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What to ask in 360 feedback: Example questions and free template

5 min read
Want to get the full picture when it comes to your people? 360° feedback is a valuable tool for employee development – but what should you ask and why?


As we navigate flexible working environments and uncertain economic times, it’s critical that our leaders and our people understand their strengths and weaknesses. This not only means your people can pinpoint what they need to do to improve, but also helps build stronger teams and fill critical managerial and leadership roles throughout the organization.

Learn the research-backed approach to 360° feedback in our best practices guide

Why use 360° feedback?

360° feedback helps to give a fuller picture than just relying on one or two opinions. Multiple sources of feedback give a 3D view of an employee so they can better understand their personal development gaps.

But 360° feedback shouldn’t be just about gaps – it should highlight your employees’ strengths, while giving them constructive ways to improve upon their weaknesses.

Additionally, HR and senior leadership need valuable qualitative and multi-rater data to inform talent management processes like promotion, succession, and transfers.

What should we ask?

Many managers agree that 360° feedback is a useful tool for employee engagement programs, mentoring, employee review periods, and adds to the employee experience; but when it comes time to create questions to ask in your 360° feedback assessments, many people draw a blank. An open-ended question asking for opinions of an employee’s performance – both good and bad – isn’t helpful. It’ll give you an unorganized cacophony of data. There are better ways to ask.

Every organization has unique characteristics, a distinct culture, and a wide variety of leadership needs. We’ve taken some of the basic practices in 360° feedback survey design and package them up in a sample assessment to help you get started or benchmark your existing efforts.

Download the eBook: Best Practices for 360° Feedback

It’s important to keep in mind that every employee needs feedback in different areas for it to be useful.

Instead, look at a structured format for your 360 reviews. Without a structured question format you’ll get a lot of information, but it’s unlikely to help provide constructive and actionable insights to help an employee develop personally.

360° Feedback survey template: Sample competencies and statements

Hello (Evaluator Name),

You’ve been asked to provide employee feedback in this 360-degree survey for (Subject Name).

Below are some key leadership principles that apply to (Subject Name)’s development.

Please provide your confidential feedback by answering the following questions:

Communication

Please rate (subject’s name/yourself) relative to peers:

Never Rarely Occasionally Often Always No Opportunity to observe
Tailors communication to the needs of the audience
Checks for understanding when communicating with others

What are 1-2 ways (SUBJECT) can improve in this area?

What are 1-2 things (SUBJECT) does well in this area?:

Strategic mindset

Please rate (subject’s name/yourself) relative to peers:

Never Rarely Occasionally Often Always No opportunity to observe
Sets a clear strategy for achieving goals
Adapts and aligns with changes in business priorities

What are 1-2 ways (SUBJECT) can improve in this area?

What are 1-2 things (SUBJECT) does well in this area?:

Decision making

Please rate (subject’s name/yourself) relative to peers:

Never Rarely Occasionally Often Always No opportunity to observe
Considers the impact of decisions prior to action
Involves the right stakeholders when making decisions
Takes initiative to solve problems
Motivates others to reach their goals

What are 1-2 ways (SUBJECT) can improve in this area?

What are 1-2 things (SUBJECT) does well in this area?

Leading the team

Please rate (subject’s name/yourself) relative to peers:

Never Rarely Occasionally Often Always No opportunity to observe
Creates an environment where everyone can succeed
Promotes visibility to the contributions and work of the team

What are 1-2 ways (SUBJECT) can improve in this area?

What are 1-2 things (SUBJECT) does well in this area?

Want all these 360 Feedback questions in a PDF, along with more best practices and program tips? Download our 360 Feedback best practices guide

Access best practices, feedback questions and tips with our guide


Employee XM Team

This article was written by the EmployeeXM team

Our EX Scientists are a global team of Employee Experience consultants who deliver advisory services for our clients to help them design and deliver world class EX strategies & programs. They provide empirically driven, best practice solutions.