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Who Should You Ask for 360 Feedback

5 min read
In any 360 review, there are 4 main stakeholders. First, there's an administrator who runs the process. Then, there's a reviewer that gives feedback, and a subject that receives it. Finally, there's a manager who helps the subject utilise the feedback and improve their performance. Here's a guide to the 4 roles and what's expected of each.

New to 360 Feedback? Read this first: What is 360-Degree Feedback?

The administrator

Main objective: To help the subject get the most from the 360 Feedback process. As an administrator, you’re not helping managers succeed, or organisations prove high employee engagement. You’re squarely focused on improving employee performance.

Remember this is not a performance review, but a way to identify development opportunities for employees and turn people into top performers.

Key actions:

  • Communicate the 360 Feedback process and its benefits
  • Make sure the process is clear and understood by other stakeholders in the 360 process
  • Conduct the survey and gather feedback – online surveys are the quickest and easiest way to do this
  • Sit down with managers to explain the results and how they can be acted upon
  • Talk to the subject about their feedback and explain how it can lead to future development
  • Provide a development plan to subjects, or work with managers to create one

Who normally fills the role: It could be someone from human resources, a third-party that specialises in running 360 Feedback programs, or software that means a company can run an effective self-service 360 Feedback process. Managers shouldn’t take this role, as it’s a conflict of interest with their role as a reviewer and manager.

The subject (aka participant or ratee)

Main objective: It’s less an objective and more of a guiding principle: as a subject, this whole process is intended to help you improve, so take on feedback with an open mind, whether it’s negative or positive.

Key actions:

  • Select reviewers – usually, that means at least 1 manager, 1 peer and 1 direct report
  • Complete your self-assessment
  • Take on feedback as just that – it’s neither right nor wrong, but just how others see you
  • Choose how you’ll act on the feedback – it’s up to you to what extent you change or continue what you’re doing
  • Focus on your positive feedback while also looking at how you can improve on some things
  • Work with administrators to create a development plan
  • Speak with your manager about your feedback

Who normally fills the role: Anyone in a company could be reviewed, but you might not be doing a company-wide 360 review, or maybe not include your senior leadership team.

The reviewer (aka rater)

Main objective: Give honest and constructive feedback to whoever you’re assigned to review. Keep it professional and think deeply about how your feedback can help one of your colleagues improve, whether they be a peer, direct report or manager.

Key actions:

  • Review the questions you’ll be asked to answer about a colleague
  • Give feedback on the people you’re assigned to review
  • Raise it with the administrator if you’ve been assigned someone you don’t know

Who normally fills the role: In theory, anyone can be a reviewer – but who a subject can select will depend on their role. For example, a junior sales rep can’t ask their CEO for feedback; they’ll be limited to managers 1 or 2 levels above them. Most companies will ask a subject to select between 3-10 reviewers, or an administrator will assign them.

The manager

Main objective: Give feedback as one of the subject’s reviewers, but also ensure that the subject gets the most from the process and uses the feedback to develop. As a manager, you’ll be working closely with the administrator to create development plans for your team members. And after the 360 review process is done, you’ll be the one giving continuous support and coaching to turn underperforming employees into good ones, and good ones into great ones – thus enhancing their employee experience.

Key actions

  • Give honest and constructive feedback – but feedback you’d feel comfortable giving at any time of the year
  • Team up with the administrator to create development plans for your team members
  • Put a plan in place to help your team members make the most of their 360 Feedback
  • Keep giving continuous feedback and coaching after the 360 review has been completed

Who normally fills the role: The subject’s direct line manager.


If you’d like to see how you can run 360 Feedback surveys with Qualtrics’ 360-degree feedback software, request a demo today. If you want to learn more about 360 feedback programs, download our eBook below.

Best practices: 360° feedback eBook