Multi-source feedback is invaluable for career development. It offers honest assessments of an employee’s performance across multiple metrics and comes from multiple sources. As such, it avoids many of the pitfalls and biases that can be associated with more traditional review processes, and it offers exceptional insights into the areas employees need most if they want to advance in their careers. Career development is best supported when employees use 360-degree feedback in the following five ways:
To improve deficiencies
The 360 review process provides feedback on all aspects of an employee’s performance, from customer relations and follow-through to teamwork capabilities and leadership skills. As such, it offers exceptional insight into each employee’s individual weaknesses. By incorporating this insight into an actionable plan for improvement, an employee may dramatically improve job performance and increase his or her career opportunities.
To build on strengths
Just as the 360 degree review offers superior insight into an employee’s weaknesses, it also highlights each individual’s unique strengths. With a thorough understanding of what he or she does best, the individual can build a career path plan that plays upon those strengths, thereby greatly improving the chance for success in future endeavors.
To aid alignment with organizational goals
The employees most likely to be promoted within an organization are those employees who truly understand the company’s mission and vision for the future. When feedback includes assessments that focus on an employee’s performance in relation to company goals, it offers employees a chance to understand how they fit into the organization’s overall goals and to make the organization’s goals their own.
To better understand his or her position
Over time, many employees shift their attentions toward some aspects of their positions and away from others in accordance to personal likes and dislikes as well as strengths and weaknesses. By including an assessment of the employee’s knowledge of his or her job and of how well he or she meets the core competencies required for that position, the 360-degree review can help bring focus back to all of the position’s duties.
To become a better leader
Research shows that feedback from subordinates is particularly useful for individual development. This is likely because honest feedback from subordinates draws attention to areas for improvement directly related to leadership – an important skill set for advancement. By paying special attention to the feedback received from subordinates, an employee may make changes to his or her behavior that supports and strengthens his or her ability to lead.
Meeting overall career development goals can be difficult, especially without a clear picture of where an employee is at any given time. Multi-source feedback provides that insight and offers employees a chance for real improvement.