Action Planning After Your 360 Feedback Session

Colin Newbold, 2nd September 2020 in Development, Feedback, Hiring, Human Resources, People Management, Testing

Recent research from Perkbox has revealed that despite the government's job retention scheme, furlough has led to 61% of its workers feeling concerned over their future job security. In contrast, one in five of those workers who weren't furloughed said they felt more secure in their job a result.

It has also been reported that just 15% of businesses have set a fixed date for returning to work, a further 22% of employees have received no clear guidance on how to return to work. Whether your business has furloughed some members of the team, is welcoming them back, or are looking to make further job cuts, gaining internal feedback at a time like this is critical.  

Understanding where your business is lacking efficiency and potentially underperforming can give decision makers the data and information they need to make cost-saving cuts. 


Gathering Valuable Insights Through 360 Feedback

The majority of workers don’t reach the goals they set each year and more than 1/4 of people abandon their New Year’s goals after one week. In fact, the average person makes the exact same resolution 10 different times without success. So, why do these resolutions consistently fail in the long run? After receiving valuable feedback data from the colleagues with whom you work most closely, it is vital to use that information and act on it to improve and better your skills.  

Once you’ve gathered the 360 feedback, digested the report and completed the checking out session, you need to create a tangible action plan.


360 Feedback Action Planning

Feedback sessions should be scheduled as soon as possible after the report is delivered. A

minimum of 45 minutes is required, and more comprehensive debriefing and action

planning discussions can last up to 2 hours.  These days, Zoom-type meetings are much more common and we would recommend a 75-min Zoom session for the feedback coaching and action planning.

The action planning session is designed to capture any reflections that have come from the 360 feedback report and the checking out process. Once up to three key development priorities have been agreed, the participant and coachee ensure those development priorities are still valid. They ask further questions to see what new information has emerged from the checking out process. These priorities and new discussion points will inform the action and development plan. 

The participant and coach typically undergo this session together - unless it’s a group setting. If the group is large enough, we would recommend splitting into smaller sub-groups of around 3 or 4 people. Group sessions would involve everybody in the sub-group contributing their ideas towards the participant’s personal development plan. The participant would digest these, summarise them and write up what has been agreed into their personal development plan. 


Personal Development Plan

If you are reading this as a coach, your role is to prepare and facilitate the action planning process. Below are a few key responsibilities of the coach:

  • Ensure the development areas are realistic and will have the biggest impact. 
  • Check the focus of the session is on outcomes as well as actions and bring the attention back to these two points if it digresses. 
  • Encourage the participant to think about a broad range of activities to address development areas, rather than honing in on one. 
  • Help the participant to identify how to build in further reflection markers.


As a participant, your role is to collate your personal development plan and take action based on your 360 feedback. Below are our top tips to make this session as efficient as possible:

  • Listen to your raters: While it is absolutely normal for 360 feedback participants to experience shock, disbelief or sometimes denial at their raters’ perceptions, it doesn’t mean they still can’t add value to the action planning and leadership development process. You don’t necessarily have to agree with the ratings; but you should consider any that show a trend and act upon them accordingly.  
  • Leverage your strengths: While it’s easy to focus on the negative and improving weaknesses, leveraging strengths can be even more beneficial in the personal development planning process.
  • Create SMART goals: Your goals should focus on what will be accomplished, while action steps focus on how you’re going to get there. These should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timebound. By incorporating deadlines and review dates it ensures the participant is on track with action steps and doesn’t get lost when day-to-day business becomes hectic.  Adding your action plan items to your calendar just as you would any other deadlines or meetings helps keep leadership development at the forefront of your to-do list.  See the example below...

Specific Action (together with relevant behaviour)

Listen to others (Model the Way)

Success Criteria

Feedback from the team to say that I am listening to them more

Support Needed

From the team to give me honest feedback

Obstacles to Success…

Time - often do not have time to listen to views but just need to give instructions

...and How to Overcome

If this is the case I need to tell people at the beginning of the meeting

By When?

In team meetings starting from today and ongoing

  • Share your plan: Being accountable for your actions means you are more likely to achieve them. By sharing your action plan with your manager, leadership coach, or even your direct reports, they can help you grow.


Turning Outcomes Into Actions

If you have already started your action plan, you’re already 80% more likely to improve than those who haven’t.  However, the below steps will provide the best framework for making the most of your 360 feedback to create positive change for yourself, your team, and your overall organisation.


A key step to ensuring your personal development plan is on track is to regularly review it with your coach or manager, this also helps keep the learning momentum going. The most important part of this session is to ensure the participant leaves with an updated, robust, timelined development action plan.

At click360SelfDrive, we support a range of organisations in their 360 feedback processes. If your organisation is interested in the 360 feedback process, creating personal development plans, or just general feedback support, please don’t hesitate to get in touch or sign up to a free trial.

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