360 Review Feedback: How to Conduct It to Improve Your Whole Team

Find out how to conduct a 360 review to improve your team and employee satisfaction using our questions and examples.

Published
12.4.2023
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360 Review Feedback: How to Conduct It to Improve Your Whole Team

360 Review Feedback: How to Conduct It to Improve Your Whole Team
Find out how to conduct a 360 review to improve your team and employee satisfaction using our questions and examples.

Think about the last time your colleague commended you on your effort. No doubt you felt appreciated and recognized. That's the power of 360 review feedback—employees can feel like their contributions and opinions matter.

While feedback can be negative or positive, there's always a positive reaction whenever you tell somebody they're performing well. That being said, employees need to receive peer feedback that constructively criticizes them when their performance isn't up to par. 

Surprisingly, 64% of employees said they weren’t satisfied with the feedback they receive in the workplace. While regular performance evaluations are important, they can feel one-sided. That is why we recommend implementing 360 review feedback in your organization. 

This guide will provide the step-by-step instructions you need to conduct a successful 360-degree review. You'll learn to identify key stakeholders, create an effective review process, and collect and analyze feedback data.

What is a 360-review process?

Image source: Checkbox

Before we get into the details, let's first cover the pros and cons of 360 degree feedback.

A 360-degree review is a form of employee evaluation for any business or organization. It provides an opportunity to gain insight into an employee’s work behavior, interpersonal skills, productivity, contributions, and engagement based on feedback from seven to fifteen people in the company. 

As a result, the employee and organization can learn about their strengths and weaknesses, and make changes where necessary.

Since a 360 review process involves peer feedback from different angles in an organization, it normally includes input from:

  • Team members who work directly with the employee
  • A manager who supervises the employee
  • Customers or clients

360 review pros and cons

Like any survey process, there are pros and cons, and 360-degree feedback is no exception. As you learn about this feedback process, let's look at some of the pros and cons you need to know.

Pros of 360 review

  1. The employees receive a comprehensive view of their strengths and weaknesses. In the 360 review process, the employee receives feedback not just from one person but from multiple people across various levels in the organization. This provides an opportunity for the employee to reflect on feedback from different perspectives, which can be beneficial for self-improvement and increase self-awareness. In the process, the employee can improve their weaknesses, leading to improved morale and productivity.
  2. Helps drive improvement in the workplace. The feedback can help create an understanding of how a person impacts the organization. As a result, the organization can use the insight for more effective development plans to support its employees. The whole organization benefits from improving its employees, leading to more harmonious relationships and better communication. 
  3. Increases employee satisfaction. The 360 review process provides an opportunity for employees to voice their concerns about other co-workers and managers. If all involved parties take proper action, it can lead to improved working relationships where employees feel heard and like their opinions matter in the workplace.

Cons of 360 review

  1. The wrong reviewers may lead to conflicts. It's crucial to choose the right kind of individuals to make the review process more effective. Employees can give a biased review based on a personal conflict. You can gather an unbiased and accurate review of employee performance by selecting a wide range of reviewers across different levels, e.g. co-workers, customers, managers, and reporting staff members.
  2. 360-degree reviews can be time-consuming. Significant time is involved for the reviewers to share their feedback and for the supervisors or managers to analyze the review reports.
  3. Follow-up is crucial to make performance improvement. All reviews and direct reports will bear no fruit if a company doesn't follow through to make adjustments. The company can use the help of an external consultant to review the feedback and make improvement plans.

How to conduct a 360 review

Now that we've highlighted the pros and cons of a 360 review, let's move on to the steps to conduct an effective 360 review in your organization.

Step 1: Seek the opinion of stakeholders

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Your 360-degree review will be more successful when you communicate with other stakeholders (employees, supervisors, managers, and reviewers) on how you plan to implement the 360 review process. 

What’s the goal of the review process? How will it work? How will you gather and apply the feedback you receive? These are some questions you and stakeholders in your organization can reflect on for a more effective 360 review planning.

Step 2: Set the criteria for rating each employee

How do you plan on rating your employees, co-workers, and yourself? With the right criteria, you can assess employee performance and soft skill sets. You can consider the following factors:

  • Interpersonal skills: empathy, listening, and positivity
  • Organizational skills: task management, time management, and strategic mindset
  • Communication skills: the ability to communicate clearly and effectively
  • Leadership skills: taking responsibility, decision making, and coaching

The above skill sets can serve as pointers in setting your survey questions.

