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What Makes a 360-Degree Review Successful?
- Jack Zenger
- Joseph Folkman
It has to start with buy-in from the top.
Companies have continued to use the 360-degree process throughout the years because it works. But for it to be worthwhile, the process has to be implemented in a way that engages leaders so they are compelled and motivated to become better at their job. When they learn through the feedback whether others’ perceptions of them are different than their own, identify a weakness to fix or a strength to build, and understand how their leadership is affecting the productivity and engagement of their direct reports, they can use – and act on – that information, to improve themselves and the company in the process.
Too many companies don’t take the 360-degree feedback process seriously enough. Often it goes like this: After shopping around and deciding on a 360-degree feedback instrument, talent professionals administer it to the colleagues of each participant. After aggregating the data, those same professionals send a summary report to the leader, who then reads through the report with some interest and puts it away. Sometimes, it’s never discussed again.
The outcome? Little, if anything, changes. The mindset of the leaders who received the feedback report isn’t altered. They don’t change their behavior toward others. In most cases, this process doesn’t do any damage (other than wasting time and money), but it’s a missed opportunity — for the leader and the company.
Organizations that take the process more seriously , of course, get much better results. The 360-degree feedback instrument itself may be exactly the same, but the way it’s administered is completely different. This approach stands in contrast to what we’ve described above — and is what we strongly recommend. Here are some of the key differences:
- The leader helps choose who among their colleagues should respond to the survey.
- The leader personally communicates with those respondents, asking them to provide their candid observations.
- The report is presented to the leader, either in a group setting (if multiple people are taking the instrument at the same time) or in a one-on-one coaching conversation.
- The leader is provided with context and guidance to understand the data.
- The leader also receives a customized set of developmental recommendations, mapped to the company’s leadership competencies, to help them create a personal development plan.
- There is follow-up from the talent professionals to ensure accountability.
There are many reasons to follow a process that looks more like this one. In our 30 combined years of helping organizations and leaders implement 360-degree feedback instruments, we’ve seen the following benefits of using this process.
This is one of the most important outcomes of any feedback process. People with little self-awareness are often puzzled by the behavior of others toward them. They might wonder, “Why do people not include me in their casual conversations?” “Why do I end up in heated arguments?” “Why was I not chosen to lead this project? I know more than the person they selected.” When a 360-assessment is carried out as described above, the leader is able to compare their self-ratings to the ratings from others. Having ratings from multiple people (we recommend at least a dozen) provides greater evidence that this is much more than just one person’s opinion. Combined with accountability, this evidence serves as a strong impetus to change.
In our experience, leaders are sometimes pleasantly surprised by the differences between their own opinions of themselves and the observations of others. There are usually a few pieces of feedback that are confusing and cause the leader to question, “Why would someone think that?” All of this is part of the expansion of their self-awareness , as they learn more about their strengths and weaknesses . Their world makes more sense.
Reiteration of important messages.
Leaders who go through a serious 360-degree feedback process will often reflect on a comment or piece of feedback and say something to the effect of, “I’ve heard that before. My (husband/wife/partner/roommate) has told me that, but I didn’t think it was that important.” But now, when a dozen or more people collectively observe that the leader isn’t a good listener, for example, the message is louder and clearer. The 360-degree feedback process underscores the seriousness and credibility of the feedback.
The anonymity of process means that the feedback was given by colleagues with the understanding that they would be confidential. The result is far greater honesty and candor. And, we’re happy to say that after decades of conducting and reviewing thousands of 360-degree feedback reports, we almost never see messages that are intentionally barbed or mean-spirited.
Increased likelihood of change .
Improving your leadership effectiveness requires behavior change. A 360-feedback process, when done right, greatly increases the chances that change will occur. When leaders find out that others see them differently than they intend or want to be seen, they have a simple choice. Either they redefine how they see themselves, or they change their behavior. For example, if others tell me that I’m rigid and don’t listen to a different viewpoint, the next time I’m in a discussion about a controversial topic, I’m more inclined to catch myself and listen. And if I continue to argue and hold tight to my views, I’ll be faced with the realization that the others’ perceptions of me were correct.
There’s also an increased likelihood of change if several leaders go through this process together. Social reinforcement makes it easier for everyone involved to be more receptive to new ideas and feedback. This is the same reason that working with a coach can help a leader to change ; the coach holds leaders accountable for their commitments to change their behavior, and follows up to see if they did.
