What is 360 Feedback?

What is 360 Feedback?

360 degree feedback is a process that allows employees to get reviews from their colleagues. The process involves managers, peers, direct reports and in some cases clients completing a questionnaire which evaluates areas such as leadership, people management and execution. The 360 feedback surveys are given confidentially and anonymously and the evaluation lets an individual receive an analysis of how others perceive them at the workplace.

From their 360 feedback an individual is able to better evaluate their skills, performance, and quality of work relationships. This process empowers them to work on improving or developing areas that are restricting their success. The 360 degree feedback surveys usually start with an employee filling in a self-perception questionnaire with the same questionnaire being sent to a variety of other respondents who also provide feedback on what their perceptions of the individual's workplace competencies. The 360 degree feedback questionnaire usually has questions that are answered on a rating scale and supported by written comments.

The other respondents in any leadership feedback survey must have a working relationship with the Self appraise. They could be the Self appraise’s manager, peers, direct reports or clients.

What is The Criteria Used to Select Respondents in 360 Feedback Surveys?

For the 360 degree feedback surveys to present a true representation of an employee’s performance, the participants must:

  • Be people who know the individual well. They must have adequate working experience with the individual to give valid and honest feedback. The leadership feedback survey should be based on the interaction between the appraise and the rater. The answers are based on observable behavior. Having people who have little or no interaction with the person will give false 360 feedback that is not very useful. The quality of raters selected will determine how effective the 360 degree leadership feedback survey will be.
  • The raters must be diverse. A cross-section of respondents should be selected if the leadership feedback survey is to give a complete picture of an individual’s strengths and development areas. The number of raters should be enough to give adequate 360 degree feedback. A typical 360 degree feedback survey will include a minimum of eight raters with a minimum number of three raters in each category (except for the individual’s manager group).

Why Are 360 Degree Leadership Feedback Surveys Necessary?

This type of feedback is important if managers and leaders are to grow personally and professionally.  The 360 feedback allows an employee to clearly identify their strengths and development areas. From the feedback, the person can identify areas they need to develop to be better at their job. 360 feedback surveys should also tabulate all responses and present them in a manner that makes creating a development plan easy.

From the 360 feedback, the Human Resources Team can determine what development an employee needs to improve leadership and functional capability.


Final Word

When used correctly 360 degree leadership feedback surveys are one of the best self-development tools that can be initiated within an organization. The system ensures ongoing learning in most areas that will translate into top performance. 360 feedback survey tools are readily available and some of the new platforms, like MultiRater Surveys, come at a dramatically reduced costs compared to the traditional off-the-shelf survey providers.