When I was employed at a large multinational electronic materials company, we often had large sales meetings. At one of these we had a typical lunch in a hotel ballroom. There may have been seventy people there. Midway through dessert, the Vice president of HR stood up. He announced that my boss was interested in having feedback on his leadership and was inviting that feedback — right now. Several people were game and gave their comments, but you can imagine it was a bit of a flop. It is an example of a good tool (a 360 review of feedback from supervisors, peers and direct reports) used with colossally inept execution.
Many of my clients felt their 360 reviews “the worst ever” because they contained some harsh feedback. However, the worst 360s are ones that don’t contain information that can be actioned. In my example, the data volume was low and data quality was shallow. What can you do with comments yelled at you from twenty feet away? To make your feedback useful, make sure there is adequate volume of responses and that the comments are related to observable behavior. And go easy on the bread.