Step 3: Choose who will rate each employee

While the 360 review involves feedback from different people in an organization, it's crucial to choose the right individuals that understand the review process. You can choose between seven to fifteen reviewers and ensure they know the employee well enough based on different projects and work relationships.

Step 4: Build your feedback questionnaire

Image source: Checkbox

In this stage, you need to compile the right list of closed and open-ended questions. Asking the right questions will ensure that you get the most accurate responses. 

Checkbox offers an extensive list of survey questions and descriptions so that you can easily select what works for you. 

To learn more about this feature, you can sign up for a free trial as you read.

Step 5: Send out your surveys

After you've prepared the feedback questions, it's time to distribute your surveys. You can email the participants or send the surveys via another means. To make this process more efficient, you can use a survey tool to invite participants to provide answers to your survey questions.

For instance, Checkbox lets you share your surveys as .csv or .sav files, for use in Excel or SPSS.

Step 6: Gather and assemble feedback

You need to be patient when waiting for feedback. At times, reviewers may delay for various reasons, making the entire feedback process more time-consuming. In this case, you can set deadlines and send automated reminders to respondents that are yet to submit their feedback.

Step 7: Create review reports

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After you have received feedback from all respondents, you can work on compiling a report. You can share this report individually, during feedback sessions, by email, or by any other means that works for you.

Step 8: Create a development plan

What you do with the feedback data will make a major difference in the entire 360 review process. When you assess different employee feedback, you can use the data to figure out what your development plans should involve and how you can support your employees.

360 review questions

Most 360 review questions involve a balance of open-ended and close-ended questions to gather as much valuable feedback as possible. In this section, we've highlighted some 360 feedback questions that can help you prepare your questionnaire.

Close-ended 360 review questions 

In any survey, it helps to have a mix of quantitative feedback for performance insight and qualitative feedback for deeper analysis. Close-ended questions are ideal for gathering quantitative information. 

This approach works through the use of response indicators such as—"strongly disagree," "disagree," "neutral," "agree," and "strongly agree." Your reviewers can use these options to indicate their level of agreement or disagreement with your review questions. 

Here are some examples of possible questions that you can include in your 360 reviews: 

  1. [Employee name] communicates clearly with other co-workers and me.
  2. [Employee name] is a team player.
  3. [Employee name] has problem-solving skills and brings creativity when addressing issues.
  4. [Employee name] has good organizational skills and meets deadlines. 
  5. [Employee name] treats my co-workers and me with respect.
  6. [Employee name] is open to receiving negative and positive feedback. 
  7. [Employee name] values the opinions of other team members at the workplace.
  8. [Employee name] values diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Open-ended 360 review questions 

Open-ended questions help reviewers expand on the feedback they give. Rather than selecting a typical agree or disagree option, respondents can go deeper into their opinions and thoughts about an employee. 

Here are some examples of open-ended questions that you can include in your 360 review questionnaire:

  1. Identify an area where you saw [Employee name] excel this quarter/year. 
  2. How well does [Employee name] meet deadlines? 
  3. Name an area that you'd like [Employee name] to improve. 
  4. How well did [Employee name] manage tasks this quarter? 
  5. As a team member, name one constructive feedback you'd like to give to [Employee name]. 
  6. What's an area you'd want [Employee name] to improve? 
  7. What are [Employee name]'s strengths and weaknesses? 
  8. How well does [Employee name] adapt to changing priorities? 

Though there are many more 360 review questions, you can use the ones we've highlighted above to guide you as you develop questions for your questionnaire. In the next section, we'll look at some 360 feedback examples to inspire you throughout the review process.

360 feedback examples 

Image source: Freepik

Since 360-degree feedback evaluates an employee based on different angles, it aims to cover several categories like problem-solving, communication, efficiency, and interpersonal skills.

Here are some examples of positive and negative feedback in these categories:

Skill

Positive feedback

Negative feedback

Problem-solving

"You always come up with great solutions when trying to solve problems, which has resulted in great achievements in our projects."

"I think you act impulsively when it comes to solving problems. It would be helpful if you thoughtfully assessed the situation before responding."

Communication

"The way you listen to others when they share ideas is remarkable. I admire that you allow others to make their point without interrupting them."

"I think you don’t communicate your ideas clearly in our meetings. It would be best to think about what you'd like to say before the meeting so you can share them effectively."

Efficiency

"Kudos to you! The resources you received have greatly improved your efficiency in performing tasks."

