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A Different Kind of Review

America's trusted voice on money and business, Dave Ramsey is a personal money management expert and extremely popular national radio personality. His three New York Times best-selling books - Financial Peace, More Than Enough and The Total Money Makeover - have sold more than 6 million copies combined. His latest book is EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches.
Don’t wait for the annual review to tell your employees how they are doing! The 360-degree feedback method helps you give your employees feedback all year long. A Different Kind of Review

For most business owners and their employees, the annual review can be a stressful thing. But the right kind of review can be one of the most powerful weapons in your arsenal as a leader—one that helps everyone involved grow professionally and personally. A great way to do this is by using a method called 360-degree feedback.

This review tool asks for honest feedback for a team member from their leader, four to eight peers, and anyone else you’d like to include. The team member provides feedback, too. One of the best things about this method is you can also use it to ask for evaluations of your leadership.

The process

When it comes to any kind of annual review, there should be no surprises for the team member. Don’t wait a year to correct mistakes, or celebrate a job well done. Every member of your team should get regular feedback—whether positive or negative—almost weekly.

During the process, feedback is focused on the strengths and weaknesses of the person being reviewed. Most feedback is collected by digital survey. Just send the survey to the team member’s leader, peers, and anyone else you feel is necessary. At Ramsey Solutions, our survey covers four areas of strengths and weaknesses:

Credibility - Are they loyal, competent, trustworthy, transparent, highly dependable and consistent?

Trust - Are they humble, kind, authentic and consistent? Do they have integrity?

Influence - Are they grateful, generous, an expert in their position, and passionate? Do they provide value?

Rapport - Are they empathetic, compassionate, a relationship builder, highly collaborative, and a team player? Do they deal with issues in a positive way?

Here are a few steps you need to take before sending out the survey:

  • Set goals for the feedback. What are you trying to accomplish?
  • Ask yourself what strengths and weaknesses you want to focus on. These answers will determine the questions you ask on the survey.
  • Share it with one of your top leaders to get their input.
  • Once the survey is created, take it yourself to see how long it lasts. Nothing is as mind numbing as a super long questionnaire.
  • Explain the process to your team. Introducing a new performance feedback system can make team members nervous at first. You need to explain what it is and why you’re using it.

Once the surveys are complete, a leader will review the feedback and then go over the results with the team member. They’ll share the team member’s accomplishments in the last year, and go over the areas where they can improve. Feedback usually remains anonymous to the team member. Leaders share the responses with the team member, but the individual names are left out. This allows people to give honest, constructive feedback without worrying about making things awkward around the office.

Although 360-degree feedback is an awesome tool, there are some cons associated with it, too. If someone has an axe to grind, justified or not, the survey is the perfect place to stick it to the person being reviewed. On the flip side, a peer may not want to be honest and hurt a friend.

As with any review, always look at the results objectively and fully address both the good and the bad.

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