How Often Should 360s Be Done?

Clients ask me how often should 360s be done on a person.

I think the best answer is somewhere between 12 – 18 months.  This gives enough time for the participant (the person being rated) to figure out their action plan, make behavioral changes, and have the people they work with see some sustained changes.  Less than 12 months can be frustrating for both the participant and the raters (the participant may be working hard on their action plan, but it’s too soon for raters to see sustained change), and if you wait much over 2 years, it’s hard to see this as a process and not an event.

If you give the same assessment over time, feedback should hopefully be more favorable, especially in the areas that the participant (person being rated) is focusing on in an active manner.  Questions to ask as for why scores may have changed (up or down) include:

  • Has the participant’s behavior changed?
    • If scores decrease:  There is an expectations once you ask for feedback that a change will be made. If no change in behavior is observed, raters can become annoyed or even despondent by being asked for feedback on the same issue.
    • If scores increase:  Raters felt heard and/or listened to. Small improvements in behavior can lead to significant bumps in ratings.
  • How people felt the day they completed the survey. The survey is a reflection of a moment in time.
  • Have there been process changes within the department, group, team or organization that impact the team’s performance and/or work flow?
  • Have there been team staffing changes?
  • Have there been significant organizational, department or team changes?
  • Have job responsibilities or roles changed, increase or decrease in responsibility?
  • Has the participant’s manager worked with the participant on specific behavioral development and growth?
  • Other (Personal challenges, health, non-work related stresses).

I promised myself that if I finished this blog today that I would get to go workout…so on my way to the gym!