Our research has shown that there are specific behaviors that are highly correlated with any competency a person is seeking to improve. For example, our data reveals that people who receive high scores on strategic thinking are far more prone to do the following:
- Visit their customers
- Emphasize innovative solutions
- Analyze trends
- Communicate with stories, illustrations, and parables
- Establish stretch goals
Correlation, we all know, does not prove causation ; but knowing specific behaviors that go hand-in-hand with a competency you want to improve provides useful clues about non-obvious ways to become a better leader.
Links between business outcomes and leadership behavior.
Another motivation for a leader to change their behavior is seeing the impact on measurable outcomes, such as employee engagement and effort. When they understand that altering the way they lead can result in better performance, they’re much more likely to follow through.
For example, the best 360-degree feedback assessments measure the current level of engagement and commitment of the leader’s direct reports. When the connection between the leaders’ behavior and an important metric like engagement is made visible, they better comprehend the consequences of their actions.
We know from hundreds of studies that as leadership effectiveness increases, so does the retention of valued employees, customer satisfaction, profitability, productivity, and employee engagement. The graph below shows the assessment results from 97,617 leaders. Each leader was rated by their direct reports on 49 behaviors that differentiate poor leaders from great ones. The horizontal axis is the average score on these behaviors — an overall leadership effectiveness index. The vertical axis shows employee engagement (e.g., satisfaction and commitment) for the leader’s direct reports. Note that for every decile of improvement in overall leadership effectiveness, engagement increases by more than five percentile points.
Performance improvement beyond a single leader.
When a leader improves their effectiveness, it doesn’t just benefit them or their direct reports. Other people throughout the organization benefit, too. We’ve seen that as one leader improves others are motivated to do the same, creating a ripple effect that lasts over time.
In fact, all levels of leadership in an organization are influenced by the collective capability of the top team. We’ve seen in our research that if the top team scores just above average in overall leadership effectiveness, each successive layer below them will have lower scores. In contrast, if the top team has aggregate scores at the 80 th percentile, it creates an “updraft” in the organization, and scores are higher at every level. This, of course, means that investing in leadership development at the top can pay big dividends. What better influence can a senior team have on a company than to make clear that the top team is collectively working on becoming more effective in their roles?
Companies have continued to use the 360-degree process throughout the years because it works. But for it to have the outcomes we’ve outlined above, it has to be implemented in a way that engages leaders in the process so they are compelled and motivated to become better leaders. When leaders learn through feedback whether others’ perceptions of them are different than their own, identify a weakness to fix or a strength to build, and understand if their leadership is affecting the productivity and engagement of their direct reports, they can use — and act on — that information, improving themselves and the company in the process.
- Jack Zenger is the CEO of Zenger/Folkman, a leadership development consultancy. He is a coauthor of the October 2011 HBR article “ Making Yourself Indispensable ” and the book The New Extraordinary Leader: Turning Good Managers into Great Leaders (McGraw Hill, 2019). Connect with Jack on LinkedIn .
- Joseph Folkman is the president of Zenger/Folkman, a leadership development consultancy. He is a coauthor of the October 2011 HBR article “ Making Yourself Indispensable ” and the book The Trifecta of Trust: The Proven Formula for Building and Restoring Trust (River Grove, 2022). Connect with Joe on LinkedIn .
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Run » human resources, what is a 360 performance review .
A 360 performance review involves members across the organization offering constructive criticism for the betterment of the entire team.
Performance reviews are a valuable part of the employee experience. They offer an opportunity to help your team members further their professional development, provide two-way feedback, and set new performance goals. When done correctly, performance reviews can boost employee engagement and motivation.
There are many tools and methodologies to choose from when conducting performance reviews. A 360 review is one that’s comprehensive, soliciting feedback from many different stakeholders within the company. Here’s how a 360 performance review works, and why you might want to try this approach at your business.
What is a 360 performance review?
Also called “multi-directional feedback,” 360 feedback refers to a performance review that asks for constructive feedback about an employee’s work performance from several people, including the employee’s manager, peers, and customers or clients, as well as a self-appraisal. The goal is to get a holistic understanding of the employee’s impact on the overall organization.
