After many years of administering 360 feedback, we have learned a few things. Working with multi-national organisations, and organisations with customers in numerous countries, has shown that the best way to get feedback is to ask in their own language. Even if your sales team or customer speak very good English, they will be much more comfortable completing a questionnaire in their native language.
One of our training customers delivers a programme of sales training to an organisation with sales teams across the world. Their participants complete 360 feedback before the training so they, and their trainers, can identify where to focus the training. A second 360 feedback is completed around 9 months after the training to measure improvements.
We set up this questionnaire in five different languages; English, French, German, Korean and Brazilian Portuguese. The participant and their colleagues have the choice of language at the start of the questionnaire, so they can view questions and provide responses in whichever language they choose.
This was a great project. Our customer provided the translations, and we uploaded them into the system, matching them to the English questions and checking to make sure that the questionnaire reads correctly for all the different languages. My French is quite good (I studied it at university) and I can understand a bit of German, but Korean and Brazilian Portuguese were new to me. Google translate was very helpful! We would always suggest that a native speaker reviews the questionnaire in their language before launching, just to make sure that the wording is appropriate.
Allowing the participant and their colleagues to choose their language increases participation rates and provides more meaningful feedback for the participant. Feedback is included in the report in the language in which it is given.
Another multi-national customer asked for their Sales 360 to be in nine different languages. European languages have many similarities. The languages which use different characters, e.g. Korean, Japanese and Thai, are more difficult and we have to place trust in the translation provided.
It’s not just 360 feedback, we have also set up surveys in foreign languages. A customer asked for their regularly used team survey to be translated for a German team. Although the team spoke English, a more in depth understanding was possible in their native language.
To set up your next multi-national 360 project, give us a call.