We often work with training organisations who use 360 feedback as an input into the design of a training programme. More often now, we are working with organisations who recognise that the 360 itself requires people to be trained.
Training can assist recipients, respondents, and managers in getting the most from the process. I learnt this particularly from observing how Peter Hyde, a partner of ours, ran 360s in a financial services organisation. Peter was, as ever, very thorough and offered workshops for respondents that helped them to provide the best feedback possible.
We were so impressed by Peter's approach that we asked him to author a training programme on how to give 360 degree feedback and delivering that training is now part of our offering. I don't believe it is essential that formal training is given to all participants but I do believe that a clear communication and training plan will yield the best results from the process.
Another of our clients, in the manufacturing sector, runs 360s for 1,600 recipients. They provide supporting literature and, I believe, some open workshops as their route to lifting people's abilities. What they don't do is leave it to chance.
Effective training can really lift the quality of 360 feedback - and through demonstrating the organisational commitment to the process it can also generate an uplift in conversion rates.