3 Pitfalls to Avoid When Designing an Effective 360 Feedback Program

Posted by Tyler • November 22, 2016 (Last modified July 29, 2018) • 2 min read

Using 360 degree feedback to get a better understanding of an employee’s performance can be a great way to build a more comprehensive performance evaluation, but it can also lead to problems if you don’t take care when designing the 360 feedback program. Here at Trakstar we not only offer a platform for implementing your 360 feedback program, but we help assist our clients with the implementation with best practices in mind. Based on our experience, here are the 3 biggest pitfalls to avoid when designing a 360 feedback program:


1. Focusing on the negative

Too often questions in a 360 feedback survey will focus on negative questions and not take into account the things that employees are doing well. It’s easy to fallback on questions like: “where do you see room for improvement in the employee,” or “what do you think the employee could be doing better”? While it’s important to solicit this type on information from others, it can often lead to defensiveness. Getting a feel for what your employees are doing well is just as important as identifying where they might need improvement.


2. Lack of confidentiality

It’s important the employees know they are providing 360 feedback in a safe environment, or they may not be willing to provide useful insight. It may be important to share collected feedback with the targeted employee, but you should do so in a way that does not jeopardize working team relationships. Allowing employees to provide feedback in a confidential manner will increase the quality of the overall feedback and ensure that there is no unintentional damage to working relationships in your organization. Allowing your managers to decide what, if any, information they would like to share with the targeted employee will also ensure confidentiality.


3. Making it personal rather than professional

The most common mistake people make during the performance review process is to move things from the professional to the personal. While it’s tempting to point out disagreements in the workplace, you should be focused on providing feedback on actual performance. Keeping the feedback rooted in workplace performance will ensure that it’s constructive, rather than destructive.


These are the three big pitfalls we recommend avoiding when designing your organization’s 360 feedback program. For additional insight into other reasons why a 360 feedback program might fail, check out this article at Forbes. You’ll notice some commonalities, as well as some other great reasons why a 360 feedback program may hit some stumbling blocks.


Don't Miss Out on More Great HR Articles!

Subscribe to get the latest, greatest HR and Talent Development content straight to your inbox.