“The goal of the feedback is to provide a balanced view to an employee of how others view their work contribution and performance in areas such as leadership, teamwork, interpersonal communication and interaction, management, contribution, work habits, accountability, and vision, depending on the employee's job,” wrote The Balance .
Benefits of a 360 performance review
A 360 performance review offers benefits for both the receiving employee and the organization as a whole. For the employee, a 360 review can provide insight into their performance from all angles . This style of feedback is valuable when someone may want to shift to a different role or take on responsibilities outside of their job description.
For the organization, a 360 review process can help uncover organizational hiring and development needs. This process will illuminate areas in which more support is needed or there’s a skill set missing.
“For example, you may discover a policy, procedure or approach that needs adjustment to help employees work more successfully, or receive insight on training needs, resulting in better planning for cross-training and cross-functional responsibilities,” wrote Indeed .
The goal is to get a holistic understanding of the employee’s impact on the overall organization.
The employee and your company also benefit from improved individual accountability and trust. Employees who know they will be evaluated by their peers have more incentive to work together responsibly.
The 360 performance review can be one of the better ways to provide feedback, as long as you follow a few best practices to make the most of this process.
[Read more: Employee Reviews: 6 Steps for Success ]
Who should participate in a 360 review?
Ideally, you’ll want reviewers who have worked with the employee for six months or more . You should also choose people who work with the employee consistently. Look for people in a diversity of roles and relationships with the team member to get information on all aspects of their job performance. For instance, a client will be better positioned to describe an employee’s customer service than a manager.
How to conduct a 360 performance review
This style of review takes careful management to avoid potential pitfalls — anxiety, low morale, and stress are just a few challenges of 360 reviews. To ease the process for reviewers and recipients alike, consider the following best practices:
- Structure your reviews . Qualtrics recommends creating a set of competencies that reviewers use to provide feedback. These competencies should be shared with your employees at the beginning of the review period so they know how they’ll be evaluated. Then, make sure these competencies are scored on a frequency scale (e.g., rarely versus all the time) to create action-oriented feedback.
- Consider making reviews anonymous . Especially when asking for peer reviews, it can be helpful to make feedback anonymous. Reviewers may feel more comfortable sharing constructive feedback. The downside is that this can generate some distrust among your team.
- Keep it constructive . You may need to provide some training to make sure the 360 review process is constructive and helpful. Worst case, the feedback is vague and unstructured. The goal of this process is to help everyone identify ways to work better together. Make sure your team is focused on what it needs from everyone to continue reaching its goals.
Make sure that the employee reviewed takes the time to fill out their own self-assessment. This reflective period can help them determine where they might need support. And it puts them in a growth mindset for reviewing the feedback from others in the organization.
[Read more: 5 Alternatives to Employee Reviews ]
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What Is 360-Degree Feedback?
See the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
- What Is 360 Feedback?
Pros and Cons of 360-Degree Feedback
Frequently asked questions (faqs).
Image by Theresa Chiechi ÃÂ© The Balance 2019
360-degree feedback is a method of employee review that provides each employee the opportunity to receive performance feedback from their supervisor or manager and four to eight peers, reporting staff members, coworkers, and, in some cases, customers.
- Unlike standard feedback from a single source, 360-degree feedback takes in comments from peers and reporting staff members in addition to supervisors and managers.
- This strategy helps workers understand their strengths and weaknesses from a variety of perspectives.
- The advantages of 360-degree feedback include drawing on many different sources, strengthening teamwork, and uncovering procedural issues that might otherwise go unnoticed.
How 360-Degree Feedback Works
Successful organizations strive to evaluate and guide their employees toward constant improvement, but a standard performance review system is often found wanting. 360-degree feedback is a method and a tool that provides each employee the opportunity to receive performance feedback from his or her supervisor or manager and four to eight peers, reporting staff members, coworkers, and customers. Most 360-degree feedback tools are also responded to by each individual in a self-assessment.
Organizations can do a poor job of introducing and using this type of multi-rater feedback process. But, it is possible, with the right steps, to do a good job of introducing and maximizing the value of 360-degree feedback . This matters because nothing raises hackles as fiercely as a change in performance feedback methods, especially when they may affect decisions about an employee's compensation.
360-degree feedback allows each individual to understand how his effectiveness as an employee, coworker, or staff member is viewed by others. The most effective 360-degree feedback processes provide feedback that is based on behaviors that other employees can see.
