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Learn how 360 degree feedback can help you identify workplace dysfunction

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Workplace dysfunction
As an HR manager, you have built a career out of connecting with and understanding people. You empathize with the unhappy employees; you want to improve things. You just need a good place to start.

Dysfunction can begin almost anywhere in an organization; a disgruntled employee who makes everyone around him miserable, a frustrated manager that wasn’t promoted, or a cunning staff member who is expert at stirring up trouble without getting caught up in it. Such dysfunction doesn’t make the entire company bad to work for... just one or two areas. Most companies probably fall into this category.

You may have heard of 360 feedback, but never paid much attention to all the hype. Things like that are often short-lived fads that last a few years at most. What you may not know is that HR performance management software based on 360-degree feedback has become the preferred HR performance management solution for 90% of companies.

But what about companies that seem to be dysfunctional to the core? Let’s be straight -- no performance management software will fix that. Some fundamental changes will have to take place within the company before any HR performance management software can be expected to help improve workplace culture.

You See the Dysfunction, But Can’t Figure Out What’s Causing It

Over time, you have witnessed a slow decline in employee morale. You see it in reduced productivity and increased absenteeism. The cheer that once pervaded the building is all but gone, but you can’t figure out why. Sure, there are a couple of supervisors that need to work on their interpersonal skills, but they don’t account for the dysfunctional malaise that’s set in. The financials are good -- no recent layoffs, no fact, your company has started growing again. What could it be? Why are so many employees unhappy?

Without a smoking gun to point you in the right direction, it’s virtually impossible to identify workplace dysfunction. Traditional HR performance management software is utterly useless because it lacks the depth and frequency of feedback you need to sniff out the source of the dysfunction and begin addressing it. There is a solution, however: 360 degree feedback, or 360 feedback for short.

What Is 360 Degree Feedback?

At its core, 360 Degree Feedback is a method that provides an employee with feedback from managers, supervisors, and co-workers, as well as self-assessments that pertain to that employee’s productivity, efficiency, job skills, and soft skills. The insight provided through this comprehensive feedback empowers the employee to actively participate in identifying what he’s doing right and where he need to improve.

How Do I Implement 360 Feedback?

Most 360 feedback systems are at the core of sophisticated HR performance management software. The software provides the tools and processes you need to easily and efficiently implement 360 feedback throughout your entire organization. Within it, you’ll find tools for administrative tasks that help you easily create the surveys, distribute them, and process the data collected from them. Employees find the surveys easy to fill out and submit.

What are the Benefits of Using 360 Feedback Performance Management Software?

HR managers using 360 performance management software begin to see a difference within a short time after implementation. Increased productivity, decreased absenteeism, and improved employee morale are just a few of the benefits you will see.  How does 360 feedback accomplish this? Through the comprehensive, objective feedback that is provided for every employee. Patterns emerge in the performance data that point to painful places and/or people in your workplace. Once you have identified the source(s), you can use 360 feedback to provide you with the information you need to effectively address issues with other employees and managers.

Objective Feedback on Employee Performance

Employees and staff who provide feedback for an employee are kept anonymous. This helps eliminate biases in feedback that may discriminate against employees. The result: an objective measure of the employee’s job skills, interpersonal skills, and productivity.

Comprehensive Training Needs Assessment 

One of the biggest advantages of 360 performance management software is its ability to perform training needs assessments on employees. When an employee’s skill proficiencies are known, it becomes trivial to identify skills the employee needs to improve.

Active Employee Participation in Career Development

Unlike traditional employee development models where management dictated what employees had to learn to further develop skills, 360 performance management engages the employee through her direct participation in deciding on a career path and the goals she sets to get there. Employers who use this approach have found their employees are much happier with their jobs and go much further in their careers.

360 feedback not only provides objective employee performance feedback, it also encourages frequent acknowledgement of an employee’s accomplishments, something often lacking in traditional performance evaluations. 360 feedback understands this, and provides the HR manager the tools to help her provide the acknowledgement employees seek when they consistently deliver above average performance or accomplish something significant, such as acquiring a hard-earned certification.

