360 Degree Feedback: How Can HR leaders in UAE benefit from this tool?

Current trends are on the rise as HR managers look for ways to improve employee performance.

It’s no surprise that the Ministry of HR in UAE increased their budgets in 2018 to 984 million AED. Before then, the budgets were around 601 million AED to regulate jobs and employment in the private sector

Creating a healthy work environment can contribute to organisational success, in 3 ways:
1. Being clear on the company goals
2. Knowing how employees are meeting these goals
3. Constantly reviewing the above
 
Being clear on company goals and knowing how employees are meeting these goals is where 360 Degree Feedback comes into play.
 
The best way to work on strengths is by working on the shortcomings. Every successful leader, manager and employee knows this. But to work on your shortcomings, you have to be fully aware of yourself- the good and bad points.
 
360 Degree Feedback makes this happen. Simply by raising awareness on an individual through feedback from various people. Also, it’s a great tool for organisations to show that they take employee training and development quite seriously!

What does this mean for HR managers in UAE?

As we all know, it’s the HR managers who have to spend budgets on their employees in the most effective way.

So in this post, we’ll:
  • Define what exactly is 360 Degree Feedback
  • Go over the benefits
  • Provide some tips to prepare HR managers for the tool

What is 360 Degree Feedback?

360 Degree Feedback plays a central role in leadership, development and employee performance. It’s also known as the ‘multi-rated feedback’.
 
Feedback is obtained from those who an individual works and interacts with.
 
For example:
  • Their colleagues
  • Their direct reports
  • Their managers
  • Other groups such as customers, stakeholders, etc
The employee, who is being assessed, is known as the ‘participant’. And the people who assess the employee are known as the ‘raters’.

Why is it called 360 Degree Feedback?

360 Degree: Refers to the pattern of giving and receiving feedback in a 360 degree cycle. This is from those who are above (managers), below (team), who work alongside the employee (colleagues) and also an opportunity to rate themselves. 
 
Feedback: Refers to the act of giving this feedback to the individual in one way or another.
 
See below the 360 Degree feedback structure:
 
 
Long gone are the days of practicing top-down management. It’s not enough to tell employees what to do and leave them to it. If you want engaged employees, you have to instil passion, purpose and energy in them.
 
As HR evolves over the years, so do the people. A recent report by SHRM (2018) showed the importance of on-going peer feedback and check-ins to be the key to success for employees. 89% of HR leaders in the report emphasised the importance of value-based recognition.
 
In simple terms, employees work more effectively when they’re reminded that their work has purpose and meaning.
 
360 Degree Feedback doesn’t just obtain feedback from those around the employee being assessed. This HR tool also allows a self-evaluation in order to complete the assessment. Giving the employee an opportunity to rewire their perception and become self-aware.
 
This heavily compliments the Johari’s Window, as seen below.
 
 
Johari’s Window is a psychological model developed by Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham. It demonstrates the relationship a person has with others as well as with themselves.
 
Top left (open/free area):
This shows what is known by the individual about themselves and also by others.
 
Top right (blind area):
This shows what is unknown by the individual about themselves but known by others
 
Bottom left (hidden area):
This shows what is known by the individual about themselves but unknown by others
 
Bottom right (unknown area):
This shows what is unknown by the individual about themselves and also unknown by others.
 
Research has shown that when employees feel heard and valued at work, they become more productive. In a Salesforce report (2017), 73% of employees who felt a belonging at work, also felt motivated to perform at their best.
 
Promoting HR tools like 360 Degree feedback also ensures employee voices are heard. Which makes it a win-win situation for everyone in the workplace.
 
Why?
  • A chance for managers to assess an employee
  • A chance for relevant colleagues to give feedback on an employee – anonymously
  • A chance for the individual to assess themselves and bring it to light
So what happens once this is done?
 
The participant will receive a report with an overview of all the scores and comments. Feedback is anonymous except from the manager’s rating and comments.
 
Focusing on Feedback
 
By receiving feedback, employees feel much more motivated to change their work behaviour. Quick and Nelson (1997) say that perception is a process of interpreting information.
 
There is validity in feedback from those who work directly with an employee. This is better than just relying on the opinion and observation made by the manager.
 
Many organisations still adopt the traditional way of obtaining feedback on an employee. This is known as the ‘top down’ approach. For example, the manager writes feedback based on their observation only.
 
But here’s an interesting fact to ponder over. Did you know, over 85% of Fortune 1000 firms used 360 Degree Feedback to make decisions on career development and employee performance? Jack Zenger, (2016).
 

4 Real Examples of how 360 Degree Feedback is useful

 
1. Promotes Self-Awareness
 
“Self-Awareness is knowing one’s internal states, preference, resources and intuitions”
– Daniel Goleman 
 
Sometimes, employees can get caught up in their daily work affairs. This can leave little room for monitoring the voices in their own minds. The 360 Degree Feedback is a tool that shows employees where they currently are and where they need to be.
 
2. Encourages Open Communication
 
Obtaining feedback and becoming self-aware of your performance creates dialogue. The 360 Degree Feedback reports can be seen as ice-breakers between employees and managers. This is because supports the use of professional development plans (PDP) and set realistic goals.
 
3. Opportunity for growth & development
 
NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) tells us how we each have a different version of reality. If HR managers understand this, they can create a feedback of culture in the workplace. Employees can also take ownership of their strengths and weaknesses by becoming self-aware.
 
4. Puts focus on employee training and development
 
“The only thing worse than training your employees and have them leave is not training your employees and have them stay”
– Henry Ford
 
Employees feel motivated when they see that managers take interest in their development. The 360 Degree Assessment can define the competencies to be assessed, depending on the job role.
 
Employees will know they’re being measured exactly on what they’re supposed to do. Which leaves no room for excuses. This kind of data is also great for succession planning or appraisal decision-making.
 
HR Managers Must Stay on Top of Current Trends
 
In the HR world, it’s imperative to stay on top of current trends that benefit workplaces and employees. In a recent survey by Deloitte (2019), 42% of employees sought new job opportunities because:
  • Their current job role didn’t make good use out of their abilities
  • They felt their talents weren’t appreciated
 
Key points HR managers to remember:
  • Make sure the purpose is development based- not just a chance to get rid of staff
  • Have an independent party manage the process, including feedback session
  • Steps in place to support employees
  • Choose the right competencies for measurement
  • Encourage an open mind for both managers and employees
  • Create a feedback culture in the workplace
  • Encourage warm talk between employees and managers
  • Develop effective action plans and appraisals
  • Get a balanced and well-round view on an employee
  • Form an inclusive workplace, where ideas are shared and voices are heard
 
So, what happens next? I need help…
 
For over 20 years, Alpha Training has been helping HR managers and trainers increase performance.
 
If you are a HR professional or trainer, why not become certified in 360 Degree Feedback? 
 
We have a workshop in Dubai on 24th and 25th November 2019 to train and certify professionals so they can deliver the 360 Degree Feedback assessments.
 
References

Goleman. (1995). Working with emotional intelligence. London: Bloomsburg.

Nelson, D. and Quick, J. (2012). Organizational behavior. Mason, Ohio: South-Western.

Deloitte (2019) Surveying the Talent Paradox from the Employee Perspective. Available here (Accessed: 19 June 2015).
 
Salesforce (2017). The Impact of Equality and Values Driven Business,. (online) p.14. Available here (Accessed 18 Nov. 2019).
 
Zenger, J. (2016). (Blog) How Effective Are Your 360-Degree Feedback Assessments?. Available here (Accessed 18 Nov. 2019).