The feedback provides insight into the skills and behaviors desired in the organization to accomplish the mission, vision, and goals and live the values . The feedback is firmly planted in behaviors needed to exceed customer expectations.
People who are chosen as raters or feedback providers are often selected in a shared process by both the organization and the employee. These are people who generally interact routinely with the person who is receiving feedback .
Examples of 360-Degree Feedback
Feedback provided for this review process can be as detailed or brief as the person giving it chooses to be. For example, a manager may give a detailed breakdown of goals they had discussed with the employee, the progress toward those goals, and the way the employee dealt with unexpected challenges along the way. A peer review might be much more basic, such as a note about what it's like to work with them. For example, a coworker could say something like "this worker is friendly and always completes their portion of the project by the deadline."
Provides feedback to employees from a variety of sources
Develops and strengthens teamwork and accountability
Uncovers procedural issues that can hinder employee growth
Reveals specific career development areas
Reduces rater bias and discrimination tendencies
Offers constructive feedback to improve employee outputs
Supplies insight on training needs
Serves as only part of overall performance measurement system
Causes organizational issues if implemented in hasty or incomplete fashion
Can fail to add value if not effectively woven into existing performance plans
Prevents recipients from getting more information because the process is anonymous
Focuses on employee weaknesses and shortcomings instead of strengths
Provides feedback from inexperienced raters, and groups can "game" the process
Requires large degree of data collection and processing in some cases
360-degree feedback has many positive aspects and many proponents.
According to Jack Zenger, a highly-regarded global expert on organizational behavior, he has come to recognize "...the value of 360 feedback as a central part of leadership development programs. It’s a practical way to get a large group of leaders in an organization to be comfortable with receiving feedback from direct reports, peers, bosses and other groups. Once leaders begin to see the huge value to be gained, in fact, we see them add other groups to their raters such as suppliers, customers, or those two levels below them in the organization."
And later, Zenger adds: "More than 85% of all the Fortune 500 companies use the 360-degree feedback process as a cornerstone of their overall leadership development process. If you are not a current user, we encourage you to take a fresh look."
Organizations that are happy with the 360-degree feedback component of their performance management systems identify these positive features of the process that manifest in a well-managed, well-integrated 360-degree feedback process.
- Improved feedback from more sources : This method provides well-rounded feedback from peers, reporting staff, coworkers, and managers and can be a definite improvement over feedback from just a single individual. 360 feedback can also save managers time in that they can spend less energy providing feedback as more people participate in the process. Coworker perception is important and the process helps people understand how other employees view their work.
- Team development : This feedback approach helps team members learn to work more effectively together. (Teams know more about how team members are performing than their manager.) Multi-rater feedback makes team members more accountable to each other as they share the knowledge that they will provide input on each member’s performance. A well-planned process can improve communication and team development.
- Personal and organizational performance development : 360-degree feedback is one of the best methods for understanding personal and organizational developmental needs in your organization. You may discover what keeps employees from working successfully together and how your organization's policies, procedures, and approaches affect employee success. In many organizations that use 360-degree feedback, the focus has switched to identifying strengths. That makes sense for employee performance development.
- Responsibility for career development : For many reasons, organizations are no longer responsible for developing the careers of their employees—if they ever were. While the bulk of the responsibility falls on the employee, employers are responsible for providing an environment in which employees are encouraged and supported in their growth and development needs. Multi-rater feedback can provide excellent information to an individual about what he or she needs to do to enhance their career. Additionally, many employees feel 360-degree feedback is more accurate, more reflective of their performance, and more validating than feedback from a supervisor alone who rarely sees them working. This makes the information more useful for both career and personal development.
- Reduced discrimination risk : When feedback comes from a number of individuals in various job functions, the possibility of discrimination because of race, age, gender, and so forth is reduced. The "horns and halo" effect, in which a supervisor rates performance based on his or her most recent interactions with the employee, is also minimized.
- Improved customer service : Each person receives valuable feedback about the quality of their product or services, especially in feedback processes that involve the internal or external customer. This feedback should enable the individual to improve the quality, reliability, promptness, and comprehensiveness of these products and services they supply to their customer.
