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.
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.
It’s important to keep in mind that every employee needs feedback in different areas for it to be useful. For example, you obviously wouldn’t ask coworkers of an employee in the creative department:
How well does (Subject Name) organize, analyze, and present large data sets that drive business decisions?
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 6 items about key leadership principles that apply to (Subject Name)’s development.
Please provide your anonymous feedback by answering the following questions: