Practicalities of releasing 360 Feedback Reporting
The best practice of releasing feedback reports depends on the purpose of the assessment. The best format however, is releasing reports is online & interactively, giving the participant, their manager, or a project stakeholder the ability to either view an online interactive report, or download a PDF report.
While in the past reports have been emailed to their intended targets, there are major security issues that can come hand in hand with that process. Removing the data from your assessment system leaves PDFs open for potential duplication on local PCs. However, if you give users the ability to use their same login details to access reporting in whatever format it comes, you remove potential data security issues whilst also creating an easier and more fluid user-experience.
Who should I release reports to?
The primary role of the report is to enable the development of the participant in competencies specific to them and their role. Therefore, the way the reports are released should fit in with the next steps of that individuals’ development.
Depending on the purpose and context surrounding your competency assessment, there are many different target audiences you can release the report to. The primary factor as to how you release the reports is whether or not there needs to be a debriefing of the report at the completion of the assessment period, and what the purpose of the competency assessment has been in the first place.
If the reporting is part of a wider program for professional development, then it may be worth releasing reports first to the consultant or person debriefing who is taking those individuals through their development journey. This allows them to prepare the process of the debrief from the start and enables them to delve deeper into areas that they want to focus on as part of that feedback session.
If debriefs are being completed by a manager, it may be worth that participant and the manager receiving the report at the same time. In many organisations, the results are considered to be ‘owned’ by the participant. As such, the participant should be able to decide whether they share their report and the results with the manager or not.
Rater autonomy & awareness of issues with freeform commentary
Ensuring that rater information and feedback is anonymous is an important part of capturing honest and relevant feedback. Communicating clearly with raters that their participant will not be able to identify them based off the feedback they’ve given them will enable them to answer openly and have more confidence in the responses they are providing.
The best way to ensure anonymity of responses is to set a minimum amount of raters per category. We recommend a minimum of 3 completed raters per rater category, excluding the category of manager. The category should not be shown in the reporting if less than 3 raters respond from each particular category, however the feedback that they provide should still be used.
Raters should also understand the purpose and context of freeform commentary, and not use easily identifiable messages within their own comments. Comments are rarely ‘cleansed’ before being released to the participant, and so any easily identifiable comments will be clearly visible to the participant.