- Training needs assessment : 360-degree feedback provides comprehensive information about organization training needs and thus allows planning for classes, online learning, cross-functional responsibilities, and cross-training.
A 360-degree feedback system does have a good side. However, 360-degree feedback also has a bad side—even an ugly side.
For every positive point made about 360-degree feedback systems, detractors can offer the downside. The downside is important because it gives you a road map of what to avoid when you implement a 360-degree feedback process.
The following are potential problems with 360-degree feedback processes and a recommended solution for each one.
- Exceptional expectations for the process : 360-degree feedback is not the same as a performance management system. It is merely a part of the feedback and development that a performance management system offers within an organization. Additionally, proponents of the system may lead participants to expect too much from this feedback system in their efforts to obtain organizational support for its implementation. Make sure that the 360 feedback is integrated into a complete performance management system and not used as a stand-alone venture.
- Design process downfalls : Often, a 360-degree feedback process arrives as a recommendation from the HR department or is shepherded in by a senior leader who learned about the process at a seminar or in a book. Just as an organization implements any planned change, the implementation of360-degree feedback should follow effective change management guidelines. A cross-section of the people who will have to live with and utilize the process should explore and develop the process for your organization.
- Failure to connect the process : For a 360 feedback process to work, it must be connected with the overall strategic aims of your organization. If you have identified competencies or have comprehensive job descriptions, give people feedback on their performance of the expected competencies and job duties. The system will fail if it is an add-on rather than a supporter of your organization’s fundamental direction and requirements. It must function as a measure of the accomplishment of your organization’s big and long-term picture.
- Insufficient information : Since 360-degree feedback processes are currently usually anonymous, people receiving feedback have no recourse if they want to further understand the feedback. They have no one to ask for clarification about unclear comments or for more information about particular ratings and their basis. Thus, developing 360 process coaches is important. Supervisors, HR staff people, interested managers, and others are taught to assist people to understand their feedback and trained to help people develop action plans based on the feedback.
- Focus on negatives and weaknesses : At least one book, " First Break All the Rules: What The World's Greatest Managers Do Differently ," advises that great managers focus on employee strengths, not weaknesses. The authors said, "People don't change that much. Don't waste time trying to put in what was left out. Try to draw out what was left in. That is hard enough." These are apt words when you consider a 360-degree feedback methodology. Focus on strengths for best success.
- Rater inexperience and ineffectiveness : In addition to the insufficient training organizations provide both people receiving feedback and people providing feedback, there are numerous ways raters go wrong. They may inflate ratings to make an employee look good. They may deflate ratings to make an individual look bad. They may informally band together to make the system artificially inflate everyone’s performance. Checks and balances must exist to prevent these pitfalls as well as training for the people who are providing the ratings.
- Overload on paperwork and data entry : In traditional 360 evaluations, multi-rater feedback upped the sheer number of people participating in the process and the subsequent time invested. Fortunately, most multi-rater feedback systems now have online entry and reporting systems. This has almost eliminated this former downside.
360-degree feedback is a positive addition to your performance management system when implemented with care and training to enable people to better serve customers and develop their own careers.
However, if you approach it haphazardly just because everyone else is using it, 360 feedback could create a disaster requiring months and possibly years for you to recover.
There are negatives with the 360-degree feedback processes, but with any performance feedback process, it can increase positive, powerful problem solving and provide you with a profoundly supportive, organization-affirming method for promoting employee growth and development.
However, in the worst case, it saps morale, destroys motivation, and enables disenfranchised employees to go for the jugular or plot revenge scenarios against people who rated their performance less than perfect.
What is the meaning of 360-degree feedback?
Feedback becomes "360-degree feedback" when it takes in comments from many different sources. Traditional feedback in the workspace comes from managers and supervisors, but 360-degree feedback also takes into account reviews from peers and employees who answer to the person being reviewed.
What is an example of 360-degree feedback?
Any feedback can be an example of 360-degree feedback, but workplaces will specify the types of comments they're seeking from employees. These comments can be as simple as "this worker has shown up late a few times this quarter," or they can be much more detailed.
What is the importance of 360-degree feedback?
The purpose of the 360-degree feedback is to assist each individual to understand their strengths and weaknesses and to contribute insights into aspects of their work that need professional development.
Forbes. " How Effective Are Your 360-Degree Feedback Assessments? "
Gallup. " First, Break All The Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently ." Gallup Press, 2016.
