We will all be familiar with providing constructive feedback for our colleagues, and many will be all too familiar with how interpersonal relations can muddy the waters. When giving constructive feedback through a large-scale system like 360 degree feedback, it is imperative that the feedback is legitimate so that participants can actually progress in their development journey. Ensuring that your company’s 360 degree feedback is anonymous provides a plethora of benefits to the 360 feedback process, including:
Honesty and Openness
Participants will ask themselves, “is 360 degree feedback anonymous” when responding to the questionnaire for fear of repercussions or retaliation from colleagues. Anonymity creates an environment in which participants feel they can safely provide their genuine observations of strengths and areas for improvement, which is fundamental to the 360 degree feedback process.
Recipients that receive anonymised feedback are less likely to disregard or overemphasise feedback based on the personality of whom it is coming from, or their relationship with them. This allows participants to focus less on blaming the specific source of the feedback and more on the feedback itself. This by extension allows participants to concentrate on developing their behaviours and skills.
Anonymisation of 360 degree feedback embraces the idea of feedback from a collective rather than feedback from individuals. People will more readily respond to feedback from a variety of sources, rather than scrutinising each individual’s response. This allows for a smoother transition into producing a development plan and setting clear targets.
Feedback is more fair and equitable when 360 degree feedback is anonymous. By ensuring feedback is nonattributable, favouritism, discrimination, or other unfair treatment based on identity can be prevented.
Avoidance of Conflict
Having anonymised, nonattributable feedback can prevent potential conflicts and the straining of interpersonal relationships. These could potentially arise from more sensitive or critical feedback. By avoiding these conflicts, the working environment will be more harmonious and the development aims of the 360 degree feedback process will remain the primary focus.
If participants do not need to doubt “is 360 degree feedback anonymous” throughout the process, then they will have more trust in the 360 degree feedback process itself. Not only does this improve the support employees have for 360 feedback as a tool for improvement, but it can improve trust in feedback itself within an organisation.
Is 360 Degree Feedback Anonymous with all approaches?
In order to achieve non attributable feedback, we recommend at least 6-8 people provide feedback to any given recipient, with several people providing feedback from any given group (e.g. direct reports, stakeholders, peer group). We can also provide guidance to warn respondents to write feedback in a way that is not attributable to a specific person.
Simply not tagging a name to a given piece of feedback does not necessarily assure anonymity, so people in particular need to consider writing commentary in in a way that does not reveal who is writing it if they wish to reman anonymous. Of course it is not always the case that people do want to remain anonymous and they are often happy to be identified but this needs to be a concious decision.
To learn more about how we can offer you the option of anonymity in your 360 degree feedback, contact us for a free consultation.
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