Organizational Development

Dysfunction in an organization is symptomatic of some unseen developmental needs within the organization. The feedback gained through 360 feedback helps identify the pain points your employees experience which, in turn, point to the causes of the dysfunction.

When you know what’s causing your employees pain, you can take action to improve the painful process and stop the pain. Employee morale is restored, along with gains in productivity.

Team Development 

To get the most out of your team, its members must work together like a well-oiled machine. 360 feedback provides the information you need to assess team performance and identify areas that need improvement. The participatory nature of 360 feedback means that your team members will also actively contribute to identifying and eliminating the obstacles that hold the team back. 

Align Employee Development with Company Goals 

The most successful companies have employee development goals that are tightly aligned with company goals. 360 feedback performance makes it easy to align your employee’s development goals with business goals.

What Does It Take to Implement 360 Feedback?

If your company has never used 360 feedback software, then the first step is to create a communication strategy that educates and prepares all employees and management for the transition. Implementing 360 feedback is often disruptive to entrenched work culture and practices. The transition process goes a lot smoother when everyone expects some bumps in the road during the implementation of 360 feedback.

What 360 Feedback Performance Management Can’t Do

360 feedback performance management is a powerful tool, but it can’t work magic. It won’t work as a band-aid over a toxic, severely dysfunctional work culture. If you work in an organization where everyone is miserable, major changes need to take place before 360 feedback can be considered a viable option for organizational development. 360 feedback management is no magic bullet -- it’s a process that takes sustained effort over time. When properly implemented, it provides the kind of feedback your organization needs to maintain a happy, productive workforce.  


Primalogik 360 integrates with BambooHR

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

We at Primalogik are proud to announce our recent partnership with BambooHR! While Primalogik focuses on the performance evaluation side of human resources management, BambooHR serves as an HRIS platform, boasting core features such as applicant tracking, onboarding, time-off tracking, electronic signatures, payroll and much, much more.

BambooHR provides a great tool for handling employee information in one interactive platform. Once you've synchronized our systems, employee information stored in Bamboo will automatically be updated in Primalogik 360 so there's no need to do the work twice.

Setting up the integration on Primalogik 360

Worried about your employees having to access yet another platform? With the SSO integration, users in your organization can easily access Primalogik 360 by clicking a link within Bamboo's portal without the need of another password. This saves time and effort for everyone all around. When we say the systems are integrated, we mean it! See this article for more details on the integration process.

Human Resources management doesn't have to be a daunting task. Start your free trial and combine our two systems to create an HR powerhouse!

What Makes Human Relationships Irreplaceable in the Digital Age

Monday, July 10, 2017

Human relationships are at the very core of virtually everything we do.
There is hardly a person on this planet that is not touched by some kind of human relationship. The qualities that define human relationships defy reduction to data points. Human relationships are based on deeply felt trust, belonging, and connectedness with others. Such feelings simply do not compute.

These qualities of the human experience cannot be synthesized into charts and graphs with analytics tools. They are what drive human innovation and engagement the world over. In fact, without trust, a sense of belonging, or connectedness with others, we wouldn’t have any recognizable cultures or societies.

Indeed, we wouldn’t have relationships at all.

So, what are these qualities and why are they of prime importance to us? How do they make human relationships irreplaceable in the Digital Age?

Join us as we explore these questions and attempt to answer them.


One of the most fundamental aspects of human relationships, trust is the glue that connects us with one another. At its core, trust is about being able to count on another person to fulfill a promise, honor an agreement, or do the right thing when presented with a moral dilemma.

Without trust, few relationships survive very long. Even the most dysfunctional relationships involve an element of trust rooted in knowing what the other person is likely to do.

In the absence of trust, there is little to hold us together.

The Role of Feelings 

Feelings are the barometers of our inner worlds, shaping our awareness and informing us about others in a way not possible with mere logic, reason, or analytics.

Logic and reason render human relationships as two-dimensional drawings, empty representations of the facts. Without feeling, the graph is meaningless.

