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Using 180 degree feedback instead of 360 degree feedback: Some ideas

360 degree assessments can make a big difference in employee development, but what if your organization is not ready for 360 feedback? Consider using 180-degree format: self + supervisor.

6 Key Reasons to Consider 180-degree feedback instead of 360:

Reality check – allows the person being rated the benefit of comparing self-perception of strengths and weaknesses against those of his or her manager;

Clarifies expectations – often we think we know what is most important on the job, but we could be out of sync with our manager – a 180 allows the supervisor to weigh in on priorities and subsequent discussion can make expectations crystal clear!

Out in the open – a typical 360 features anonymity (the person being rated doesn’t know who said what) and can be shrouded in mystery and even suspicion; with a 180 the person being rated knows who said what – no mystery and all data!

Simpler report – data resulting from a 180 exercise in the participant’s output report shows self, supervisor and norm group – 3 powerful data points; this is plenty to consider for development planning and are also probably the most important data points to consider anyway!

Less annoying for raters – if you consider that a typical 360 involves about 12 raters (self, supervisor and 10 peers / direct reports), you are probably running multiple participants through the assessment which means that you may be asking raters to complete surveys for multiple participants which can become annoying and tiresome (rater fatigue), rendering the resulting data less reliable and consuming time away from core job duties. A 180 solves this problem.

Quick and more affordable – one of the drawbacks of a 360 is that it becomes a lengthy and tedious process, getting everyone to do their rating on time and completely (lots of follow-up time, calls and emails from HR!). With just the two raters, a 180 can be done quickly (a day or two, typically) with no follow-up time or effort needed. Whereas 360’s run closer to $100 per person, the same version as a 180 is generally a faction of the cost.

Check out www.ReadyToManage.com for dozens of assessments some on sale this month.

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Profile Photo Steve Ressler

Interesting post. I’ve done a few 360 feedbacks and while it is good and makes sense in an ideal world….it honestly is kind of cumbersome as someone giving the feedback. Also it still feels weird and I don’t trust that it can’t be tracked to you. Plus generally I believe good 360 feedback needs to happen all the time…not just once a year.