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How Important is Anonymity in 360 Reviews?

Here is our issue in a nutshell: we have a close-knit office and some employees have questioned the fairness of 360 feedback, since there is no way of knowing who says what about whom. What should we do? —Stuck in the Middle, HR manager, health care services, Boise, Idaho
June 19, 2013
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Related Topics: Skills Testing and Assessment, 360 Degree Feedback, Performance Appraisals, Policies and Procedures, Dear Workforce
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Dear Stuck in the Middle:

This is a common issue, but don't let it stop you from using 360-feedback tools.

The ability to gain anonymous input from multiple perspectives makes 360-degree feedback an excellent tool for gaining a complete understanding of individuals and their workplace dynamics. The insight is only effective if provided within the context of a process that ensures the information is used constructively. It also involves "buy-in" from all parties involved.

Anonymity is even more important in small, close-knit work environments. In your case, you really don't want employees to know what other employees have said about them.

Instead, the feedback should be given anonymously and the manager who provides it should set expectations with everyone in your company.

The goal: To ensure the details of the process are well understood and lay out a clear and accepted protocol for reviewing the feedback.

It won't hurt to remind employees of the positive benefits of using 360 feedback processes. The information provided helps to ensure all employees make a concerted effort to boost their individual performance.

Collectively, your company's performance will improve as well, and your workers will recognize the direct impact their contributions make.

SOURCE: Charles A. Handler, Rocket-Hire, New Orleans, Louisiana

The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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 The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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