Feelings are part of what make human relationships irreplaceable. We love our visual data and statistics and the logic used to create them, but we place supreme value on our feelings. Without them, we would no longer be human.

The Need for Human Interaction

We humans are social by nature. We have a fundamental need to interact with other human beings. When we are deprived of human interaction, we quickly descend into mental illness, even insanity.

Why is that? Human interaction, and by extension, human relationships are a fundamental human need. We may love the camaraderie of our favorite MMORPG, but nothing compares to seeing an old friend or hugging a loved one.

No matter how far the Digital Age takes us with new technologies, we will still crave physical human contact. It’s what makes human. Indeed, it's what makes human relationships irreplaceable.

The Importance of Touch

The keystone to human relationships is touch. In an article in Psychology Today, Ray Williams, President of Ray Williams Associates, says that scientific research has correlated physical touch with decreased violence, greater trust between individuals, improved well-being, and other benefits.

The importance of touch cannot be over-emphasized. It is the fulcrum upon which our most meaningful human relationships balance. Without touch, we lose an important dimension of human experience that connects us with others. Not even millions of followers on Facebook or Instagram can begin to compare with the power of touch and its central role in human relationships.    


We desire to be a part of something greater than ourselves, and human relationships provide us with that opportunity. Through our relationships, we experience a deep sense of belonging that is based on being accepted by others and our own acceptance of them. 

Social media may promote a deep sense of belonging through connecting with (thousands of) others, but it has fallen far short. In a recent NPR Shots article, Holly Shakya, Assistant Professor in the Division of Global Health at UC San Diego, says, "What we know at this point is that we have evidence that replacing your real-world relationships with social media is detrimental to your well-being."  

Social media may try to replace physical human relationships, but it is doomed to fail. Only genuine, physical human relationships can provide a lasting, deeply meaningful sense of belonging.


David Bornstein, writer for the NY Times, mentions Director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self Sherry Turkle and her book Alone Together in a discussion of significant increases in loneliness. As of 2004, one in four Americans shared that they had no one with whom to discuss important matters.

While some futurists praise the technological advances of the Digital Age, few seem to be paying attention to the long shadow it’s casting on human relationships. It would seem that, the more we are involved with Internet-based relationships, the lonelier we get.

Social Media

Facebook is a towering social media leviathan, with nearly 2 billion users as of May 2017. Then there are Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, plus many others. 

In an ironic twist, some research has shown a correlation between greater social media status and declining mental health, including lower self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.

Unironically, one of the most effective ways to reach out to someone with social media addiction is to physically be there for them, spending time with them and offering them support.

The idea is to replace the time they would otherwise spend on social media with quality physical time working out or just hanging out.

What Does the Future Hold? 

While no one can accurately predict the future, we know many things will change, and life in the distant future will be very different from today. In the future, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robots may be an integral part of our lives, with some even conversing with us as though they, too, were human. They may even be programmed to love us as though they were human. But, no matter how close AI can come to mimicking human thoughts and behavior, no matter how life-like robots become, they will still be technological marvels, and nothing more. A hundred years from now, we will still yearn for and seek out relationships with other humans.

Why annual reviews fail and how continuous feedback succeeds

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Why companies are doing away with the annual performance review

The Annual Performance Review is almost universally hated by managers and employees. For decades, it has been the tool of choice for evaluating the performance of employees and their overall value to the company.

Research conducted by the Corporate Executive Board (CEB), found that 77% of HR executive believe that performance reviews don't accurately reflect employee contributions. Rose Mueller-Hanson, HR Practice Leader at CEB, says that "Our research shows that individual performance ratings have absolutely zero correlation with actual business results."

This blog post talks about how the Annual Performance Review has failed...and what has emerged to take its place. We'll also share some insights that can be used to help your company make your performance reviews more relevant and less hated.

How 3 Companies Are Redefining Performance Management

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

What GE, Adobe, and Google are doing to redefine performance management and how to apply their strategies to your business

The Annual Performance Review is widely loathed. Josh Bersin, an HR analyst and Founder of Bersin by Deloitte, says, "Our research shows that more than 70% of all organizations dislike the process they have, and I have yet to talk with an employee or manager who likes it at all..." As more companies move to an agile business model, HR must move to toward a continuous performance management strategy that provides employees with ongoing, actionable feedback.

