360 Assessments: Reviewing Open-Ended Responses

360 Assessments: Reviewing Comments

Every once in a while, clients ask: Can we review the open-ended responses in case we feel that some are inappropriate and need to be deleted?

My response is that in our years of deploying assessments, we have never had to delete inappropriate comments.

Amazing, right?

Well, what we find is that a little training in how to provide feedback is really helpful. We suggest that our clients help communicate the rater role by providing instructions in how to give appropriate feedback, like this:

What should a Rater keep in mind while assessing someone?
The purpose of the survey is to collect constructive feedback, comments and suggestions, so the first rule is do not write anything that is worded harshly or unfairly, or would put the Participant on the defensive. Comments worded this way do more harm than good, and should be avoided.

The second rule is to be objective and candid. Each Participant will be looking for trends and common themes in their summary report that indicate strengths, as well as areas for improvement.

Also, good communication to the participants (people being rated) and their raters about the objective, process and expected actions to be created from the feedback will also help.

To have a successful 360 deployment, many things have to be in place, but providing guidance, expectations and context will help raters provide the most relevant and useful feedback possible.