Feedback That Has Impact

When delivering feedback it is important that you deliver it in a way that ensures the message of the feedback results is received with the impact it deserves. Often, the person receiving feedback can act in a defensive manner that will damage its effectiveness. You can avoid this by ensuring that the way you give feedback is not accusatory in nature.

Looking at the below steps will ensure your feedback has impact you desire.

Feedback steps

1. Be Specific

Feedback that is general is not constructive or of value to the feedback receiver. Telling them that their feedback was “good” doesn’t let them analyse or evaluate their working habits and enable them to grow as an employee. It is important that any feedback you give is specific. Identify what exactly they do well and congratulate them, but also point out any areas that they could improve.

2. Focus on behaviour

Useful feedback will always be focused on a person’s behavior rather than their intentions or them as a person. By avoiding a direct critique of their personality or morals it helps them to avoid having a defensive reaction to this feedback. This will help with feedback not becoming a waste of time and money.

3. Be honest

It is important that any feedback you deliver is honest, sincere and given to help. People will know if it’s not, and the feedback they receive will not have the impact you desire.

4. Ask to give feedback

Feedback that has been asked to be given has more impact and is more powerful to the receiver. If you have a constructive thought about someone’s report or presentation, ask them if it would be okay with them for you to give them feedback.

5. Have conversations

Feedback with impact is when you give the feedback and then give the feedback receiver tips on actions they can take to improve their behaviors. Rather than just telling them what to do, you may find it helpful to ask them what they plan to do to improve their behavior and then converse with them what may be the best course of action. An employee is more likely to actively take on feedback when they have not been told what to do.

6. Be timely

In order for feedback to be effective and impactful it must be relevant. It is important that you deliver your feedback as soon as possible as it enables the…

The Best 360 Degree Feedback Elements

360 Degree feedback is one of the top forms of evaluation in the workplace. It enables you to get a ‘full circle’ insight of your business, its strengths, weaknesses and people.

When creating a workplace’s 360 degree feedback survey, businesses can often make errors that prevent them from achieving the best results.

Below are 5 elements that should be included in your surveys to ensure that you get the most out of a 360 Degree Feedback survey.

Researched based

When selecting a 360 degree feedback survey, ensure that you choose a template which is research based. In comparison to one that has been created just from an individual’s thoughts and opinions, a research based survey ensures that you receive the best results as it has been strategically created.

Compare results to a high standard

When you present survey results to an employee that exceed the ‘average’ standard, it lulls them into a false sense of security and gives them the idea that they may not need to seek further learning and growth. However, if you compare their results against a high standard, it will appear as if their work is just ‘average’ and should motivate them to strive for further development.

Measure a leader’s impact on employees

360 Degree feedback enables you to gain insight into your employees and their working relationships. This is important information for your business as a leader’s working relationship with their direct reports is critical to the success of any business.

Encourage strength building

It is important that leaders continue to build on their strengths as the stronger their strengths, the more enjoyable and positive the working experience is!

Make it short

360 degree feedback surveys should only take a maximum of 15 minutes to complete. If you don’t keep the survey short participants will become bored and their answers will not be as valuable to you.

By ensuring you include these five elements in your 360 degree feedback survey, you create a valuable and relevant survey that will provide you with information that will be important to your business and its development.

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360 Degree Feedback Best Practice Indicators

High performing companies always clearly communicate to employees their performance expectations. Communication is crucial between an organisation and their employees as it makes the employees feel as if they are understood and valued. Another way HR teams may try to gain a greater understanding of their employees and their relationship with the organisation is though a 360 degree feedback process.

If you wish to gain insight into your organisation’s best practice indicators, 360 degree feedback may be an efficient tool to do so. When creating your 360 degree feedback survey, useful statements you may wish to feature include:

  • Employee health, safety and well-being is a high priority within our organisation
  • The HR strategy of our organisation is efficiently aligned with our organisation’s goals and vision
  • Our organisation’s HR strategy is clear and structured
  •  There is a sound understanding of why our top performers are successful within our organisation
  • Our people leaders are efficient when it comes to providing performance feedback and managing performance
  • There is a formal, strategic succession plan that enables talented employees to progress to new roles within our organisation
  • The people managers within our organisation consistently fulfill the requirements of our performance management system

The ratings you receive from these statements will enable you to identify your organisation’s best practice indicators. This will also aid in making changes throughout the organisation and its HR strategy accordingly, to accommodate your employee needs.