This article covers what three companies have done to redefine their HR performance management strategies and the results they have seen. We'll also show how you can use what these other companies have done to help you redefine the performance management strategy for your business.

How 360 Feedback Software Solutions Address Performance Management Challenges

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

360º feedback is a powerful HR Performance Management (HRPM) tool that can be difficult to implement and maintain. Software innovations in HRPM provide software solutions that aim to make 360º feedback much easier to work with. It is important to understand what 360º feedback is and its limitations before choosing a software solution. An effective 360º feedback software solution should be easy to implement, configure, and use. It should also provide user access management and customizable performance management tools. Moreover, 360º feedback software should also preserve the anonymity of individual reviewers while delivering aggregated data in formats that are easy to understand. Finally, an effective software solution should be able to quickly adapt to changing business needs.

Conducting Performance Management the Right Way

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Invest in your best asset: your employees

Engaged and satisfied employees are at the core of every successful company. This shouldn’t surprise anyone. What does perplex and stall many organizations is how to best capture and manage employee engagement and performance. For decades we have been striving to do this, with varying success.

"A lot of our performance management systems don't do a really good job of capturing ideas or insights...They capture hours or things that come off an assembly line, and the world just doesn't work that way anymore." - Brian Kropp - HR Practice Leader, CEB, The 3 Performance-Management Mistakes You Need to Stop Making

The Role Communication Plays in Driving Employee Engagement

Monday, February 13, 2017

Your organization may have all sorts of innovative programs in place to boost employee engagement, but do you capitalize on the simplest yet most effective technique of all - communication?

There's no doubt that communication is key in terms of employee engagement - get it right and the results will include improved performance, increased employee engagement, and ultimately organizational growth. When employees are fully engaged they're much more likely to show the commitment and loyalty that's needed for a strong, forward-moving business. 

An employee who understands strategic business objectives and goals (not only at a high level, but also where they fit in to the bigger picture), is going to be a much more engaged, motivated, and high-performing one. Here are some of the ways your organization can use communication to boost employee engagement

Why You Should Always be Documenting One-on-One Meetings

Monday, February 6, 2017

Whatever your organization's employee performance management system, it shouldn't simply be a once yearly event.

Regular one-on-one meetings throughout the year are essential to keep up the momentum of performance improvement, though the one-on-one can often be seen as the formal annual appraisal's poorer cousin. This can lead to planned meetings being missed out if something 'more important' crops up, but it's important to recognize just how valuable they are.

Employee Engagement and The Importance of Clarifying Roles

Thursday, January 26, 2017

No matter how big or small a business is, employees should always be given the tools to completely understand their role, not only on an individual scale but also how their role fits into the overall structure of the business and organizational strategy. 

You may think that as long as employees have a job description they can refer to they will be OK, but they need more than that to really understand where their role sits. They may well know what their function is and what their day-to-day responsibilities are, but what about where they fit in the grand scheme of things? How do they impact the success of the business as a whole? What role do they play in achieving organizational goals?

Here are some of the reasons having a clear understanding of their role is so important in terms of employee engagement.

Employee Satisfaction Surveys: How to Remove Biases and Collect Proper Data

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

If your organization conducts employee satisfaction surveys, the quality of the resulting data is key to their success. That's why we wanted to take a look at a common issue that comes up in any type of survey or poll, and one that you might have even experienced yourself - non-response bias. 

Even if it's not something you've heard of before, it could still be hurting your surveys. With that in mind let's find out what it is, when it occurs, and the consequences it can have for your employee engagement survey results.

What is non-response bias?

Top 18 Tips for 360° Survey Success

Friday, January 13, 2017

Gain invaluable and trustworthy data with these tips

Welcome to the Knowledge Economy. In today’s complex business landscape knowledge is power. The guessing game is increasingly being taken out of all levels of organizations. It is being replaced by data driven insights and decision making. When it comes to gathering data needed to evaluate employee engagement and performance, companies are finding surveys to be one of the best tools in their arsenal.

