A 360 review is a tool for gathering feedback for an individual (evaluee). It is done by interviewing people who work with the evaluee in different contexts or with different roles.
The ultimate goal is growth, and it is achieved by reflection.
360 reviews provide in-depth feedback for the evaluee so that they can reflect on how others perceive their work. It is usually the most extensive feedback that the evaluee receives in the year.
The 360 review is not a tool for determining raises or promotions. Its sole focus is on providing feedback.
The preparation consists of getting to know which areas the evaluee wants feedback in.
Be sure to:
- Set up a short interview 1 or 2 weeks in advance.
- Be clear about the intention of the meeting in the agenda.
- Make the evaluee prepare a list of questions.
During the interview, dig a bit deeper into the list:
- Why do they want to know that?
- Who do they want to hear from? The list could include a close client or a manager.
Is there anything that’s not on the list but may be interesting? Use your experience from other 360 reviews to suggest what the evaluee may want to know.
Conducting the interviews
Once we have the list, set up interviews with the people who work close to the evaluee. Invite them 1 or 2 weeks in advance and let them know some of the questions that you’ll be asking so that they can prepare mentally. Once the invite is sent, they’ll pay much more attention.
There is abundant material on the internet about how to conduct a good interview. Go and read it. The short version is that you must listen. Listen and go beyond the prepared questions with follow-up questions. Dig into juicy details. If pairing with them is “nice”, ask specifically what is “nice” about pairing with them.
Try to balance a good mix of positive and constructive feedback. Believe me; it is hard to get constructive feedback. The evaluee will appreciate enormously the effort that you are putting into getting to the bottom of the question: How can they keep improving?
Presenting the results
The results may be overwhelming to the evaluee. People are not used to receiving such an amount of feedback in a single session. Therefore, it is crucial to present it in a way that helps the absorption. A written format can be used together with an in-person meeting explaining the results. However, be extra cautious with the written form when giving feedback since it is easy to misinterpret.
When sharing the feedback, we should not disclose who gave it. Focus on situations, behaviors, and learning opportunities.
When and who
360 reviews are scheduled by upper management. The conductor and the evaluee are determined and scheduled on an ongoing basis. General guidelines are:
- Preparation interview: 25 minutes
- 3 to 6 colleges interview: 25 minutes each.
- Preparing the results 30 minutes.
- Presenting the results: 25 minutes (this is challenging).