I have been nominated a number of times in recent weeks to provide employer feedback, part of a 360 degrees feedback process.
Of all the methods of performance evaluation I like the 360 degrees method the most. Provided that it is employed in all directions (i.e. peers, managers, subordinates, customers, etc.) it provides an unparalleled opportunity for receiving performance appraisals covering all aspects of an individual’s work engagements.
Over the years I’ve seen several methods for conducting the 360 reviews.
In one approach I was given a review form, consisting of a series of questions, relating to different performance categories (technical skills, people skills, etc), which I had to complete and submit to a nominated person who collated all the responses and reviewed them with the person under review. While submitting my comments I was able in some cases to nominate whether or not I wanted my responses to remain anonymous.
In the second approach, all reviewers were brought into a single meeting where a facilitator was walking us through the questions, eliciting individual responses and documenting them, alongside other supporting comments, in a review form. This process allowed varying view points to be discussed with a broader understanding of one’s personality, behaviours and performance across a wider domain.
I take 360 degree reviews, in whatever format they take place, quite seriously. I see them as an opportunity to exercise my responsibility for helping others grow. I don’t exercise my right to remain anonymous as I want to be seen to be accountable for my comments and I never shy away from providing further feedback, if requested.
I personally feel (both professionally and ethically) that as a Project Manager it is an integral part of my job to provide my team members with the appropriate feedback. It is not always an easy task and while giving feedback generally is not an easy task, giving positive criticism is even harder. On more than one occasion I reflected on my own performance in giving the feedback and concluded I could and should have done it better. My delivery technique has certainly improved after I started listening to the guys from managertools.com. They have an amazing series of podcasts about the process of delivering feedback (both up and down) and it is a true gem.
At the end of the day remember that the purpose of any feedback is not to be vindictive and vengeful, but rather an opportunity to help someone else, and not less importantly – yourself, grow.
Think about it!