A few months ago, we talked about the ways that managers can leverage feedback from the 360 review. But, managers aren’t the only people who want feedback. Everyone wants feedback. This isn’t a Millennial or generational thing. Employees want feedback because it tells them how they’re performing. This might sound very basic, but people want to know that they’re doing something correctly. And if they’re not performing well, they want the opportunity to change.

When it comes to getting feedback, employees want feedback from two groups of people. First, they want feedback from their manager because it aligns with a familiar concept – the annual performance review. Regardless of how your organization handles annual reviews, no one wants their performance feedback to come as a surprise. Getting regular feedback reduces and/or eliminates the element of surprise.

Secondly, employees want feedback from their colleagues. Let’s face it, most of the time, employees work directly with peers on projects and teams than with their immediate supervisor. This isn’t the supervisor’s fault. It’s the way work is designed. That creates a situation where employees depend on each other for feedback. Employees can help and support each other before a performance shortcoming is noticed by a manager.

The Benefit of Employee 360 Reviews

An employee 360 review is the same concept as a manager 360. The employee receives feedback from their constituents. In this case, it would be their direct supervisor and their co-workers. The intent of an employee 360 is the same too. Employees receive developmental feedback to improve their performance.

Because employees spend a lot of time with their co-workers, they could value the feedback just as much as the feedback they receive from their manager. Peers have first-hand knowledge of an employee’s strengths and weaknesses.

The 360 review also positions managers as coaches versus disciplinarians, which is great because “no news is good news” isn’t a feedback program. Keep in mind, if the only time employees receive feedback from their manager is when they do something wrong, they will not be looking forward to one-on-one meetings with management. And this stifles performance.

Employees Learn the Value of Coaching

There’s also an extra benefit to employee 360 reviews we don’t often talk about. It’s the value of coaching – from the employee perspective.

In a 360 review culture, employees not only get feedback, but they have to give it. Managers are accustomed to giving feedback as part of their responsibilities. Being a coach is typically a new responsibility for employees. Employees will need to receive proper training so they can deliver effective feedback to others. The training will not only put them at ease about the feedback they are giving, but the feedback they will receive (when it’s time for their 360 review.)

As employees become more proficient giving and receiving feedback, it can help with their own self-awareness and professional development. Employees are gaining exposure and experience communicating performance. Organizations might want to consider employees who are great delivering feedback for future opportunities.  

Feedback Drives Organizational Performance

Organizations perform better when everyone knows how to give and receive feedback. Not just when managers deliver good feedback. But when employees can give each other excellent feedback. This creates the foundation for high-performance that brings results to the bottom-line.

The first step is for organizations to encourage and support employee involvement in the feedback process. Then, train employees on the proper way to give and process feedback and encourage them to coach each other. The employee 360 review creates a continuous feedback loop with the help and support needed to create high performance.