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Blog · Leadership
March 18, 2021
360 Performance Reviews : The Pros and Cons You Should Know
360 Performance Reviews are a must-have of a modern HR strategy- or are they? This post explores the pros and cons, and how to make 360 reviews work
by Lara Kelly
The use of 360 performance reviews has become widespread – with 90% of companies using 360 Feedback in 2012. The process is a hit, with companies tired of typical performance reviews - in which top-down feedback was often bogged down by unconscious bias and a lack of a clear line of sight.
360 feedback was viewed as a possible cure. Human resources professionals could collate the perspectives of employees across a company on an individual’s performance – from their line manager, to their co-workers. This gave a kaleidoscope of different points of view – allowing HR to observe how teams worked together and what was standing in the way of high performance .
However, since then, a number of organizations have shied away from the 360 trend. The U.S. Army warned about the ills of 360 Feedback, with unreliable and overly subjective reviews a cause for concern.
So is 360-degree feedback the panacea we like to think it is? 360 reviews have the potential to greatly improve performance and collaboration . However, they are too often misused, even to the point of alienating employees .
In this blog post, we’ll review the pros and cons of 360 evaluations , from their impact on teamwork to whether employees’ feedback translates to development.
What are 360 Performance Reviews?
360 Feedback provides feedback to an employee on their performance – not only from their boss or manager, but also from 4-8 co-workers , reporting staff or customers.
360 performance reviews should usually try to measure how an employee performs in relation to the company’s values and objectives .
Employees usually write a self-evaluation after reading the appraisal. This engages an employee’s self-awareness and accountability .
Pros of 360 performance reviews
In spite of their downsides, 85% of Fortune 500 companies use 360 reviews. It provides a number of benefits to an organization, as we'll explore through these 4 'pros':
A wider view of the company
A better tool for employee development, improves teamwork, helps to avoid unconscious bias.
When we only have the perspective of leaders and managers, we only see half the story . Co-workers highlight problems underlying poor teamwork in the company. Maybe environmental factors, such as inadequate communication channels, are hampering collaboration?
360 reviews do more than tell us about an individual’s performance. They also reveal how employees relate to each other in the company. A lack of resources for one employee might be reducing the productivity of another employee. Hence, 360 reviews underscore the developmental needs of a company.
Sometimes we forget the purpose of reviews – to help us grow and improve ! Conventional performance evaluations were often criticized for being unconstructive. A one-sided perspective from your boss – who may not even see how you perform day to day.
360 performance reviews open the employee’s eyes to a number of perspectives – including the co-workers they collaborate with every day. When co-workers and managers provide constructive feedback , employees are given a number of pointers. Often, these suggestions are more specific and actionable than if they came from more hierarchical reviews.
Many companies are starting to focus more on strengths in 360 Feedback. This is great for improving an employee’s motivation to develop their skills further, and to take on board constructive feedback .
👉 Click here to listen to our webcast discussing employee development
Once we have honest feedback from our team mates, we start to make changes that improve teamwork . If a co-worker recommends that the employee communicate with them more regularly, this is a chance for employees to address shortfalls on a team.
This creates a culture of ongoing feedback – where co-workers feel at ease making recommendations to one another – lifting each other up.
Once we have honest feedback from our team mates, we start to make changes that improve teamwork
The more perspectives you seek out – the less likely your reviews are to fall prey to unconscious bias . Unfortunately, bias does creep into the review process – with men more likely to receive evidenced feedback on technical skills than women.
Confirmation bias is the tendency to privilege information that reaffirms our current beliefs. This can often be behind unfair performance reviews. By having more eyes on the ball – co-workers and teammates as well as managers, confirmation bias disappears.
Avoiding unconscious bias makes for performance reviews that inspire, not alienate, employees.
The more perspectives you seek out – the less likely your reviews are to fall prey to unconscious bias
Cons of 360 reviews
However, 360 reviews have their downsides. These include:
Feedback from unreliable or inexperienced raters
Process not relevant company wide, anonymity means employees can’t ask for further information.
Focus on weaknesses rather than strengths
One of the problems with 360 feedback is that ratings can be skewed. Co-workers may provide stellar ratings for their favourite team-mates. They may give negative ratings to others they dislike personally .
