Communicate to the people who are receiving feedback:
It is essential that you educate the people being rated as to why they are being rated. If they are wary and do not trust your intentions, they can sabotage your initiative through their resistance to participate. If the 360 feedback program is developmental, tell them so. Let people know that they are not going to be fired, demoted, or penalized based on the results. The more information you can provide up-front, the more willing they will be to participate. Some important pieces of information to address include:
- Why are you doing this?
- Who will see the results? Will their boss see the results? Will HR?
- How and when will the results be delivered?
- Is participation mandatory?
- How will respondents be chosen? Is the participant choosing them or is HR managing this?
Communicate to the people who are giving feedback:
Respondents are being asked to take time out of their busy days to fill out the survey. Some respondents will likely be asked to provide feedback on several of their coworkers. Let the respondents know how their answers will be used, who will see them, and why they are being asked to give feedback. Keep in mind that giving feedback can be threatening to respondents. Be sure to emphasize that all feedback they provide will be anonymous and confidential.
Solicit Senior Level Support:
Your initiative will be more successful if you have the vocal support of the leaders of your organization. Have them help you kick off your feedback program and make sure they communicate to all employees that this is something they consider important. An email message or announcement from the CEO or Business Unit leader is a good way to let employees know that your 360 feedback program has support at the highest levels.