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How to Ruin a Perfectly Good 360 Feedback Assessment

When it comes to 360 degree feedback surveys there are some basic DOs and DON’Ts you’ll want to keep in mind before embarking on your developmental improvement journey. You can read all about the right way to handle 360 feedback here. The following is a step-by-step guide to sabotaging your 360.


1) Don’t explain the purpose or the process.

What’s needed here is complete and utter lack of communication. Leave your managers and raters guessing how the data will be used, whether the results will be confidential, and if their candid feedback will get people fired. Yeah, let’s keep this stuff secret.


2) Make up survey questions on the fly. 

Forget validation. Your motto here should be, “Bad data in, bad data out.” Working together wastes everybody’s time. You’re smart enough, right? Plus, you can make up nifty questions to reveal cool opinions and judgmental attitudes. Observable and trainable behaviors are so boring.


3) Use the results for appraisals instead of development (“Be-wahahaha”). 

Focusing on development would send all the wrong signals. You don’t want managers to think you’re trying to improve their performance through honest, upward feedback. And you don’t want to keep great managers. No, you want to keep the status quo: old-fashioned, top-down evaluations, yelling at employees in public, praising them in private.


4) Don’t ensure user anonymity. 

Here’s the trick: Let raters know you plan to hang ‘em out to dry. After all, if we didn’t want to know who offered what feedback, we wouldn’t have asked them in the first place. And you know that your higher-ups definitely want to know who said the really nasty stuff. Trust? Forget about it.


5) Don’t use the results. At all. 

Provide absolutely no follow-up support for your managers. Hand them their report and wish them luck. No coaching. No mentoring. No training. No accountability. Nada. Zero. Zilch. After all, you’ve failed when you start creating better managers and driving up productivity and engagement.


Well, there we have it, a cheat sheet for running a 360 feedback program into the ground – in 5 easy steps. You’re welcome.