Implementing a 360-degree feedback survey can provide numerous benefits to business teams. Find out the key advantages gained through this powerful tool and how they can affect your company results.
What is 360-degree feedback?
360-degree feedback, or multi-rater feedback, is a performance evaluation tool that provides individuals with feedback from multiple sources, including peers, supervisors, subordinates, and sometimes even external stakeholders. The name “360-degree” feedback comes from the fact that feedback is collected from all directions, or “360 degrees,” around the individual being evaluated.
The feedback is usually collected through a questionnaire or survey, which asks raters to evaluate the individual’s performance on various competencies or behaviours. The competencies may include communication skills, leadership ability, teamwork, problem-solving, and others specific to the individual’s role and responsibilities.
What does a 360-degree feedback measure?
A 360-degree feedback survey measures an individual’s performance and behaviour across various dimensions. The survey typically measures the following:
The skills, knowledge, and abilities required to perform a job or role effectively.
How an individual interacts with others, including communication style, leadership, teamwork, and work ethic.
An individual’s personal qualities, such as emotional intelligence, adaptability, and resilience.
An individual’s performance in their current role, including productivity, quality of work, and customer satisfaction.
What are the benefits of 360-degree feedback?
There are several benefits of using 360-degree feedback as a performance evaluation tool:
A holistic view of performance
A 360-degree feedback survey provides a comprehensive and holistic view of an individual’s performance, incorporating feedback from multiple sources, including supervisors, peers, subordinates, and even customers.
The feedback can increase an individual’s self-awareness, enabling them to identify their strengths and areas for development.
By identifying areas for development, individuals can take action to improve their performance, leading to increased productivity and better job performance.
Feedback can be used to develop an action plan to address specific areas for improvement, including identifying training and development opportunities.
Feedback can improve communication between individuals and their colleagues, leading to better collaboration and teamwork.
Fairness and objectivity
By incorporating feedback from multiple sources, a 360-degree feedback survey can provide a more objective and fair assessment of an individual’s performance.
Recognition of strengths
Feedback can identify an individual’s strengths, allowing them to leverage them in their work and career development.
Providing feedback demonstrates an organisation’s commitment to employee development, leading to increased engagement and retention.
Feedback helps identify potential future leaders within an organisation, informing succession planning and career development opportunities.
Feedback can be used to assess whether an individual’s behaviours and performance align with the organisation’s values and culture, promoting a more positive and cohesive work environment.
Who can give 360-degree feedback?
It is crucial for a team to give genuine and effective feedback to colleagues. A 360-degree feedback survey is typically designed to collect feedback from multiple sources, including:
Direct managers or supervisors can provide valuable feedback on an individual’s job performance, competencies, and behaviours.
Co-workers or peers can provide feedback on an individual’s teamwork, communication, leadership, and other interpersonal skills.
If an individual is in a leadership position, they may receive feedback from subordinates on their leadership and management skills. If we conduct customer satisfaction surveys about our product, why not to ask our own employees about their satisfaction with their job?
If individuals interact with customers or clients, they may receive feedback on their customer service and communication skills.
An individual can also provide a self-evaluation, reflecting on their strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement.
It is essential to select raters who are familiar with the individual’s work and can provide honest and constructive feedback. To ensure anonymity and encourage honest feedback, the raters’ responses are usually combined, and feedback is provided in a group report format rather than individually.
How often should you use 360-degree feedback?
The frequency of using 360-degree feedback largely depends on the organisation’s goals, culture, and resources. Here are some factors to consider when deciding how often to use 360-degree feedback:
If the 360-degree feedback is for developmental purposes, it can be used more frequently, such as once a year or every six months. However, if the purpose is for performance evaluations, it may be used less frequently, such as once every two or three years.
Organisations that value continuous improvement and growth may use 360-degree feedback more frequently than those that prioritise performance evaluations.
Conducting 360-degree feedback surveys can be time-consuming and resource-intensive. Therefore, the organisation’s resources may limit the frequency of use.
In general, it is recommended to use 360-degree feedback at least once a year for development purposes. This allows individuals to receive feedback on their progress and adjust their goals and action plans accordingly. It is also a method to improve employee loyalty. However, it is essential to consider the unique needs and culture of the organisation to determine the most appropriate frequency of use.
360-degree feedback vs performance reviews
360-degree feedback and performance reviews are both methods of evaluating an individual’s performance, but there are some critical differences between them:
The primary purpose of 360-degree feedback is to provide comprehensive feedback from multiple sources to support an individual’s personal and professional development. Performance reviews, on the other hand, are typically used for administrative purposes such as determining salary, bonuses, promotions, or identifying performance issues that require corrective action.
360-degree feedback assesses an individual’s overall performance, including competencies, behaviours, and personal attributes. Performance reviews typically focus on an individual’s job-specific skills, such as meeting goals and objectives.
360-degree feedback involves feedback from multiple sources, including supervisors, colleagues, subordinates, and even customers. A supervisor or manager usually conducts performance reviews.