"I think you could be more efficient in performing tasks if you had more training. It would be best if you received more resources and training so you can handle tasks effectively."

Interpersonal skills

"Your interpersonal skills have greatly improved, and you've become more patient when dealing with others."

"I think you could improve your interpersonal skills by being more polite to people. Consider softening your approach so that your team members don't feel like you're attacking them."

Now, let's move on to some of the best practices to help you in your 360-degree review process.

360 reviews best practices

For your 360-degree review to be more successful, you can apply the best practices when running 360 reviews. Here are some of them:

  1. Prepare the employees for the review process
    360 reviews provide the opportunity to give constructive feedback to an employee, so they must prepare for the evaluation before it begins. For instance, you can prepare an employee for the 360 review process by highlighting the benefits it provides to them or you can provide guidance on how to give corrective feedback without offending or attacking someone.
  2. Provide resources to support your employees after the review
    In most cases, the employees may receive corrective feedback during 360 reviews. So, how do you help your employees and colleagues make improvements post-review? You can provide resources to improve their skill sets, mentorship programs, and encouragement.
  3. Identify desired goals and metrics
    When conducting a 360 review, you need to identify goals and metrics that will help you determine if an employee has achieved desired outcomes. 
  4. Consider your employees as a team
    While a 360 review involves evaluating individual employees, you need to look at it as a process that requires a team effort. If a particular review shows that an employee requires more coaching, other team members can also help to support the individual to achieve progress.

How Checkbox can help you make the 360-review process easier

Image source: Checkbox

Preparing 360-degree feedback with Checkbox has never been easier. Our survey platform has an intuitive interface and allows you to create customized online surveys that your employees will enjoy taking. A great thing about using Checkbox is that you don't need advanced coding skills! Our no-code editor enables you to edit your survey appearance to suit your preference.

Here are some of the major Checkbox features:

1. Automation and integration: scheduled emails, Javascript, and URL redirects help you to connect survey data with other third-party apps so that you can gain additional context and value.

2. Survey appearance: custom branding options, mobile responsiveness, and a wide range of survey templates allow you to customize your surveys to suit your business needs. This also gives you complete control over the layout of your questions so that you can send surveys that reflect your branding message. 

3. Survey creation: an extensive list of survey questions, advanced logic, flow, and action options enable you to arrange your questions logically and customize your surveys to suit the answers of your reviewers. 

4. Survey export: data export formats like .csv or .sav files, QR codes, custom links, and social media allow you to easily share your surveys across your organization.

5. Analytics and reporting: branded reports, charts and graphs, real-time survey results, report filtering, and API help you to analyze your survey results.

With these features, you can improve your 360-degree review processes and collect employee feedback with less hassle.

Summing up

Conducting a 360 review can be time-consuming and challenging, especially if you don’t take proper measures. As you create a strategy for your 360 review, remember that you don't have to get it perfect the first time. As you move forward, you'll learn what works and doesn't work and use the insight to refine your strategy for better feedback evaluations.

That said, you can reduce the workload involved in a 360 review process by applying a digital approach. Our online survey tool, Checkbox, helps businesses create professional surveys and gather feedback that will help improve your whole team. Don't just take our word for it! You can sign up for free and test our survey features.

FAQs

How does 360-degree feedback help organizations?

360-degree feedback helps an organization understand pending business needs and identify where there's poor morale in the workplace. This way, they can use the insight to improve employee development, leadership roles, and organizational processes. Apart from that, when employees and managers share constructive feedback about their peers, it helps improve teamwork and communication in the workplace.

Are 360 reviews effective?

Yes, when done right, 360 reviews provide many benefits, such as improved employee self-awareness and morale, better working relationships, and personal development.

Are 360 reviews anonymous?

Yes, 360 reviews should be confidential and anonymous so that the employees receive honest and helpful feedback.

What is the overall goal of 360-degree feedback?

The overall goal of 360-degree feedback is to assess an employee's interpersonal skills, work behavior, efficiency, and productivity so that they can identify their strengths and weaknesses and work better to become a well-rounded person in the workplace.

How can managers improve employee satisfaction with the feedback process?

Once a review has ended, managers can provide support in the form of resources, coaching, and encouragement. The manager can also invite the employee for a feedback session so that they can analyze the review report and ask any questions they may have. Even more, employees can have the chance to express their concerns about other co-workers and their managers which can make them feel like their opinions matter to the organization. 

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