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Strategically Develop a 360 Feedback Process

Maximize 360 feedback effectiveness through purposeful planning and implementation.

  • Poor feedback skills result in raters providing feedback that is vague and inaccurate and ratees being unable to interpret and respond to the feedback effectively.
  • Lack of follow through by ratees negates the purpose of the process, making the entire assessment a waste of time and resources.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

A 360 assessment is more than just a plug-and-play assessment. A clear definition of its purpose supported by a strategic roadmap is required to maximize the benefits to both employee development and organizational goals.

Impact and Result

  • Thoughtfully design and implement the 360 feedback process for developmental purposes to overcome common obstacles and realize employee and organizational benefits such as retention and engagement.
  • Evaluate if the organization has foundational elements in place and is culturally ready for a 360 review process to ensure they have a positive impact on employee development.
  • Provide sufficient training so that ratees and raters understand the purpose, their role, and how to provide and interpret relevant feedback.
  • Ensure ratees create an employee development plan, have the opportunity for targeted learning and development, and receive the support they need to address feedback.

Strategically Develop a 360 Feedback Process Research & Tools

2. Define scope and design the assessment

Determine criteria to participate, select competencies, cadence, and the process including accountabilities.

4. Interpret and use feedback effectively

Prepare to debrief on results and support development plans, then use the aggregate 360 report to analyze learning and development needs.


Strategically Develop a 360 Feedback Process

Maximize 360 feedback effectiveness through purposeful planning and implementation.

Executive Summary

McLean & Company Insight

A 360 feedback assessment is more than just a plug-and-play assessment. A clear definition of its purpose supported by a strategic roadmap is required to maximize the benefits to both employee development and organizational goals.

Situation

  • Employees work with many different people both inside and outside their organization, yet often only receive feedback from one person – their manager. Without a 360 feedback assessment, employees lack access to a holistic and valuable view of their behavior from multiple perspectives.
  • Some organizations use 360s for performance-based decisions, which often backfires, leading to negative consequences including a culture of mistrust, skewed feedback, and legal issues.

Complication

  • Poor feedback skills result in raters providing feedback that is vague and inaccurate and ratees being unable to interpret and respond to the feedback effectively.
  • Lack of follow-through by ratees negates the purpose of the process, making the entire assessment a waste of time and resources.

Solution

  • Thoughtfully design and implement the 360 feedback process for developmental purposes to overcome common obstacles and realize employee and organizational benefits such as retention and engagement.
  • Evaluate if the organization has foundational elements in place and is culturally ready for 360s to ensure they have a positive impact on employee development.
  • Provide sufficient training so ratees and raters understand the purpose, their role, and how to provide and interpret relevant feedback.
  • Ensure ratees create an employee development plan, have the opportunity for targeted learning and development, and receive the support they need to address feedback.

A 360 feedback assessment provides individuals with a holistic view of their behavior

360 Feedback Assessment

360 feedback is the process of aggregating multiple raters’ observations and perceptions of an employee’s proficiency in specific competencies and job expectations for developmental purposes. This is usually tracked over time by executing follow-up 360s, enabling more targeted individual development plans.

Other names: 360 feedback is also referred to as multi-rater feedback, multisource feedback, or multisource assessments.

360 Feedback
  • A formal, long-term process focusing on future development, often involving multiple 360s to track developmental progress.
  • For developmental purposes.
  • Feedback is on set competencies or behaviors.
  • Feedback is from multiple sources (internal or external) who can observe the competencies, including the ratee’s manager.
  • Feedback goes to the employee; the employee decides if the manager sees the feedback.

VS.

Crowdsourced Feedback (CSF)
  • An ad hoc survey, meeting, or email (one-off or ongoing), that is backward looking with immediate action.
  • Often used for performance reviews and recognition.
  • Feedback can be on anything; for example, job expectations, a project, or team goals.
  • Feedback from multiple sources (internal and external) except the ratee’s manager.
  • CSF always goes to an employee’s manager; the employee receiving the feedback is optional.

360 feedback often has the following elements:

Purpose defines the link to employee/leadership development and outlines the integration into other HR programs (e.g. high-potential program).

Participants normally involve an employee’s manager, direct reports, and peers as well as a self-evaluation. In some cases, 360 feedback can also come from internal or external clients of the employee or the skip-level manager.

Competencies reflect the role-specific knowledge, skills, and attributes that are most important to the success of the 360 participant. They are described by behavioral statements that are the foundation of the assessment questions.

However, when used incorrectly, 360 feedback assessments can do more harm than good

It's tempting to use 360s for performance-based decisions:

  • Performance appraisals and compensation decisions
    Managers don’t always have enough information to evaluate performance or to make informed compensation decisions.
  • Promotion and succession planning decisions
    Feedback from 360s can help make the case for promotion or succession plans with key stakeholders.
  • Program entry decisions
    Using 360 feedback can provide insight into whether an employee exhibits the required competencies to enter a program, for example, a high-potential program.

McLean & Company does not recommend 360s as inputs for performance-based decisions. This blueprint guides the implementation of 360 feedback for employee development purposes.

McLean & Company Insight

Using a 360 feedback assessment for performance-based decisions (e.g. compensation or promotions) is risky as it creates a culture of mistrust. It’s hard to rebuild a culture of trust once broken, impacting both the quality and sincerity of the feedback gathered.

Don’t use 360s for reasons other than development or face unintended consequences, such as:

  • Culture of mistrust
    Ratees are more likely to resist the 360 feedback process for fear of negative outcomes, rather than leveraging it. Raters are likely to avoid providing constructive criticism for fear of retaliation.
  • Legal issues
    There is potential for legal challenges if anonymous feedback is used to justify performance-related terminations or to withhold promotions.
  • Skewed feedback
    Ratees may overtly or unconsciously put pressure on raters to skew feedback, or raters may skew feedback to help or hinder the rated employee based on their relationship.
  • Survey fatigue
    A 360 feedback assessment is resource intensive, requiring a significant time commitment from both raters and ratees. Going through the assessment and then not getting the promotion, pay increase, etc., can be viewed as a waste of time for all involved. Without a clear benefit for both raters and ratees, the value of the assessment feedback is lost.

Neuroscience further emphasizes the risks of using 360 feedback for performance reasons

The SCARF model contains the main factors that can activate a reward or threat response in common workplace situations. 360 feedback used for performance-based decisions alone can trigger a threat response in participants.

  • STATUS – Social standing in relation to others Giving peers who are in direct competition with an employee the power to impact performance-based decisions decreases the employee’s sense of reputation and connection with their team.
  • CERTAINTY – Being able to predict what will happen next Uncertainty around how the feedback will impact the employee’s chances at increased compensation or promotion leads to fear and distrust of the process.
  • AUTONOMY – Sense of control over one’s environment Sending the assessment results straight to an employee’s manager without allowing the employee to decide whether or not they want to share them decreases their sense of agency.
  • RELATEDNESS – Being a part of a social group – friend or foe 360 feedback used for performance sets employees up to perceive managers, peers, and direct reports as foes: colleagues are there to judge you and impact your future at the organization. This can make it more difficult to collaborate effectively.
  • FAIRNESS – Perceived equity in treatment Giving colleagues such a large role in making performance-based decisions may be perceived as unfair. Personal relationships and biases may be seen as skewing the process. This decreases trust and empathy toward colleagues.
  • (Rock)

See McLean & Company’s Neuroscience and HR blueprint for more information about building neuro-friendly HR practices.

Using 360 feedback for developmental purposes reduces this threat response in participants.

Use 360 feedback to enable targeted employee development and realize organizational benefits

McLean & Company recommends using 360 feedback exclusively for employee development to:

  • Increase feedback integrity.
  • Prevent employee discomfort and mistrust.
  • Improve the effectiveness of targeted individual development.

360 feedback helps employees create a comprehensive development plan that:

  • Improves self-awareness: Uncovering multiple perspectives helps employees see where their self-perception differs from what others observe, helping to identify unknown strengths and opportunity areas.
  • Minimizes bias: Collecting feedback from a variety of diverse sources helps minimize bias that can be present from a single source.
  • Targets key behaviors: The assessment can be customized to the most relevant competencies and behaviors to ensure individuals are focusing their development on areas that are most important.

71% of employees who underwent the 360 Feedback process saw an increase in their average behavior ratings year over year, indicating the successful targeted development of key behaviors. (Source: McLean & Company 360 Feedback Database, 2018-2020; N=5,646)

360s used for development improve…

Retention

35% of new employees cite development opportunities as one of the most important factors in accepting a new position (Source: McLean & Company New Hire Database, 2020; N=33,138).

39% of employees leave organizations due to lack of career-related skills development (Source: McLean & Company Exit Database, 2020; N=22,224).

Thoughtfully implemented 360 feedback helps close this gap in employee expectations and increase retention.

Engagement

360 feedback supports key engagement drivers including:

  • Learning and development by providing employees with targeted feedback in key development areas.
  • Co-worker and manager relationships by providing a channel for peer-to-peer and upward feedback and supporting a feedback culture.
  • (McLean Engagement Report)

Overcome obstacles to establishing an effective process through thoughtful implementation

No tool to gather feedback

  • McLean & Company provides an easily customizable assessment tool that can be used in a self-service manner by HR, employees, and raters.
  • Prior to using the tool, ensure required elements are in place (e.g. competencies) and strategically plan the rest of the process to help achieve a smooth implementation.

Lack of employee buy-in

  • Assess the organization’s culture of trust and feedback maturity, to help predict and prepare for the general receptiveness of employees and build the communications and training to be used during implementation.
  • Clearly articulate the purpose of the 360 feedback assessment, reassure employees of its confidentiality, and reiterate the developmental purpose of the feedback to help gain buy-in.

Lack of feedback skills

49% of employees report they have withheld the truth when giving feedback because they felt uncomfortable.

17% of employees have left jobs after receiving negative feedback. (Source: Joblist, 2019; N=1,032)

  • Avoid the negative impacts of poor feedback skills with proper training on giving and receiving feedback using practical and tactical techniques.
  • Use McLean & Company’s training decks to train ratees and raters prior to assessment launch to ensure feedback is valuable and interpreted correctly.

No follow through

1 in 4 exiting employees cite lack of support from their manager as a contributing factor for them leaving (Source: McLean & Company Exit Database, 2020; N=22,224).

  • Often after feedback is collected, there is little follow through by the employee on their development due to a lack of support from their managers.
  • Tie the 360 feedback process to development planning and train managers to support and coach their direct reports for development. This is critical to ensuring employees act upon their results and feel supported.

Leverage McLean & Company’s assessment tool and strategic roadmap to avoid these obstacles.

Use McLean & Company’s 360 Feedback tool when conducting 360s

Multi-rater feedback provides employees with a holistic perspective on their behaviors in key competencies and empowers them to prioritize their development goals.

The McLean & Company 360 Feedback assessment provides an easy-to-use customizable solution to rate the essential competencies required to achieve organizational goals and remain competitive.

Leverage McLean & Company’s 360 Feedback for an easy-to-use and straightforward experience.

Sample of McLean & Company's '360 Feedback' assessment.

Why use our 360?

  • Configurable in multiple languages
  • Largely employee-driven to reduce burden on administration
  • Extremely customizable, economical, and scalable
  • Confidential feedback reports encourage candid responses
  • Obtain quantitative ratings and qualitative recommendations
  • Supported with best-practice research, templates, and tools.

Set a 360 feedback assessment up for success with a strategic roadmap for implementation

A strategic roadmap for implementation of a 360 feedback assessment. The steps from left to right are 'Lay Foundational Elements', 'Scope Process', 'Design Assessment', 'Communicate and Train', 'Launch Assessment', 'Debrief and Plan for Development', and 'Iterate Process'.

“The 360 Feedback process needs to be executed flawlessly. It can't be something that's done off the side of your desk – you need to be extremely planful in your approach.” (Simon Blunden, VP of People & Culture, GroupHEALTH Benefit Solutions)

McLean & Company Insight

A 360 feedback assessment is more than just a plug-and-play assessment. A clear definition of its purpose supported by a strategic roadmap is required to maximize the benefits to both employee development and organizational goals.

Follow McLean & Company’s four-step model to design a strategic 360 feedback process

1. Prepare for 360 feedback

2. Define scope and design the assessment

3. Plan for assessment launch

4. Interpret and use feedback effectively

Step 1

Prepare for 360 feedback

1. Prepare for 360 feedback

2. Define scope and design the assessment
3. Plan for assessment launch4. Interpret and use feedback effectively

After completing this step you will have:

  • Confirmed foundational elements are in place.
  • Defined the purpose of the 360 feedback assessment.

Confirm foundational elements are in place before moving forward

Use tab 2 of McLean & Company’s 360 Feedback Process Workbook to complete a current state assessment of each of these elements in the following slides.

  • Competencies
    Competencies are the building blocks of the questions within the 360 feedback assessment. Employee behavior cannot be assessed in a 360 feedback assessment without them.
  • Feedback maturity
    Feedback maturity impacts raters’ readiness to give feedback that is constructive and valuable and the ratee’s ability to receive and act on the feedback effectively.
  • Culture of trust
    The level of trust employees have in the organization, the 360 feedback process, and each other dictates their willingness to give honest and accurate feedback.

Ensure competencies exist and are well-defined to support the success of 360 feedback

What are competencies?

  • Competencies encompass the knowledge, skills, and attributes that define the behaviors an employee must exhibit to perform well in their job.
  • Competency frameworks define the critical behaviors for all roles within an organization and consist of core, leadership, and functional competencies.

Why use competencies in 360 feedback assessments?

  • To provide focus on required behaviors and create insights into individual strengths and opportunities for development against these behaviors.
  • To help ensure objectivity and consistency across raters and provide better data reliability.
  • To target feedback against a role-specific level of competency proficiency both quantitatively, through a numeric rating, and qualitatively, through open-ended questions aimed at recommendations for improvement.
  • To ensure feedback and subsequent development is targeted at behaviors, not just skills or knowledge.

Complete the relevant checklist questions in tab 2 of the 360 Feedback Process Workbook to help determine readiness.

Every competency has three main parts:

  • Title: A word or phrase that sums up the competency (e.g. “Customer Focus”).
  • Short descriptor: A brief description that sets the general scope or boundaries of the competency, including key concepts (e.g. “Considers, prioritizes, and takes action on the needs of both internal and external customers.”).
  • Proficiency levels: Detailed statements describing what a competency looks like when it is performed by a person on the job. They describe observable behaviors or “behavior indicators.” Each proficiency level can be mapped to a role. For example, for Customer Focus, an entry-level employee may be expected to demonstrate Level 1 proficiency while an executive is expected to demonstrate Level 4 proficiency.

Caution: Do not continue if you do not have competencies.
They are critical to the design of the 360 feedback assessment. Each question in the assessment is built from a behavior-based proficiency statement and employees are rated on their demonstration of these behaviors. Ensure employees are familiar with the competencies they are being rated on to prevent any surprises and negative reactions from ratees.

Leverage your existing competency framework or use McLean & Company’s blueprint Develop a Comprehensive Competency Framework and associated pre-written competencies to create one.

Examine the organization’s feedback maturity and evaluate readiness

Why is feedback maturity important for 360 feedback assessments?
Maturity, openness, and skill in giving and receiving individual feedback at all levels makes for a more robust 360 feedback process. If employees are less skilled in or unaccustomed to giving and receiving feedback, the feedback given may not be valuable or ratees may react defensively and reject the data.

Review past 360 implementations (if applicable)

If 360s were previously implemented, evaluate their success and identify obstacles. Ask:

  • How were they received by ratees and raters?
  • What was the average completion rate?
  • Did raters provide valuable feedback?
  • Did ratees act on the feedback received?
  • What was it used for (e.g. performance, development)?
Assess existing feedback loops

Ask:

  • Are 1:1s occurring regularly?
  • Is feedback given in multiple directions (top-down, bottom-up, across)?
  • Is crowdsourced feedback currently used (e.g. after project completion or for recognition)?
  • Is feedback collected in other forms?
Analyze engagement survey data

If using McLean & Company’s Engagement Survey, look at scores for the following questions:

  • My manager provides me with high-quality feedback.
  • The executive leadership team acts on employee feedback.
  • My department’s executive leader acts on employee feedback.
  • I am encouraged to pursue career development activities.

If the above data suggests the organization has a mature feedback culture, proceed freely. If the data suggests there is room to improve the feedback culture, continue to build this culture in tandem with the 360 rollout, paying special attention to the communication of the assessment and the training of ratees and raters.

Use McLean & Company’s Foster Effective Feedback Skills training to help build a feedback culture.

Document findings and complete the relevant checklist questions in tab 2 of the 360 Feedback Process Workbook.

McLean & Company Insight

Don't let the lack of a mature feedback culture prevent you from leveraging 360 feedback. Feedback skills can be taught with thoughtful training and regular practice.

Assess organizational trust to identify obstacles to honest feedback

Why is a culture of trust important for 360 feedback?

The likelihood of active, honest participation increases when ratees and raters trust that the feedback will be confidential and will not have negative consequences. If raters are afraid of retribution from the ratee or are cynical about how or whether the data will be actioned, the chance of honest feedback is greatly reduced.

What elements contribute to organizational trust?

  • Employees feel a sense of psychological safety with their peers, direct manager, and senior managers.
  • Constructive feedback (useful opinions and advice that can be leveraged to improve proficiency) is given and well-received by everyone.
  • Giving constructive feedback is valued by employees at all levels.

Evaluate these elements by reviewing engagement and exit data

If using McLean & Company’s Engagement Survey, review scores for the following questions:

  • I trust my manager
  • I trust the members of the executive leadership team
  • I trust my department’s executive leader
  • My manager provides me with high-quality feedback

If using McLean & Company’s Exit Survey, review scores for:

  • Lack of trust in the executive leadership team
  • Trust in my manager
  • Feedback from my manager

If this foundational element could be improved, use McLean & Company’s Equip Managers to Lead Through Informed Trust and Accountability training deck to continue to build a culture of trust as the 360 process is developed.

Document findings and complete the relevant checklist questions in tab 2 of the 360 Feedback Process Workbook to confirm how to proceed.

Even if there isn't a culture of trust organization-wide, there may be specific groups or departments that have a culture conducive to 360s. If this is the case, proceed with the specific group or department instead.

Define the purpose of the 360 feedback assessment and confirm with process sponsor(s)

McLean & Company recommends using 360 feedback for development purposes only. Within the overarching purpose for development, determine what specific aspects are in scope.

What HR programs will it be integrated with or inform? For example:
  • Leadership development program
  • Executive coaching
  • High-potential program
  • Ad hoc employee development
How will the feedback be used?
  • By employees for creating development plans to excel in their current role
  • By employees for creating development plans to grow into a future role
  • By HR to identify trends and opportunities for new development programs
Will the aggregated data report offered by McLean & Company be leveraged?
  • If feedback is only for use by individual employees, this is not necessary.
  • Data aggregation of all reports is necessary to:
    • Identify general trends in strengths and opportunities among ratees.
    • Inform the creation of new programs to meet common developmental needs among the ratee group.
    • Inform the creation of new initiatives within existing programs (e.g. adding new training to a leadership development program).

Meet with the executive sponsor(s) and relevant HR program owners before creating the process. Communicate the following to gain their buy-in:

  • Introduce the what and why of the 360 feedback assessment.
  • Highlight how 360 feedback will help achieve organizational goals.
  • Clarify the purpose and how the data will be used. Reinforce that this is being used for development purposes only.
  • Explain how robust development plans will ensure results are acted upon.
  • Emphasize the importance of confidentiality in the process to maintain trust with participants and preserve the integrity of the assessment.
  • Ensure senior leadership knows their role as sponsors of the 360 feedback assessment.
  • Ensure that leadership is committed to ongoing development before proceeding with 360 feedback assessment design and implementation.
  • Gather information, where possible, to inform scope in Step 2 (e.g. organizational capacity for this process).

Document the finalized purpose in tab 3 of the 360 Feedback Process Workbook.

Step 2

Define scope and design the assessment

1. Prepare for 360 feedback

2. Define scope and design the assessment

3. Plan for assessment launch4. Interpret and use feedback effectively

After completing this step you will have:

  • Determined a target population for the 360 feedback process and outlined criteria to participate.
  • Selected the competencies and proficiency levels for each ratee group that will be administered in the assessment.
  • Determined the cadence and frequency of the assessment.
  • Outlined the rater selection and approval process.
  • Scoped the role of the debriefer and coach.
  • Clarified stakeholder accountabilities.
  • Designed the 360 feedback assessment.
  • Set goals and metrics that are linked to the purpose.

Determine target population and criteria for participation

Implementing an effective 360 feedback process takes significant effort − focus on the leadership team and key employees.

Select participants for the 360 feedback process:

  • Leaders set the tone for the organization. Going through a 360 feedback process heightens their awareness of the required competencies for their role and how they are perceived against those competencies by different rater groups. For new processes, start with a small pilot group of leaders to test effectiveness.
  • Key non-management employees may be included in the 360 feedback process as part of a development program (e.g. high-potential employees).
  • Employees who are interested in 360 feedback for their individual development purposes and their manager and/or HR determine it is needed and resources allow.
  • Note: There may be multiple ratee groups.

Optional: Select a pilot segment

Pilot the 360 feedback assessment if organizational readiness isn’t where it needs to be or there is a need to test the process before rolling it out to all participants (e.g. new to the 360 process).

From the identified participants for the 360 feedback process, select a segment such as department/function, job family, role, business unit, or location. For example, a pilot segment could be all senior leaders.

Outline criteria to participate

  • Time in role
    McLean & Company recommends that an employee has been in their role for at least six months before participating, to ensure meaningful feedback can be given.
  • Interest in participating
    360 feedback is best received by those who want to participate. While some programs may encourage participation (e.g. management development), no one should be forced to participate.
  • Minimum number of working relationships
    Employees who work in relative isolation or who don’t have regular working interactions with at least three individuals in each of the rater groups should not participate. Otherwise, the value of 360 feedback will be diminished.
  • Ad hoc scenarios
    Outline additional scenarios for participation that don’t fall under the other criteria. For example, only allow employees outside of identified participant groups to request the 360 if their manager or HR nominates them.

Record target population and criteria to participate in tab 3 of the 360 Feedback Process Workbook.

Select competencies that will be used to collect feedback to achieve the purpose

  1. Select competencies For each ratee group that will be assessed. Leverage your competency framework or McLean & Company’s competencies to select the relevant competencies for each ratee group being assessed. As a rule of thumb, do not assess the ratee on all the competencies in the framework (minimum 3, maximum 8). Focus only on the ones that the organization wants to be developed, that fulfill the purpose from Step 1, to avoid survey fatigue.
    • Furthermore, for each competency include 3-5 behavior statements. If there are more than eight competencies, minimize survey fatigue by minimizing the number of behavior statements.
  2. Confirm competencies Get sign-off from senior leadership. Get sign-off from senior leadership on the list of competencies to be assessed.
    • Ensure senior leadership is aware of what exactly is being evaluated and how the competencies link back to the purpose of the 360 feedback process.
  3. Record competencies and proficiency levels for each ratee group in tab 3 of the 360 Feedback Process Workbook.

  4. Select proficiency levels For each ratee group that will be assessed. Once the competencies are confirmed, depending on the purpose, determine whether the ratee will be evaluated against their current or target role (e.g. 360 for current role development vs. 360 for a high-potential program). Work with the department leads and/or program owners to select the appropriate target proficiency level for each role:
    Proficiency level Competency Behavior Description
    Level 1 Baseline behaviors
    Level 2 Practical application of the behaviors
    Level 3 Role models, coaches, and influences demonstration of the behaviors
    Level 4 Envisions and innovates the next generation of the behaviors

McLean & Company Insight

The problem with including too many competencies is two-fold: the raters will be overwhelmed and ratees won’t be able to target development. Narrow the focus to the competencies that are most instrumental to an employee’s success in their role or future role and that drive organizational outcomes.

Determine the cadence and frequency at which the assessment will be administered

Determine cadence

Administration timing: Select a time or timeline during which the assessment will be administered. Timing will be informed by organizational context and cadence. For example, do not administer the assessment when:

  • Large volumes of new staff have been hired or promotions have recently occurred.
  • A major reorganization has occurred and the culture is unstable.
  • It’s performance review time. Avoid any association of the 360 assessment with performance-based decisions.

Administration format: Select the format that minimizes the risk of survey fatigue and aligns with the purpose and the capacity available to administer the assessment. For example, the number of 360s in circulation will impact survey fatigue, so if a rater has to complete three 360s in two weeks there’s the risk of diluting the quality of the feedback or not completing the assessment at all.

  • Cohort-based: Administer the assessment in waves based on cohorts. When possible, start with a pilot. For example, administer the assessment for a pilot of senior leaders and then three months later administer the assessment for another cohort (e.g. managers), and so on.
    • Use this format if there is consistency in the purpose for multiple groups of individuals (e.g. if the assessment will be used to inform the development of a group of high-potentials or executive leaders).
  • Individual: Administer the assessment in waves, administering for one individual at a time.
    • Use this format if there are multiple individuals who have the same raters and survey fatigue for those raters is the primary concern.
  • All-together: Administer the assessment all at once.
    • Use this format if there is only a small group of ratees receiving the assessment and a diverse set of raters, where survey fatigue won’t be an issue.

Determine frequency

Each organization is unique and the organizational context, capacity, and purpose inform the frequency of administration. For example, if the purpose is for a high-potential program, administer the 360 at the beginning and end of the program to measure development progress.

In general, administering the assessment should not be a one-off. To get the most value from the assessment, administer it at least twice to be able to compare changes in behavior.

McLean & Company recommends administering the 360 every 12-18 months. This gives the recipient enough time to act upon feedback and see the impact of their development.

Record the assessment administration timeline, format, and frequency in tab 4 of the 360 Feedback Process Workbook.

Outline the rater selection and approval process

Selection criteria

Have ratees choose their own raters, as they know who will be best suited to provide feedback. Provide criteria to help them determine potential raters.

Use criteria to help ensure the 360 feedback assessment is sent to a diverse rater group in terms of role, seniority, and identity characteristics, confirming feedback represents diverse perspectives.

Sample criteria
  • The rater must interact with the employee frequently enough (or they have worked together long enough) to be able to provide a meaningful assessment. Sometimes an entire rater group (e.g. peers) may not fit this criteria, so they should not be included as it will create confusion for them.
  • The rater is a credible source of information and they’ve spent enough time (minimum six months) with the employee to accurately assess them.
  • Each category of rater includes individuals who have had both positive and challenging relationships with the employee, so ratings are not skewed either positively or negatively.
  • The rater is available to participate and is not already involved in multiple other 360s.

Target number

Establish a target number of raters (ideally10-20) to ensure that data collection is manageable while increasing the likelihood of meeting the raters per category threshold.

  • Invite a minimum (4) raters per category, who aren’t the direct supervisor/manger, to guarantee confidentiality and the ability to view each category within the report.

Approval process

Determine who will sign off (e.g. manager or HRBP) on the rater list compiled by the employee, to ensure diverse perspectives are being captured.

  • It is critical that the 360 feedback assessment administrator ensures no rater receives more than 3-4 requests for feedback at any one time to avoid survey fatigue.
  • While raters should be highly encouraged to participate, only the direct manager is mandated to do so. Otherwise, there is a higher risk of insincere or invaluable feedback due to raters who are still suspicious of the process or just don’t have the time to invest in providing constructive feedback.

Document selection criteria, target number of raters, and the approval process in tab 4 of 360 Feedback Process Workbook.

Scope the role of the debriefer and coach

Outline the debriefer and coach roles in tab 4 of the 360 Feedback Process Workbook.

Use McLean & Company’s 360 Feedback Debrief Guide to provide debriefers with the resources they need to conduct the debriefs.

Debriefer role

Acts as an impartial third-party facilitator who guides the ratee’s understanding of the report and helps them develop a realistic perception of the feedback and identify specific development areas.

Select a debriefer

Avoid using debriefers who are the ratee’s manager or a rater, if possible. Often HR or an external vendor (e.g. McLean & Company) will conduct the debriefs.

Outline expectations

Typical debriefer expectations include attending training on debriefing, debriefing the results, and in some cases working with the ratee to interpret the results and identify themes.

Identify training needs:

Based on the debriefer’s ability and capacity, identify training needs. If debriefs are being done internally, plan to train the debriefer before the assessment closes.

Coach role

Acts as a facilitator for the ratee’s development, helps them identify development themes and build their development plan, and coaches the ratee to achieve their plan.

Select a coach

Depending on available resources, this could be a coach within the organization, the ratee’s manager, or an external coaching service.

Outline expectations

Typical coaching expectations include attending training on coaching, helping the ratee interpret their results and identify themes for development, building a development plan, and ongoing coaching.

Identify training needs:

Based on the coach’s ability and capacity, identify training needs and schedule training with enough time to begin coaching post-assessment.

Clarify stakeholder roles and accountabilities

Determine each stakeholder’s involvement in the process. Stakeholder accountabilities will vary based on capacity, ability, resources, and relationship with the ratee. For example, the debriefer should be a third-party facilitator (e.g. HR or external vendor) who doesn’t have any conflict of interest (e.g. close working relationship or involvement as a rater).

McLean & Company offers:

  • Assessment scope and set-up
  • Launch logistics
  • Debriefing
  • Leadership development programs
  • Training for raters and ratees

Sample responsibilities

  • HR
    Owns 360 process creation and is responsible for process design, iteration, and rollout, including training, debriefing, employee development, and communications.
  • HR business partners
    Facilitates the 360 feedback process, approval of raters, debriefing (if they are not a rater), development planning, and communications.
  • Managers
    Attends a quick training on rating and facilitates coaching and development conversations as required.
  • Senior leadership
    Attends a quick training on the process and champions the 360 feedback process and its purpose.
  • Ratee
    Attends a quick training on being a ratee, receives feedback, owns their development, and schedules coaching sessions with their manager.
  • Rater
    Attends a quick training on being a rater and provides honest and valuable feedback on the ratee.

Record stakeholder roles and accountabilities in tab 4 of the 360 Feedback Process Workbook.

Set up the assessment

Use all the decisions in this step and slides 2-4 in the 360 Feedback Assessment User Guide to set up McLean & Company’s 360 Feedback tool.

Sample of the '360 Feedback Assessment User Guide' blueprint.

Work directly with a McLean & Company analyst for a demonstration of the system and how to customize settings to meet the unique needs of your organization.

Set goals and metrics that are linked to the purpose

Align goals with the 360 purpose and decision points in Step 2 by answering the following questions:

  • How will a 360 feedback process benefit our organization? What needs is the 360 feedback assessment filling?
  • What specific challenges can we address or organizational goals can we meet with the 360 feedback process?
  • What value does a 360 feedback process provide to our employees?
  • What does a successful 360 feedback process look like?

Share goals and metrics with senior leadership.

Track metrics related to the 360 goals to measure success and identify areas requiring improvement.

Sample goals Sample metrics
Improve leadership pipeline by increasing internal management promotions by 15% within five years
  • Higher ratings in leadership competencies
  • Percent of development goals achieved
  • Leadership development program completion rate
  • Promotion rate of 360 ratees
Foster a feedback culture by increasing number of coaching conversations by 10% by Q4
  • Number of reported coaching conversations
  • Percentage of employees who have received training and development on coaching and feedback skills
  • Number of created and completed individual development plans
Increase inclusivity at the organization within three years
  • Change in 360 ratings of inclusion competency year over year
  • Engagement scores on inclusion survey questions, including factors such as differences being valued and a sense of belonging
  • Exit survey results
Reduce total employment costs within two years.
  • Cost per leadership hire
  • Cost of turnover
  • Total employment costs

there's an existing DEI strategy. Be intentional about adding DEI goals and metrics, otherwise it risks being perceived by employees as a "token" goal, as there aren't any DEI initiatives to support these goals.

Document goals and metrics in tab 5 of the 360 Feedback Process Workbook.

Step 3

Plan for assessment launch

1. Prepare for 360 feedback2. Define scope and design the assessment

3. Plan for assessment launch

4. Interpret and use feedback effectively

After completing this step you will have:

  • Planned high-level communications.
  • Determined logistics for training.
  • Delivered ratee and rater training.
  • Launched the assessment.

Share the purpose and general principles of the 360 feedback process with ratees and raters

Key principles to communicate

Purpose

Communicate the reason the assessment was initiated and reiterate the purpose is for development. Refer back to the purpose on tab 3 of the 360 Feedback Process Workbook to frame communications.

Reinforce this is specifically for development and will not impact any performance-based decisions. Raters are more likely to give honest feedback and ratees will be more receptive to feedback if they believe it will not directly affect employee rewards or performance ratings.

Highlight the organization’s commitment to development by explaining how follow-up will be conducted and what supports will be available (e.g. coaching). When employees can see how development will be supported, they are more likely to buy into the intention of the process.

Confidentiality

Ensure employees know feedback will be compiled by a third party and kept confidential. If there are fewer than three raters per category, results will be grouped into the other category (with the exception of the manager category).

“What’s in it for me”

Ratees: valuable, actionable, and robust developmental feedback from multiple sources.

Raters: a new feedback channel that provides a safe space to give feedback to colleagues. This is especially beneficial for sideways or upward feedback that can otherwise be difficult to give.

High-level rollout plan

  • Share the purpose of the 360 with ratees and raters through a meeting or email introducing the process. Have the executive or department lead sponsor introduce the process.
  • If the 360 feedback assessment is part of a larger development effort that has separate training sessions scheduled, integrate 360 training into a relevant session.
  • Host training sessions for raters and ratees using the advice and resources in this step. Creating a short webinar allows employees to listen and learn on their own time.
  • Ensure employees know they have an HR contact to follow up with if they have any questions.

Use McLean & Company’s Internal Communications Plan to help plan communications.

McLean & Company Insight

Weave the purpose of the 360 feedback assessment throughout all communications. Emphasizing the developmental focus as much as possible will help gain buy-in and ensure feedback is useful and honest.

Determine training logistics for ratees and raters

Who

Who will facilitate the training?
  • Internal: Look internally for a facilitator with experience and skill in delivering training.
  • External: Don’t have the staff or time to facilitate the training internally? Contact your McLean & Company account manager to find out how we can facilitate for you.
Who will participate in the training?
  • Train all raters and ratees on their respective roles in the 360 feedback process.
  • Hold separate training sessions for ratees and raters, ideally with no more than 30 people per session.
    • Ensure selected raters have been informed of their upcoming involvement in this process (either by HR or the ratee) prior to reaching out about training.

When

When will the training be held?
  • Facilitate training sessions 1-2 weeks in advance of the assessment launch.
  • If employees are assigned to sessions based on seniority, train the most senior employees first.
  • If the assessment is being administered in waves, determine whether to align training with assessment cadence or facilitate training all at once at initial assessment launch.
    • Do not provide training too far in advance. If assessment waves are several months apart, it is better to align training to the waves so it is top of mind for participants.

How

How will this training be provided?
  • Classroom training: Live sessions (virtual or in-person) allow for more interaction but are more resource intensive.
  • Webinar: Pre-recorded sessions give participants flexibility in their schedules and require fewer facilitation resources. However, it is critical to ensure there is still a communication channel for participants to ask questions.

Record decisions in tab 6 of the 360 Feedback Process Workbook.

McLean & Company Insight

Maximize the quality of the data collected by training raters on giving feedback and ratees on receiving it. The more accurate, honest, and specific the feedback, the more benefit it will provide.

Train ratees on key aspects of the 360 feedback process

Approaching raters

How an employee approaches their raters can set the tone for the entire 360 feedback process.
  • Explain to employees that a personal approach, asking the rater for their time and feedback, will likely gain more participation and commitment than if the initial request is simply sent via the online tool.
  • The employee must close the loop at the end of the process to thank the rater for their feedback and depending on the culture of the organization, even share a high-level development plan or next steps.

Provide employees with an email template (see Appendix I) to get them started on approaching raters for feedback.

Receiving feedback

The way an employee receives feedback is integral to how effectively they use it. Employees must be open to feedback for the 360 assessment to be impactful.
  • Reiterate that 360 feedback is for employees’ personal and professional development and all feedback is useful for identifying areas for improvement.
  • Emphasize that identifying strengths to leverage is just as important as uncovering opportunity areas.
  • Prepare them for feedback by emphasizing that the anonymous approach may reveal some surprises, but most feedback will be in line with what the employee already suspects about themselves.
  • Reiterate the importance of not trying to investigate who said what to maintain rater anonymity.
  • Let employees know it’s okay to disagree with feedback, but remind them there is value in understanding how others they work with perceive them. Ultimately, it is their choice what to focus on and what to dismiss.

Sample of the 'Training Deck: Train Ratees on the 360 Feedback Process' blueprint.

Use the Training Deck: Train Ratees on the 360 Feedback Process for those receiving feedback.

This training deck will help ratees understand:

  • The benefits of 360 feedback
  • How to select raters
  • How to ask for feedback
  • How to use the assessment tool
  • Closing the loop with raters

Train raters on providing practical and accurate feedback

Ratings

Competencies

Familiarize raters with the descriptions for each competency and review proficiency levels.

  • Behaviorally anchored descriptions or examples for each proficiency level will assist raters in making accurate assessments.
Rating scale
  • Review the rating scale with raters to ensure everyone is using it similarly.
  • The target proficiency level for each role will be pre-populated in the tool. Each rater will rate the extent they have consistently observed the behavior from the ratee.

Comments

The purpose behind gathering feedback is to improve competencies. Numerical ratings are useful, but specific recommendations help the employee take their development plan to the next level.

Instruct raters to word comments carefully to help employees understand the ratings and gain a clear picture of how to improve. Advise ratees to:

  • Detail what should be done and why it is important using direct, non-judgmental language.
  • Be specific. Link comments and recommendations to individual behaviors.
  • Be balanced. Provide recommendations on how to leverage strengths and how to improve in opportunity areas.

Be upfront with raters that the recommendations and answers to open-ended questions will be compiled verbatim.

Sample of the 'Training Deck: Train Raters on the 360 Feedback Process' blueprint.

Use the Training Deck: Train Raters on the 360 Feedback Process for those receiving feedback.

This training deck will help raters understand:

  • The benefits of 360 feedback
  • How to give useful feedback
  • Common rating biases and how to minimize them
  • How to use the assessment tool

Provide raters with a copy of the deck (or key slides) after the training session, to refer back to when they complete the assessment.

Educate ratees and raters about biases to mitigate their impact on giving feedback

Biases create skewed feedback reports and self-assessments

  • Halo/Horns Effect
    Occurs when an employee performs particularly well (or poorly) in one area and is rated or rates themselves correspondingly high or low in all other areas.
  • Leniency Effect
    Occurs when a rater wants to avoid being negative or fears repercussions, so they score employees or themself higher than is accurate.
  • Personal Bias
    The more characteristics a rater shares with an employee, such as age, gender, and work values, the more favorably the rater will tend to assess that employee’s behavior.
    Some individuals tend to perceive their own behavior overly positively while others tend to be harsher on themselves and may rate themselves overly negatively.
  • Purpose Effect
    Occurs when the rater believes a specific rating will lead to a desired outcome, positive or negative, for the employee or will help avoid an undesired negative outcome for themself.
  • Recency Effect
    Occurs when a rater weighs recent behavior too heavily, as opposed to assessing the average behavior over the entire evaluation period.

See the Biases and Heuristics Catalog for more information.

Providing education on these biases may help individuals improve their awareness of their own biases but will not eliminate bias on its own. Help mitigate the impact of bias through training on competencies, proficiency levels, and the rating scale being used to keep the process as objective as possible.

Use the Train Ratees and Train Raters on the 360 Feedback Process training decks to mitigate bias.

Launch the assessment

Use slides 5-6 of the 360 Feedback Assessment User Guide to launch the assessment and collect feedback.

  • Invite users to participate in the 360 Feedback assessment.
  • Allow raters two weeks to complete their feedback reviews.
  • Instruct ratees to send out a reminder email to raters a few days before the assessment closes.
  • If is an insufficient number of responses (less than 3 per rater group) or the manager has not responded by the deadline, wait to close the assessment and have the rater send out another reminder email.

Note: Be sure to make any necessary changes to the organization’s firewall or anti-spam filters to ensure these invitations reach their intended recipients and allow them to access the website. Include the following addresses as safe sender: survey@mcleanco.com and donotreply@mcleanco.com.

Step 4

Interpret and use feedback effectively

1. Prepare for 360 feedback2. Define scope and design the assessment
3. Plan for assessment launch

4. Interpret and use feedback effectively

After completing this step you will have:

  • Prepared to conduct results debriefing.
  • Helped facilitate the interpretation of results and creation of development plans.
  • Planned for ongoing coaching.
  • Ensured raters are acknowledged for their feedback.
  • Used the aggregate 360 Feedback report to contribute to the learning and development needs analysis.
  • Reviewed the process and iterated.

Prepare to conduct results debriefing

Confirm the debriefers

McLean & Company highly recommends the debriefing of results, as it impacts the effectiveness of employee development. Without the support and guidance of a debriefer, results can be misinterpreted and skewed by biases. Refer to stakeholder accountabilities for who is going to be responsible for the debriefings (McLean & Company, HRBPs, etc.) to determine how best to support them. Identify specific people as debriefers and confirm their ability to participate in the process.

Determine results sharing and debrief timeline

When will the debrief occur?

Establish how long after the assessment is closed that the ratees will receive their debrief. Ensure there is enough time for debriefers to be trained and to prepare for the debriefs, ideally before assessment launch.

Will results be shared pre-debrief or during the debrief?

McLean & Company recommends if the results are shared pre-debrief, share them only one day in advance to avoid rumination without guidance.

Record results sharing and debrief timeline in tab 6 of the 360 Feedback Process Workbook.

Prepare training on debriefs, if done internally

Use McLean & Company’s 360 Feedback Debrief Guide to provide debriefers with the resources they need to conduct the debriefs.

Sample of the '360 Feedback Debrief Guide'.

This guide includes advice on:
  • How to prepare for the debrief
    • Provides debriefers with the process and what to prepare before the debrief.
  • How to conduct the debrief
    • Outlines the debrief process and key points to focus on.
    • Indicates common pitfalls and tips to help keep employees on track and open to feedback.
  • How to plan for next steps
    • Outlines clear next steps: will there be coaching, what is HR’s role, what are the expectations of the ratee, and what are the timelines.