They are also finding not any old survey will do. The most beneficial survey method available is 360-degree surveying. In 360-degree surveying anonymous feedback is collected from anyone who works with the reviewee on a regular basis: coworkers, subordinates, peers, supervisor. These quantitative and qualitative data points are combined with the employee’s self evaluation survey to accurately and fairly assess the reviewee's overall behavior and performance, organizational effectiveness, employee engagement and job satisfaction.

While it isn’t difficult to administer a beneficial 360 degree survey campaign, successful administrators are finding that not all surveys are equal. There are tried and true best practices that should always be kept in mind throughout the process. We have compiled our top 18 tips to help you on your path to collecting accurate data and gaining invaluable insights.

Prepare for Success

Tip: Preparation is arguably the most important phase of a successful 360° survey implementation!
  1. Make sure the timing is right: Organizations with high degrees of trust among colleagues and management are good candidates for 360 feedback. If your company is undergoing a major restructure or if a blame culture currently exists, implementing a 360 process could have adverse effects. Make sure it is a good time to collect data!
  2. Define and communicate the process goals right off the bat: Hit the whiteboard at the start to make sure there is a clear idea of how the 360-degree feedback process fits within the overall employee development efforts. How often are you going to ask for feedback? What are you going to do with the results?
  3. Ensure buy-in throughout the organization: Communication from the get-go is key. You need to sell that this survey isn’t just a formality, aka a waste of time. Show that all levels of management are invested in the process. Make sure everybody knows why the 360 feedback process is being implemented and what the feedback will be used for. Establish that post-survey, resources will be invested to enact needed change. Employees will only provide honest feedback if they believe it will be used for the right reasons and if it is confidential. If you do ensure anonymity, it's extremely important to properly communicate the value of the 360-degree feedback process works, how the feedback will be used and how the anonymity of respondents is guaranteed. Employees will not feel comfortable providing honest feedback if they do not trust the system.

Now Build It

  1. Find the right survey solution: First off, there is no need to recreate the wheel. Find the right employee performance management solution for your organization. Look for a product that provides 360 feedback surveys, performance appraisals, AND employee surveys. Keep in mind, there is no need to break the bank when integrating a simple, flexible, and affordable solution.
  2. Keep it Short and Simple: The Harvard Business Review recommends creating “ a survey that requires just 15 to 20 minutes to complete, to avoid the survey fatigue that tortuously long instruments cause.” Also, make sure your survey follows a logical order and that it takes a reasonable amount of time to complete. Otherwise users will checkout/be lost by the end.
“ employee engagement survey gives CEOs a rare opportunity to test whether their strategy has permeated every nook-and-cranny of the organization” - Leadership Guru Mark Murphy
  1. Make Sure Every Question Is Necessary: In the same vein as keeping it short, every question in the survey should be well thought out. Start by planning what insights you need and then work backward. Then pare down where possible. Also, when ensuring every question is necessary, really make sure you are asking the right questions that get to the core of possible organizational issues. Strive for clear and precise language that will make your questions easy to answer.
  2. Make Sure you Can Fix the Issue You are Asking About: Take a good look at every question and ask, "Do I know what actions the organization can take to fix this issue?"  If the survey highlights an issue that can’t be fixed, you could be opening Pandora’s box.
  3. Ask One Question at a Time: If your questions contain the word “and”—it can be a red flag that your question has two parts. For example “Which of these services has the best customer support and reliability?” Customer support can be rated differently than reliability. Combining these two in one question could make the data on customer support and reliability misleading.
  4. Avoid Leading and Biased Questions: Make sure you aren’t pointing a reviewee towards a certain answer. In particular, evaluate the adjectives and adverbs in your questions. It is quite possible they are unnecessary.
    Leading question: Should concerned pet owners RFID chip their dogs? By using the word concerned, you put pet owners not tracking their dogs on the defensive, thus creating bias. A more successful non-leading question would be: Do you think dogs should be chipped?
  5. Speak The Respondent’s Language: Use language and terminology that your respondents will understand. As in the example below, keep it as simple as possible and try and avoid technical jargon.
    Overcomplicated: What is the state of the cleanliness of the office?
    Good question: How clean is the office? 
  6. Use Rating Scales Whenever Possible: Whether you're performing employee satisfaction or employee engagement surveys, use good rating scales. Scales that display the direction and intensity of attitudes often provide useful data. On the other hand, binary response options such as true/false response options, generally produce less informative data. Most yes/no or true/false questions can be reworked by including phrases such as “How much,” “How often,” or “How likely.” When setting up the scale remember that an unbalanced response scale can mislead a respondent in the same way a poorly worded question might. Make sure your response scales have a definitive midpoint. Aim for odd numbers of possible responses. Also, ensure they cover the whole range of possible reactions.
  7. Provide “Not applicable” (N/A) response options: A N/A response is ok. A fake answer is not. Providing N/A response options prevents respondents from skipping questions or giving false answers.