By satisfying their needs, you enable maximum productivity and engagement in the workplace, and consequently customer loyalty and revenue.

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Feedback on Specific Goals

360 degree feedback can be used for many different purposes. However you may find it most valuable to your organisation if you focus the 360 degree feedback on particular goals.  These goals may be ones that have been discussed in leadership and management meetings or established in the year’s Performance Agreement.

The 360 degree feedback questions will differ depending who you are receiving feedback from. You’re not going to have the same feedback questions for customers that you would for employees – so you must tailor questions to each target group to ensure the best results to achieve goals.

The three main target groups you would want to gain feedback from as an organisation would be:

1. Senior management

2. Customers

3. Subordinates/staff

Some examples of questions you may want to ask senior management include:

  • How well certain staff members complete tasks
  • How well employees show understanding of context, culture, and how to work with them
  • How well employees think about their actions and the effects they may have before executing them
  • How well employees communicate

Questions for Clients to be focused on include:

  • The competence of communication between the organisation and the client
  • The extent that a client is informed about organisational changes
  • The quality of the experience they receive

Feedback questions subordinates/staff may be asked during feedback include:

  • The efficiency of communication between staff and organisational leaders
  • The satisfaction of how staff are treated
  • How well staff are involved in organisational changes
  • The level of trust, transparency and openness in the work unit
  • How appreciated they feel

You do not have to ask your senior management, customers and staff these exact questions, these are just to give you a starting point and ideas on what to ask throughout 360 degree feedback sessions.

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Employee Relations and Risk Management

In HR, employee relations and risk management are considered to be strength when it comes to meeting goals. Employee relations and risk management refers to ensuring that all employees are treated with respect, are provided with health and safety processes and training, and that all employees are treated fairly and equally.

During 360 Degree feedback sessions, employee relations and risk management statements are always ranked highly throughout the survey.

Some statements that you may want to include in your survey in regards to employee relations and risk management are:

  • “Our organisation treats employee health, safety and well-being as a high priority”
  • “Our organisation provides comprehensive health and safety processes, systems, support and training”
  • “Our organisation is effective and efficient at resolving employee disciplinary issues and cases”
  • “Our people leaders follow our policies on fairness, equity and discrimination”
  • “Our organisation offers flexible work practices that are motivating and consider the personal needs of employees”

These statements are ones that provide the most reactions and truthful answers from your employees regarding your workplace employee relations and risk management.

Other highly ranked agreement and importance areas include employee safety, discrimination and related processes.

If you have areas in feedback surveys that do not provide you with a clear result, perhaps you should look to the kind of statements made in strength areas to model new statements, or re-evaluate your HR strategy in those weaker areas.

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How does 360 Degree Feedback Work?

360 degree feedback is useful in discussing leadership and performance in a management role by identifying strengths and weaknesses, but how does it work?

When taking part in 360 degree feedback, there are 4 areas to focus on:

1. Timing

To ensure the feedback receives the most valuable results, the timing of the feedback is crucial. You may choose to collate the required feedback at the end of a project or at the time of a specific event.

2. What to Focus on

It is important that you have a clear line of focus when conducting feedback sessions. Areas of importance may include:

  • Achievement of goals – Managers and supervisors should set out a clear working plan and working goals for the year. In the feedback, there should be a focus on these goals – especially on how they are achieved.
  • Aspects of the job – throughout the feedback, it may be more timely and of value to focus on the aspects of a job rather than the job as a whole.
  • Leadership attributes – Leadership attributes that are important include personal stance or effectiveness, strategic focus, managing people, planning and decision making, relationships, managing change and achieving results. By focusing on these attributes throughout feedback it enables you to gain a greater understanding of your manager’s abilities.

3. Sources of feedback

You’re not limited to one source when it comes to gathering feedback. You may also choose to gather feedback from customers, employees, and immediate supervisors depending on the depth of information required about the manager.

4. Methodology

Depending on the context of the feedback, there is not one method that will cover all circumstances. The way that you collect the feedback can be dependent on the situation, so it is important that you carefully consider the feedback method. (You may find that 360 feedback may not be the most appropriate for the situation.)

By focusing on these four areas when conducting 360 degree feedback, you will ensure that you conduct a thorough feedback session, as well us have a greater understanding of how 360 degree feedback works.

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Why is 360 degree feedback important?

Successful leadership throughout an organisation is critical to a business striving for success. 360 degree feedback aids in evaluating the current leadership structure in your business to ensure maximum productivity.

