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Call us for a free FastStart Consultation: (844) 675-2849


 

Buyer's Guide

by Brian Westfall,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: March 28, 2017


Giving and receiving feedback is a key activity that helps employees improve their skill development within an organization. It is also used by companies as a major part of the performance appraisal process. The process of 360 feedback identifies individual strengths, weaknesses and areas for improvement that help managers create development plans for their team members.

Gathering feedback from multiple stakeholders also provides insights about various areas of professional expertise that can be improved through training courses or other methods. This helps HR teams identify training needs for employees and plan sessions to be conducted by internal or external trainers. Solutions created specifically to manage and track the process of 360 degree feedback can help automate this process so it runs smoothly and efficiently.

This guide can help potential buyers find the best 360 feedback solution for their needs. Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is 360 Degree Feedback Software?
Common Features of 360 Degree Feedback Software
Benefits of 360 Degree Feedback Software
Key Considerations for 360 Degree Feedback Software

What Is 360 Degree Feedback Software?

360 degree feedback is a process that involves gathering feedback on an employee from their manager, direct reports and peers. This feedback is usually gathered by filling out a questionnaire to rate the person’s performance in various areas. This process is used to understand how effective an employee is in his or her role.

360 degree feedback software efficiently manages the entire feedback collection and distribution process by automating the steps involved. Such solutions enable people to fill out a survey in the language of their choice, generate insightful analytics and provide real-time feedback to employees. This software allows managers and human resources (HR) teams to create short and long term goals for their staff members based on the results. These goals can then be tracked on a regular basis to monitor an employee’s progress towards them.

Common Features of 360 Degree Feedback Software

Most 360 degree feedback solutions offer some or all of the following functionality:

Customizable question library Allows users to select feedback questions from an existing library within the software. These questions can also be customized by modifying the text or rating scales. Users can make the comment section mandatory or optional for feedback providers. Questions can also be grouped together according to competency.
Evaluation templates Provides pre-set templates to quickly design, distribute and manage feedback surveys. These templates can be selected on the basis of an employee’s role, such as surveys for leadership assessment, manager evaluation, co-worker evaluation and overall employee evaluation. The template can also be customized to ensure specific information is captured based on an organization’s unique needs.
Reporting and analytics Enables managers to create customized reports for an individual, department, team or company. Individual reports can be compared with team averages to identify underperforming employees. Scores for all questions can be presented in charts and graphs, which makes it easy for HR teams and managers to draw meaningful conclusions.
Rater selection Offers flexibility by allowing either the manager or employee to select the raters who will provide feedback on each participant. In order to generate holistic feedback, raters can include a mix of peers, team members, direct reports, business partners and clients. Maximum reviewer participation is ensured by providing full anonymity to raters and keeping the feedback results confidential.
Statistics dashboard Access to real-time graphical data is given to team managers to view the status of completed and pending surveys. They can also send notifications to raters to complete the survey within a specified time frame. Feedback summary is displayed on a dashboard, which helps managers to quickly view strengths and weaknesses at the team level.
Multi-language support For organizations operating globally, it’s necessary that feedback surveys be available in multiple languages. The availability of survey only in one language can result in low participation rates, which defeats the overall purpose of 360 degree feedback.
Third-party integration Many 360 degree feedback solutions integrate with existing human resource information systems (HRIS) to ensure all data is synced and no manual duplication is required.

Benefits of 360 Degree Feedback Software

There are many benefits that can result from the implementation of 360 degree feedback software. Some of these benefits include:

Identify top performers: Reward and recognition is one of the best ways to boost employee morale and motivate them to perform better. A 360 degree feedback management solution helps team managers and HR professionals to identify their top performing team members so they can reward them accordingly, whether through increased responsibility, compensation, promotion etc.

Identify blind spots: Blind spots are the strengths or weaknesses of individuals that are unknown to them, but are generally identified by their peers or seniors within the organization. 360 degree feedback software provides feedback from multiple raters that can help uncover these blind spots and let employees know their potential strengths and improvement areas. Identifying these blind spots can also help managers develop the right training plan for employees to assist them in their career development.

Reduce the risk of discrimination: Since feedback in 360 degree solutions flows from multiple people performing different job roles, any discrimination against an individual on the basis of age, gender, or other factors is drastically reduced. This can help organizations avoid running into any possible legal trouble surrounding performance evaluations.

Key Considerations for 360 Degree Feedback Software

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you evaluate 360 degree feedback software:

Deployment method: A 360 degree feedback solution is either deployed on-premise or accessed through a web browser. For SMBs, a web-based solution with cloud storage is often preferred as it generally involves no upfront costs and operates on a pay-as-you-go model. The subscription can usually be upgraded or downgraded on the basis of your organizational needs.

Simple administration: Any tool you choose should offer an intuitive administrative interface that makes it easy to use and quick to design surveys. It should also offer users complete control by enabling certain people to monitor survey progress, send email or text reminders and make adjustments to survey questions as needed.

 

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