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Using 360 Feedback in the Workplace of Today and Tomorrow

by Olivia Henson

· 360 feedback,performance reviews,Gen Z,Millennials

What is 360 degree feedback?

Interestingly, 360 feedback can be hit and miss. The mere mention of introducing such a system can create anxiety and increase any dormant fear in your workforce. When ill-prepared, it can switch off employees, cause mistrust, and lead to attrition, especially if there's a failure to follow up actively and quickly. however, when managed in the right way, there are clear benefits for employees and the business. It's a way of obtaining feedback from co-workers, managers, and potentially customers, who have detailed knowledge of the areas of focus of the feedback, usually skills and behaviours .

Self-assessment also plays a role

As multi-raters complete their raings, the individual undergoing the 360 assessment also completes their ratings. The feedback is collated and shared in a development planning meeting. That's just a simple explanation and there needs to be planning, communication and follow-up for the 360 process to be a success. The use of a fair and well-designed and managed process will not just help the person being assessed, it will help the company in the vital area of talent development, retention and succession-planning to meet future business needs.

360 Feedback wil be critical for Gen. Z and Millennials

The use of 360 feedback helps with career planning, agreeing appropriate training and coaching interventions and creating fast-track development opportunities. This will be intensely important, as Millennials are settling into management and leadership positions and they’ll be the ones making crucial, future business decisions, while they manage several generations of workers. Harnessing the potential of Gen. Z, who will form the majority of the future workforce, will be critical. This generation has highly-developed digital skills, and shares a real need to belong and connect with their companies, often acting as the social conscience of the business.

Feedback around self-awareness and self-management will benefit these generations as it will highlight the impact of their preferred ways of communicating with customers. And, we all know how important customer retention, loyalty and advocacy is in today's marketplace.


Finally, don't make them wait! Gen. Z in particular will expect fairly instant feedback, given the immediacy of the culture we live and work in today.

360 Feedback is part of today and tomorrow's culture

For Millennials and Gen. Z growing up with interactive technology and instant feedback, completing on-line assessments won’t be an issue. They’re used to rating and sharing positive or negative user experiences, online and on social media. If they have the context and knowledge to complete the process, online assessment will be second nature to them.

However, it’s known that these generations want to be respected by their peers, want to gain confidence on the job, and achieve success, so they’ll have some questions. Usually along these lines:

“Am I good at what I do?”

“Am I meeting expectations?”

“Where are my weaknesses?”

Meaningful and worthwhile development activity is important to retain these generations, once they’ve assimilated their key needs. They’ll be looking at ways to learn on-line as well as practically.

Encourage healthy two-way dialogue

We're moving into workplaces where employees want to be heard and have their experience validated. They want to have honest and open challenge and to feel actively engaged in change and innovation. Leaders, as coaches, will want to encourage open, two-way dialogue, with the intent to help employees modify behaviours, future-proof their skillset, and manage their own careers. Leaders will lead by example as their own behaviour will be under the spotlight.

Online 360 feedback is the way forward

Online is the only way forward, and as technology advances, so will the need for innovative practices. The role of interactive, on-line collaboration tools will expand, and Millennials and Gen. Z will be pivotal in helping other generations adapt to technology advancement.


For our own part, we use the ESCI based on Daniel Goleman’s Emotional IntelligenceI Model, for all employees, in addition to the Multi-factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) for managers and leaders. This gives all employees – potentially across four generations - an intuitive, easy, online user experience, with output which hits at the heart of their development needs.

Contact us if you need a quote, or if you would like to explore a 360 feedback trial.

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