360 degree feedback offers a useful method in analysing and evaluating leadership infrastructure through the use of multiple feedback sessions with managers and employees. 360 degree feedback offers an organisation a greater understanding of the role leadership plays in performance in a management role and identifying strengths and weaknesses to improve.

Through 360 degree feedback organisations are able to identify their successful skills, areas and attributes, as well as ones they need to work on – helping them to become better equipped in today’s society and develop skills that will improve their productivity.

360 degree feedback can not only be used to gain feedback from organisations employees, but also to gain feedback about their employees. This helps an organisation to evaluate the relationship their employees have with their customers, and how they can strive to improve it.

360 degree feedback is important as it enables an organisation to gain a well rounded insight into their company, its strengths and areas for improvement.

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Survey Mistake 5: Lack of Follow-Through Action

Once the survey results are in is when the real work begins. Whilst the communication of results is crucial to the business, a major survey mistake that often occurs is the lack of follow-through action. After discussing the results with their team, many leaders fail to implement and follow-through action plan that supports team members, causing there to be no change from before the survey. This also causes team members to doubt their leader’s motivation and capacity to make a difference.

If a manager fails to communicate clear accountabilities and to conduct strict follow-up actions, chance, motivation and improvement are unlikely. Follow-up actions are crucial to a business’s success as if they are not conducted staff members will feel as if their opinion is not valued, become unmotivated, and lapse back into old behaviors. This not only damages productivity, performance and team morale, but also causes a loss in investment.

Through experience we have found that without a formal and structured process, and when left to participants and their managers, less than 30% of 360 degree feedback participants meet with their manager to discuss their feedback, planned actions and development.

If you want to improve your business through feedback surveys, it is crucial that you implement a follow-through action plan to enable communication, motivation and change throughout your business. A carefully designed implementation plan will note clear accountabilities and consequences – which are both essential elements of a follow-through action plan.

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Survey Mistake 4: Ineffective Post-survey Communication

Although survey construction is important, they are not as important as the ultimate aim of the survey. Once the survey has been completed and you have received the results is when the real work begins. To ensure that the results are used to their maximum value, it is important that you communicate and take follow-up-actions as soon as possible once you have identified the survey results. If you wait too long to advise people on the results of the survey, it is almost just as bad as not having communicated anything in the first place!

By communicating the results soon after receiving them it enables you to celebrate your successes, discuss with others about the feedback, as well as take immediate actions to solve issues that appeared in the results. When identifying the information that needs to be communicated, it is important to consider the different communication needs of various stakeholder groups such as the executive team, general staff, the board, team leaders, parent companies and contractors.

By communicating your survey results as soon as results have been received, it shows participants that their input is valued, allows clarification, shows that there is direction and reinforces the survey aims. By clarifying your team goals through survey results, you motivate your team as well as making them feel valued.

It is important that you quickly address the survey results to your staff. We have found through experience that managers who don’t quickly address the results teams tend to continue to rely on the problematic processors, systems and behaviors that were found to be holding their business back in the survey.

When you are looking to rapidly communicate your survey results to your team, make sure that it is actually the right time to discuss the results. Making sure that the proper resources are supplied to increase staff’s understanding will increase your team’s motivation upon receiving the feedback, which is critical for achieving positive change.

By doing all this, you will ensure that your staff are engaged and also creates accountability across the business.

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Survey Mistake 3: Weak Survey Design

Sometimes due to budget constraints, managers are left to undertake in-house survey construction themselves. Although this may be cost effective, Managers often do not implement robust, quality surveys because they lack survey design experience or expertise.

Managers do not always have the foresight and expertise required in designing the right questions, and right kinds of questions, to ask. They fail to implement careful planning of surveys to ensure that they receive the appropriate information the business is looking for. It is crucial to consider how the results for each and every survey item may be used.

Managers who design their own surveys often create questions that are unclear, biased or that contain jargon respondents do not understand. If you ask unclear questions, you will receive unwanted, unclear results that are a waste of time and investment for your business.

The quality of the questions asked is not the only important thing when it comes to survey design, the survey questions that are not asked can be just as important! Surveys can easily lose their value when participants feel as though they are being made to answer the question in a specific aspect; this is something managers often accidently do when creating a survey by implying the ‘right’ answer.

Weak survey design means that it will fail to implement a robust and valid survey and can lead to participants to be confused or give irrelevant results.

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