All too often, employees have opened up their 360 reviews in the hope of some constructive feedback, only to be met with personal or irrelevant comments from their peers. Of course, this will turn the employee off 360 feedback all together.
Raters need to be equipped with training on how to give constructive feedback. Furthermore, 360 Feedback should never be used to determine promotions or renumeration – as petty disputes can get in the way of the reviews process.
The antiquated structure of performance reviews can hinder 360 reviews, too. Rating scales (between 1-5) are irregularly applied. Some never give out 5s, as that leaves no room for improvement, while some offer 5s with wild abandon.
The unreliability of results can undermine your mission. It lowers morale , and can even harm relationships between employees if there is a culture of giving overly critical peer reviews.
Focuses on weaknesses rather than strengths
Some leaders are unrealistic about what feedback can achieve. By focusing on strengths that employees already exhibit, you build on existing talents and skills. This motivates the employee , as they are encouraged to make more of something they already feel confident in.
As Eric Jackson puts it: ‘Your strengths are what got you to where you are in your career. Work on your weaknesses but never stop relying on your strengths.’. 360 Reviews are often skewed towards weaknesses – we tend to look most at areas where employees are scoring low.
However, often these weaknesses are less relevant to the employee’s job description than other skills. Further, emphasizing the negative is more likely to leave your employees feeling undervalued .
The reality is that your strengths are what got you to where you are in your career. Work on your weaknesses but never stop relying on your strengths. - Eric Jackson
If questions are based on generic performance review topics, 360 reviews are unlikely to be impactful. Employees may be assessed on ‘customer service’ – when they interface very little with customers day to day. Clearly, this will leave employees feeling blindsided.
Furthermore, 360 feedback reviews often forget to look at the skills gaps or goals of an organization. Human resources leaders must tailor the 360 performance review to the company’s priorities. Look at both the competencies required on job descriptions, as well as company-wide OKRs , to see what skills need to be prioritized.
The problem with anonymous reviews is that employees can’t seek out further information from reviewers. Perhaps the most valuable part of the performance appraisal process is the conversations that follow it – the one-on-ones with managers that help employees to set goals and boost their performance.
When peer reviews are anonymous however, employees can’t ask questions about why a certain rating was given. Reviews without context are less constructive and lack clarity .
This may lead to a gap in understanding of the appraisal – for example, if an employee thinks that a ‘Room for Improvement’ rating on ‘Communication’ means they need to communicate more, when the colleague wanted them to schedule fewer meetings.
Anonymity means peer reviews are less likely to fray working relationships. However, it also means we compromise on transparency in reviews – making them less useful in our development .
Should you use 360 Performance Reviews?
360s are most effective when they are used as a development tool, not a rating tool - Alicia Arenas
Overall, 360 reviews come with myriad benefits for performance management. They provide the full picture on performance – and a more holistic set of pointers on how to improve.
While multi-rater feedback comes with downsides, when it is relevant to company objectives and key competencies, it can be invaluable for an organization.
Leadership coach Alicia Arenas says that "360s are most effective when they are used as a development tool, not a rating tool." 360 feedback involves teams in their co-worker’s development. It has the potential to create a supportive culture in which teams are honest about their peers’ strengths and weaknesses.
However, results are often unreliable and lack transparency. It should not be used to assess employees’ readiness for promotion. By focusing on employee recognition and teambuilding, 360 performance reviews can become an asset to your team.
Did you know that PeopleGoal’s 360 Feedback app allows you to gather responses from all levels of your organization? To find out more, book a demo today.
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8-Step 360 Degree Feedback Process Timeline
Written by Explorance. June 8, 2023
Creating a 360 degree feedback process can be a valuable tool for gathering comprehensive feedback about an individual’s performance within an organization from multiple perspectives.
Below we identify the key steps in any 360 degree feedback process and give you an idea of how long each step might take within your organization. From defining the goal of the 360 process to re-evaluating participants, you can use this schedule to develop your implementation plan.
1. Define the Purpose of the 360 Degree Review
Common goals include leadership development, performance improvement, identifying blind spots, and promoting self-awareness.
Time : It can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to define the purpose of a 360 review, depending on several factors:
- Complexity of the Organization
- Stakeholder Engagement
- Clarity of Goals
- Decision-Making Process
- Resources Available
2. Select Raters
Selecting raters is one of the most important steps of the 360 feedback process. Participants will need to choose enough feedback providers to ensure that the data is comprehensive and relevant. The number of raters included will depend on the employee’s job function and working relationships.