Facilitate the interpretation of feedback and creation of a development plan

The value and impact of 360s is contingent on how effectively ratees follow through on the feedback given. Providing the resources and training necessary for interpretating feedback empowers ratees to own and act on their results and subsequent development.

McLean & Company Insight

Post-debrief, allow ratees to own feedback and determine what to share and how to share it with their manager. This is key to ratees being more receptive to feedback.

Support ratees as they interpret the results and create a development plan:

Interpreting results

Ratees will:

  • Determine strengths.
  • Determine opportunity areas.
  • Pinpoint differences in perceptions amongst rater groups.

The debriefer or coach, in a one-on-one or small group session, assists the ratee with interpreting their feedback and identifying key development themes.

Creating a development plan

Hold ratees accountable for using feedback to create and implement a development plan by sharing feedback themes with their manager. See the next slide for more on ongoing coaching.

Ratees will:

  • Review areas of strength and opportunity.
  • Create development goals to achieve within a set time frame.
  • Select development methods to achieve development goals.
  • Outline manager support requirements.

Use McLean & Company’s 360 Feedback Interpretation and Development Plan Job Aid and Worksheet to support ratees as they go through this process.

Customize McLean & Company’s 360 Feedback Interpretation and Development Plan Job Aid for ratees to use.

Sample of the '360 Feedback Interpretation and Development Plan Job Aid' blueprint.

This job aid includes:
  • How to interpret results
  • How to use results to create a development plan
  • How to plan for next steps

Plan for ongoing coaching

Coaching is key to supporting the 360 process.

It enables ratees to see the full picture of their feedback and offers the support needed to realize their development plans. It also holds ratees accountable for their development with frequent coaching meetings and managers accountable for supporting the ratee (if applicable).

Record coaching expectations, frequency, and cadence in tab 6 of the 360 Feedback Process Workbook.

“Feedback is wasted unless people can see how to use it. ” (Tosti & Addison)

Refer to stakeholder accountabilities in Step 2 and work with either the appointed coach or manager to prepare for ongoing coaching.

Set expectations
  • What does coaching involve? What ongoing support does the ratee need and how will this differ from a manager’s regular expectations, if applicable?
  • Who is accountable for booking coaching meetings?
  • For example, the employee and their manager, if applicable, build in regular touch points to discuss the progress of the development plan as part of their regular 1:1s.
Set frequency and cadence
  • How often should ratees meet with coaches?
  • When do the meetings occur (e.g. aligning coaching meetings with upcoming opportunities to demonstrate development)?
Plan for training
  • Do coaches have the capability to effectively coach ratees? If not, plan for training.
  • What tools and resources are available to support coaching?

Use McLean & Company’s Train Managers to Coach Employees for High Performance and Development to equip managers with coaching skills.

Ensure raters are acknowledged for their feedback

McLean & Company recommends closing the loop with all raters, especially direct reports, to thank them for their feedback.

Decide on the level of transparency for acknowledgement and empower employees to close the loop with raters.

  • Thank raters for their feedback. Additionally, ratees can choose to share feedback themes or their development plan.
  • Transparency can increase as comfort level with the process increases.

Acknowledgement

Use when:
  • The process is run for the first time.
  • Employees are reluctant to share their feedback and development plans.
  • Culture of trust is lower.
Example:

A manager sent an email thanking their raters after receiving their first 360 report, despite receiving challenging feedback.

For rater appreciation email templates, see Appendix II.

Acknowledgement and follow-up on development

Increased transparency helps to hold the ratee accountable to their development plan and receive ongoing feedback to help attain their goals.

Some employees will find asking specific rater groups for additional feedback difficult, depending on their relationships with the raters and level of trust.

Use when:
  • The process is well entrenched.
  • Employees are comfortable sharing feedback and development plans.
  • Culture of trust is very high.
Example:

A CEO posted his feedback report online for the entire organization to see.

McLean & Company Insight

Acknowledging raters for their feedback isn’t enough to show them their feedback is valuable. Go beyond words, demonstrate action through development and transparency about the development plan.

“Despite other cultural differences, there seems to be no country in the world where co-workers think, ‘I love it when you ask me for my feedback and then ignore me.’” (Goldsmith & Morgan)

Use the aggregate report as an input to learning and development needs analysis

360s are about individual development, but there is an opportunity to identify development trends that could impact learning and development initiatives.

  • Reach out to your McLean & Company account manager to receive an aggregated 360 Feedback report (i.e. all individual results aggregated).
  • View gaps (highlighted in red) between overall self-ratings versus raters to uncover trends within the ratee group. In conjunction, review overall competencies scores within the organization to identify any low scoring areas that can be used to inform future learning and development initiatives.
  • See which competencies the ratees are consistently demonstrating or exceeding expectations (highlighted in green) to identify trends within the ratee group. Employees consistently demonstrating or exceeding in certain competencies can coach other employees struggling with those competencies.

Review the 360 process to assess effectiveness and iterate

Review the following::

Process:
  • Is the process achieving the purpose of the 360 assessment (e.g. identify focus development areas for leadership development program)?
  • Refer to goals and metrics from Step 2 to evaluate the effectiveness of the 360 process.
  • Reflect on whether the frequency and cadence aligned with rater and ratee capacity.
Training:
  • Reach out to ratees and raters for feedback on the training. Review the training and assess for thoroughness and any gaps that need to be filled.
Development:
  • Measure the effectiveness of development by monitoring the change in ratings of the identified 360 competencies year over year and other metrics set in Step 2.
  • Consult with ratees after completing the process to receive feedback on the development opportunities offered and gather suggestions for modifications.

Based on the evaluation above, iterate the process as needed to ensure the purpose is clear and being achieved.

McLean & Company Insight

360s are time and resource intensive; therefore, reviewing effectiveness is critical to understanding the return on investment. Looking at effectiveness in the context of the purpose will clearly highlight if the process is achieving its intended goals. If not, ensure iteration is happening to achieve the ROI.

Appendix I: Sample Rater Request Templates

Provide this email template to ratees to help them ask for feedback from their colleagues for their 360 feedback assessment.

Instruct ratees to use this template by replacing the text in dark grey with information customized to themself and their raters. When complete, delete all introductory or example text and convert all remaining text to black prior to distribution.

Dear [Rater],

As you are a key stakeholder of mine, I would like your input into my professional development.

Please take 20-30 minutes to provide your feedback into which competencies and behaviors I perform effectively and which ones I may need to work on. I want to assure you that I am open to all types of feedback and your candid participation is greatly appreciated.

The feedback is being collected by a third party and will be compiled anonymously. I will never see your specific ratings; however, your comments will be provided verbatim.

I look forward to your input into my development.

This assessment will be open until end of day [date].

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Appendix II: Sample Rater Appreciation Templates

Provide this email template to ratees to help them acknowledge and thank their colleagues for their feedback.

Instruct ratees to use this template by replacing the text in dark grey with information customized to themself and their raters. When complete, delete all introductory or example text and convert all remaining text to black prior to distribution.

Feedback acknowledgement template

Dear [Rater],

Thank you for providing me with feedback as part of the 360 feedback process. I appreciate the time and effort you took to complete the assessment and look forward to building on the strengths you have helped me identify and improving in my areas of opportunity.

