginning of the process. Even if your intention is to single out one or more raters to receive this email, please remember that reminder emails must be sent to all raters that have not yet completed.
Measuring The Results Of Your 360 Feedback
Once you’ve deployed your 360 implementation and gathered the results, the individual and organisational analysis can finally begin. You will be faced with a 360 report, showing a summary of graphs, scores and written rater responses.
A good 360 report breaks down each competency with a high level of detail as well as the top 10 rated questions and bottom 10.
The report will easily compare between participant scores and all others in the same cohort (if relevant).
The report should be integrated with a comprehensive workbook that prompts questions about the meaning of the data , and allows individuals to capture their answers and personal reflections inside the workbook. This then enables organisations to make effective use of the feedback.
Producing a Personal Development Plan
Simply giving someone their feedback report and leaving them to work out its implications for themselves is not a very effective approach. Most people need the help of a skilled coach to use their feedback to produce a personal development plan that is practical, relevant, short term, and aims for tangible results.
This personal development plan will help individuals with the following:
- Focus on their goals
- Put the feedback into the context of what is expected of them
- Work out for themselves the important messages from their feedback report (rather than just telling them what it says)
- Identify a short-term, low-cost and engaging plan for doing that. That plan will take into account possible obstacles that they could foresee, opportunities for getting support, how to involve their manager where appropriate, and how they will check on their progress
Some reports, like the one you get with click-360SelfDrive, contain a blank development plan at the back of the workbook, meaning that the whole development pathway can be mapped out along with the report detail and contained in one document.
If you are an independent consultant, coach or facilitator who would like to use click-360SelfDrive, then we’d love to talk. Please get in touch and one of our team will get back to you by return. The signup process is simple:
- Buy Credits
- Create Survey
- Add Participants and Raters
- Send Emails
- Track Survey
- Generate Reports