Test it Out!

  1. Administer a pilot: You should run the process with a group of employees or only selected areas. Get real feedback on employees using the actual questionnaires you developed. This pilot project will allow you to validate your questionnaires and to address any concerns from participants. It will also allow you to get comfortable with the tools and get ready to prepare action plans based on the feedback and comments.

It is Go Time

  1. Choose appropriate respondents: For a 360-degree feedback survey make sure to involve a wide range people throughout the company that sufficiently know the employee under review.  Primalogik 360 allows people being reviewed to suggest their own participants, providing valuable input at this stage of the process.
  2. Make sure people take it: Communicate effectively throughout the process and track progress with survey email. Utilize automated invitations and reminders to easily organize and administer your surveys.

Now the Real Work Starts

Summary comparison tool provided by Primalogik 360
  1. Analyze the results: Now you have to dig into the data. Spend time analyzing the results. Don’t just send the raw results to employees without any analysis or pre-processing. When analyzing the results make sure you aren’t just looking at the averages, valuable insight often lays in the outliers. Use frequency distribution charts to gain better insight on how 360 feedback ratings are distributed across a group of respondents. Looking at the full range allows managers and HR personnel to identify areas of disagreement, performance gaps or opportunities for improvement.
  2. Use the data and follow-up with each employee: Effective leaders listen to the survey and enact necessary change. The easiest way to invalidate a survey campaign is to not convey management is listening and willing to make possibly difficult changes. After analyzing all the raw data make sure to produce an action plan for each one of your employees. Follow-up with each respondent at predetermined intervals to ensure they are making progress within their customized plan.
  3. Rinse and repeat: The 360-degree process is not a one time thing. Repeat the process and compare results to ensure the right behaviors are being reinforced, progress is being made, and that your people are developing the right competencies. The process can be polished, questionnaires can be perfected, questions can be refined. Just make sure you convey the value of each iteration and each respondent's time. Or else the surveys will start wasting away in email purgatory.
When done correctly and coupled with a robust employee performance management plan 360-degree surveys can transform organizations. They can also drastically improve employee satisfaction. Let’s face it happy and engaged employees are at the core of successful businesses. Primalogik 360 is here to take the guess work out of employee engagement and directly ask employees about benefits, job satisfaction, work environment, and how satisfied they are with management. On top of that our 360-degree feedback reviews provide a wider and fairer view of your employees performance by incorporating anonymous feedback from coworkers, subordinates, peers and supervisors. Don’t just take our work for it, start a free trial today!

Abandoning Paper-Based Appraisal Processes for 2017

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Happy New Year! Let's talk about resolutions. No, I'm not going to get involved in your personal resolutions, but I'd really like to know if your organization is making any business resolutions or changes this year.

Here's why - I'd like to suggest one for you. To abandon paper-based processes and automate as much as possible, including things like employee performance appraisals and peer reviews.

You know it makes sense, and here are four reasons to make 2017 the year you start benefiting from employee performance management software.