Any additional feedback you have for me is greatly appreciated. Thanks again for your valuable input.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Feedback acknowledgment and follow-up template

Dear [Rater],

Thank you for providing me with feedback as part of the 360 feedback process. I appreciate the time and effort you took to complete the assessment and look forward to building on the strengths you have helped me identify:

  • Strength 1
  • Strength 2

In addition, I am committed to improving in my areas of opportunity:

  • Opportunity 1
  • Opportunity 2

Any additional feedback you have for me is greatly appreciated. Thanks again for your valuable input.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Key insights

Insight 1

A 360 feedback assessment is more than just a plug-and-play assessment. A clear definition of its purpose supported by a strategic roadmap is required to maximize the benefits to both employee development and organizational goals.

Insight 2

Using a 360 feedback assessment for performance-based decisions (e.g. compensation or promotions) is risky as it creates a culture of mistrust. It’s hard to rebuild a culture of trust once broken, impacting both the quality and sincerity of the feedback gathered.

Insight 3

Maximize the quality of the data collected by training raters on giving feedback and ratees on receiving it. The more accurate, honest, and specific the feedback, the more benefit it will provide.

Insight 4

Post-debrief, allow ratees to own feedback and determine what to share and how to share it with their manager. This is key to ratees being more receptive to feedback.

Insight 5

Acknowledging raters for their feedback isn’t enough to show them their feedback is valuable. Go beyond words, demonstrate action through development and transparency about the development plan.

Insight 6

360s are time and resource intensive; therefore, reviewing effectiveness is critical to understanding the return on investment. Looking at effectiveness in the context of the purpose will clearly highlight if the process is achieving its intended goals. If not, ensure iteration is happening to achieve the ROI.

Leverage Feedback to Drive Performance

Identify impactful initiatives using our diagnostic programs to collect feedback from employees, stakeholders, and the HR team.

Optimize the HR Department for Success

HR Stakeholder Management Survey
Align HR initiatives with business strategy and stakeholder needs.

HR Management & Governance
Improve HR’s core functions and drive project success.

Improve Employee Experience and HR Processes

Pandemic Engagement Pulse Check
Assess the effect of pandemic response plans on employee engagement.

New Hire Survey
Ensure recruiting and onboarding programs are effective by surveying new employees.

Employee Engagement
Move beyond measuring job satisfaction with a comprehensive view of engagement.

McLean Employee Experience Monitor
Evolve to leader-driven engagement with a real-time dashboard and results.

Employee Exit Survey
Understand why people leave the organization to proactively retain top talent.

360 Degree Feedback
Empower employees with a holistic view of their performance to prioritize development.

View our diagnostic programs for more information.

McLean & Company offers various levels of support to best suit your needs

DIY Toolkit

Guided Implementation

Workshop

Consulting

"Our team has already made this critical project a priority, and we have the time and capability, but some guidance along the way would be helpful." "Our team knows that we need to fix a process, but we need assistance to determine where to focus. Some check-ins along the way would help keep us on track." "We need to hit the ground running and get this project kicked off immediately. Our team has the ability to take this over once we get a framework and strategy in place." "Our team does not have the time or the knowledge to take this project on. We need assistance through the entirety of this project."

Diagnostics and consistent frameworks used throughout all four options

Research Contributors and Experts

  • Lisa Almond
    Leadership Development & Culture Specialist
    Town of Cochrane
  • Dr. Leanne Atwater
    Professor of Leadership & Organizational Behavior
    C.T. Bauer College of Business, University of Houston
  • Simon Blunden
    VP of People & Culture
    GroupHEALTH Benefit Solutions
  • Jamie Einarson
    Manager of People Solutions
    Noventis Credit Union
  • Chelsea Hutton
    HR Generalist
    Microstrategy
  • Mari Iromoto
    Consultant in Innovation & Leadership Development
  • Richard Lepsinger
    President
    OnPoint Consulting
  • Faith Lewis
    Senior Learning Consultant & Business Partner
    University of Tennessee Systems
  • Amanda Matejicek
    Co-Creator
    People in Business Inc.
  • Sofia Marcogliese
    HR Specialist
    TC Transcontinental
  • Jill Morrison
    Senior HR Manager
    North America, Microstrategy
  • Sue Mortlock
    Head of Board Development
    NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement
  • Dr. Maury Periperl
    Professor of Leadership & Strategic Chance
    International Institute for Management Development
  • Fabiola Teodoro
    Head of Human Resources
    Yusen Logistics do Brasil
  • Anonymous

Works Cited

Goldsmith, M. and H. Morgan. “Leadership Is a Contact Sport: The ‘Follow-up Factor’ in Management Development.” Marshall Goldsmith, 2004. Accessed 30 Mar. 2021.

“Feedback on the Job.” Joblist, 7 Oct. 2019. Accessed 30 Mar. 2021.

Rock, David. “SCARF: A Brain-Based Model for Collaborating With and Influencing Others.” NeuroLeadership Journal, 2008. Web.

Tosti, D. and R. Addison. “360-Degree Feedback: Going Around in Circles?” Performance Improvement Journal, 2009. Accessed 30 Mar. 2021.

About McLean & Company

McLean & Company is an HR research and advisory firm providing practical solutions to human resources challenges via executable research, tools, diagnostics, and advisory services that have a clear and measurable impact on your business.

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your HR problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

Need Extra Help?
Speak With An Analyst

Get the help you need in this 4-phase advisory process. You'll receive 6 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

Guided Implementation #1 - Prepare for 360 feedback
  • Call #1 - Discuss organizational readiness for 360 feedback and determine the purpose.

Guided Implementation #2 - Define scope and design the assessment
  • Call #1 - Review the target audience, selected competencies, and ideal cadence and frequency for the assessment.
  • Call #2 - Outline the rater selection and approval process, and review stakeholder roles and accountabilities.

Guided Implementation #3 - Plan for assessment launch
  • Call #1 - Discuss high-level communications and the approach for training ratees and raters.

Guided Implementation #4 - Interpret and use feedback effectively
  • Call #1 - Gain advice on conducting results debriefing meetings and facilitation development plan creation.
  • Call #2 - Review development trends to inform learning and development initiatives.

Contributors

  • Lisa Almond, Leadership Development & Culture Specialist, Town of Cochrane
  • Dr. Leanne Atwater, Professor of Leadership & Organizational behavior, C.T. Bauer College of Business, University of Houston
  • Simon Blunden, VP of People & Culture, GroupHEALTH Benefit Solutions
  • Jamie Einarson, Manager of People Solutions, Noventis Credit Union
  • Chelsea Hutton, HR Generalist, Microstrategy
  • Mari Iromoto, Consultant in Innovation & Leadership Development
  • Richard Lepsinger, President, OnPoint Consulting
  • Faith Lewis, Senior Learning Consultant & Business Partner, University of Tennessee Systems
  • Amanda Matejicek, Co-Creator, People in Business Inc.
  • Sofia Marcogliese, HR Specialist, TC Transcontinental
  • Jill Morrison, Senior HR Manager, North America, Microstrategy
  • Sue Mortlock, Head of Board Development, NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement
  • Dr. Maury Periperl, Professor of Leadership & Strategic Chance, International Institute for Management Development
  • Fabiola Teodoro, Head of Human Resources, Yusen Logistics do Brasil
  • Anonymous Contributor