360-degree feedback can be used more frequently than performance reviews, often occurring annually or semi-annually. Performance reviews are typically conducted annually or on an as-needed basis.
360-degree feedback is often conducted through anonymous surveys, with results presented in a group report format. Performance reviews typically involve one-on-one meetings between the individual and their supervisor or manager.
In summary, while both 360-degree feedback and performance reviews involve evaluating an individual’s performance, 360-degree feedback is primarily a tool for personal and professional development, while performance reviews are focused on administrative purposes.
What does the 360-degree feedback process look like?
The 360-degree feedback process typically involves the following steps:
The individual being evaluated and their supervisor typically identify who will provide feedback, including peers, direct reports, and others who work closely with the individual.
Select assessment tool
A questionnaire or survey is selected that includes questions related to the competencies or behaviours being evaluated.
The raters complete the questionnaire or survey, providing feedback on the individual’s performance.
The feedback is collected and compiled into a report summarising the results. This report is typically provided to the individual being evaluated and their supervisor.
The individual being evaluated and their supervisor review the feedback together, discussing the strengths and weaknesses identified and developing an improvement plan.
The individual being evaluated works to improve their performance based on the feedback received and the development plan created.
It is important to note that the 360-degree feedback process should be conducted confidentially and constructively, focusing on improving performance rather than assigning blame or criticism. The feedback should be used to identify areas for improvement and create a development plan that helps the individual reach their full potential.
How to give the 360-degree feedback
Here are several steps to giving effective face-to-face feedback. When giving 360-degree feedback, it is essential to keep the following guidelines in mind:
Give concrete examples of behaviours or actions you have observed that demonstrate the individual’s strengths or areas for improvement.
Provide feedback based on observations, not personal opinions or assumptions. Focus on the facts and avoid making judgments or assumptions.
Provide feedback positively and constructively, focusing on what the individual can do to improve rather than on what they have done wrong.
Emphasise both strengths and areas for improvement. Avoid focusing solely on negative feedback or only highlighting positive aspects.
Provide feedback respectfully and professionally. Avoid using language that is aggressive, judgmental, or offensive.
Give your comments on time, ideally as close to the time of the observed behaviour as possible, to ensure that it is still fresh in the individual’s mind.
Be mindful of the relationship
Provide feedback in a way that is appropriate for the relationship you have with the individual. Tailor your approach based on the nature of the relationship and the individual’s personality and communication style.
How to get the 360-degree feedback
Receiving 360-degree feedback can be a valuable tool for personal and professional development. Here are some steps to help you receive and make the most of this feedback:
Understand that the feedback is intended to help you improve, not criticise you. Be open-minded and willing to receive feedback from a variety of sources.
Choose your raters carefully
Select raters familiar with your work, such as colleagues, supervisors, and subordinates. Ensure that the raters are objective and can provide constructive feedback.
Communicate the purpose of the feedback
Let your raters know why you seek their feedback and how it will be used. This will help them provide more useful feedback.
Collect feedback from your raters through surveys or interviews
Ensure that the feedback is anonymous to encourage honesty.
Analyse the feedback to identify common themes and patterns
Look for both strengths and areas for improvement.
Develop an action plan based on the feedback you have received
Prioritise areas for improvement and set specific goals to address them.
Follow up with your raters to thank them for their feedback
Let them know how you plan to use it. Keep them updated on your progress toward your goals.
The 360-degree feedback examples
An employee might receive feedback from their supervisor, peers, and subordinates on their communication skills, teamwork, leadership, and other key competencies.
Managers might receive feedback from their direct reports, peers, and senior leaders on their ability to coach and develop others, delegate effectively, and manage performance.
Training and development
An employee might receive feedback from colleagues and subject matter experts on their knowledge and skills related to a particular area, such as project management or customer service.
Team members might provide feedback to each other on their communication, collaboration, and conflict-resolution skills to improve team performance.
Feedback might be collected from customers and analysed alongside feedback from employees to identify areas for improvement in the customer experience.
To get user feedback on the site, you can use popups and other forms that will help you collect the information you are interested in. To create popups, there are several effective tools, including a popup creator.
The feedback collected through 360-degree evaluations can help individuals identify their strengths and weaknesses and better understand how others perceive them. This information can be used to set goals, improve performance, and develop skills.
Additionally, it promotes a culture of open communication and feedback, which can lead to increased employee engagement and motivation. While there are some potential drawbacks to 360-degree feedback, such as the risk of bias or misuse of feedback, these can be mitigated by proper planning and implementation. So, 360-degree feedback can benefit individuals and organisations in achieving their goals and improving performance.
360-degree feedback is often used in performance appraisals, leadership development programs, and employee development initiatives. However, it is important to note that 360-degree feedback should be used as one component of a broader performance evaluation system and not relied on as the sole source of information for decision-making.
About the Author
Zoryana Oberemok is the Head of Content of Claspo, an online website widget builder that helps teams with data collecting, conversion increase, repeat sales growth, and user journey optimisation.