Using 360-degree evaluations for improved performance

By Eric Rojas

People judge others on reality and themselves on intention.

Isn’t that true?

We all have blinders in some area of our lives.

Paul tells is in Ephesians 4:15 that we are to “speak the truth in love.” The problem is that it’s not always easy to do that. We might not be able to find the right timing or setting or topic. In friendships, you need to buck up and speak to one another. Proverbs says that wounds from a friend can be trusted.

In work or professional settings, the best feedback is face-to-face. However, I have found it is very difficult and utopian to expect that everyone will act this way. As a result, we have implemented the use of 360 feedback as a part of our annual reviews and, on occasion, as a part of time-sensitive feedback needs.

4 Do’s and 1 Don’t when it comes to using 360s

1) Do get multiple 360s. As a supervisor, you aren’t going to get a complete picture by simply asking one person for a 360 on someone they do or don’t like. The goal is to get feedback from multiple people so that you can see trends and patterns in the person’s work habits and performance.
2) Do ask the right questions. Ask about start-and-stop behaviors the evaluator would like to see. Ask about strengths and weaknesses. Ask about victories and challenges. Ask the same questions to everyone that you have fill out a 360.

3) Do be fair in your evaluation of the 360s. Don’t be on a witch hunt with your mind made up before you read them. If your mind is made up on a topic, then don’t bother with the 360s. If you’re using them, keep an open mind to the feedback you receive.

4) Do do something with the 360s. Be sure to pass along the key findings to the employee. Celebrate with them and challenge them based on what you find. Don’t get the 360s and put them in a file without any action.

5) Don’t allow pent-up frustration, anger or bitterness to be passed along in a 360. If those feelings exist, you will need to be a facilitator of a reconciliation conversation between the two people.

What about coaches, parents, and Sin Issues?

Coaches won’t use 360 feedback or forms, per se. However, I encourage all coaches to figure out a healthy way to get feedback from their players and, potentially, parents. The feedback you should be looking for as a coach revolves around communication, organization and character issues, not playing time or game strategy … although I’m sure the parents would love to give you some feedback about little Johnny’s playing time. Having been around coaches a long time, I can tell you that they all needed feedback on communication and organization.

Parents, again, won’t use 360s; however, sitting down over coffee or at a family time and asking for feedback on any family issue is not only an option but a necessity to a healthy family.

Sin Issues are actually quite easy to tackle. Matthew 18 gives us the roadmap. We go to that person who has sinned against us. We don’t go to their boss, we don’t go to social media, and we don’t go to 360s — we go to that person.

If that doesn’t work, we can go to their supervisor. Use Matthew 18 as a guide to conflict management, and you will find that God has given us a fantastic tool for life.
Have you found any other methods to be helpful in getting feedback?

Live well. Lead well.

EricRojasEric Rojas loves his role as the executive pastor of Christ Community Church in St. Charles, IL, where he oversees a staff of 120 and serves alongside Senior Pastor Jim Nicodem. He has been on staff at CCC since 2000. During his 20+ years of ministry, Rojas has served in churches as a youth pastor, adult ministries pastor, small groups pastor, associate pastor, worship pastor and men’s pastor. He is a contributing author for Group Publishing’s Men’s Ministry in the 21st Century and has written for various magazines and websites. Rojas also serves the church-at-large through consulting and seminar presenting. He has been married to his wife, Rachel, for 22 years. They have 3 children — Luke, 21; Adam, 19; and Chloe, 17. A man of faith, Rojas believes that next year is the year the Cubs will finally win the World Series.


One Response to “Using 360-degree evaluations for improved performance”

  1. Never, ever spring an evaluation method or performance list on an employee or CEO by surprise, including 360s. Integrity demands that an employee or CEO, in advance, must know and participate in the method and content of the assessment. This is commonly NOT the fact regarding the 360. The “standards” (opinions) used by each participant in a 360 is each participant’s own and were generally unknown ahead of time by the subject.
    (A 360 is best done to assess one’s behavior as perceived by the others, which has value under the right circumstances, but not as a performance evaluation method, unless everyone thoroughly understands the standards to be used (and are trained in them) and the “target” individual knows those ahead of time to use them as behavioral objectives for the coming period of evaluation. (This is the method used by Marshall Goldsmith, for example, in eliciting change, but is NOT the usual case.))

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