Will 360 degree feedback help with underperformance?

Human behaviour is difficult to change. People will only change their behaviour if they accept that something needs to change and commit to putting the effort in to make those changes.

360 degree feedback is one of the most powerful ways to encourage people to change behaviour. Where people change they way they do things then they will ultimately become more effective.

However, it requires caution and is one of the reasons we advocate that positioning the 360 degree feedback process is critical.

If people feel that change is being forced upon them, or they are being coerced, then it simply will not happen. If 360 degree feedback is positioned as being necessary to ‘fix’ someone, then they are likely to resist every part of the process and it is doomed to fail. Where people feel they are being set up, caught out or singled out, they will not be in the right frame of mind to explore how they can do things differently. Instead they will spend all of their effort denying, defending or deflecting the feedback. 

We strongly recommend that you only use 360 as a developmental tool rather than a performance management tool. Where people have been given feedback that their performance needs to improve and 360 degree feedback has been identified as a way to help them do that then it will ultimately help deliver improvements in performance.