Time: It may take 1-2 weeks to choose raters, including supervisors, direct reports, peers, and perhaps external clients.
3. Design the Questionnaire
Create a questionnaire or survey that captures feedback on various aspects of the subject’s performance. Include questions that assess skills, competencies, behaviors, and other relevant factors. Ensure that questions are clear, specific, and measurable.
Time: it may take several weeks to design a comprehensive and effective questionnaire. Here are some considerations that can influence the time it takes:
- Scope and Objectives : Consider the specific areas or competencies you want to assess, the level of detail needed, and the desired outcome.
- Competencies and Behaviors: Take time to identify the specific skills, knowledge, or behaviors that are critical for success.
- Question Types: Common question types in a 360-degree review include Likert scale (rating scale), open-ended questions, multiple-choice questions, and ranking questions. Each question type requires different design considerations and may involve additional time for formatting and wording.
- Review and Iteration : Seek feedback from relevant stakeholders, such as HR professionals, supervisors, and subject matter experts, to ensure the questionnaire is comprehensive, clear, and relevant.
- Resources and Tools : If you have access to pre-existing questionnaires or assessment tools, it may expedite the process. Alternatively, if you need to create the questionnaire from scratch or customize an existing template, it may take longer.
- Formatting and Presentation : Ensure the questionnaire is accessible for everyone and easy to understand. Taking the time to format and test the questionnaire for usability can contribute to participant engagement.
4. Communicate the 360 Degree Feedback
It is crucial that you communicate the process to all stakeholders, including the purpose of the 360 degree, the process, and how feedback will be gathered and utilized.
Time: It could take 1-3 weeks to communicate the process if in-person meetings are used with employees, supervisors, managers, and raters.
5. Distributing surveys
A solution like Explorance Blue will centralize and automate your 360 degree feedback process through integrations with your HRIS, CRM, or LMS. The solution allows you to distribute the questionnaires quickly, monitor participation, reset submissions, and change rater assignments.
Time: It may take up to 1 week to distribute the survey, but with Explorance Blue, that time can be reduced significantly.
6. Collate and Analyze Feedback
Once all of the questionnaires have been completed, it’s time to compile the data into comprehensive reports to share with stakeholders. Explorance Blue has the capability to provide reports and insights to all roles and levels in your organization quickly.
Time: Using an online system will allow for the quick production of detailed 360 feedback reports in 1-2 days.
7. Conduct Feedback Discussion
Schedule a meeting between the subject and a designated feedback facilitator (e.g., HR representative, coach, or supervisor). Review the feedback report together, discuss the insights, identify patterns, and develop an action plan for improvement.
Time: Depending on how in-depth you’d like the feedback sessions to be, each meeting could take 1-2 hours per participant.
8. Implement Action Plan
Creating the development plan for each participant in the review is the essence of the process. The feedback obtained from the 360 evaluation becomes the basis for an actionable development plan. Reviewing the areas for improvement will identify key areas for development for the employee. This gives the employee the chance to improve their skills by using opportunities such as training, workshops, conferences, coaching, mentoring, etc. Remember to set specific goals, determine strategies, and allocate resources if necessary. Regularly review progress and provide ongoing support to ensure success.
Time: The completion of the development plan could take 1-2 weeks.
It is important to establish 360 degree feedback in your organization as a process and not a one-off event. To do so, you should clearly communicate at the start of the process that subsequent reviews will happen each year. Since specific goals and opportunities were outlined in the development plan, it makes sense to check in on the progress of these items. Re-evaluating participants enables you to see if any changes have occurred and also provides the chance for new feedback. Re-evaluations should occur 8-12 months after the first 360 review.
Remember, the success of a 360 degree feedback process depends on clear communication, trust, confidentiality, and a focus on growth and development. It is important to establish a supportive and non-judgmental environment to foster a positive feedback culture within the organization.
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A practical guide to 360-degree performance reviews
Private, face-to-face performance reviews , also known as performance appraisals , have been the standard for reviewing how well an employee is performing their job responsibilities since the dawn of time. But, they have their downfalls and sometimes offer a limited view of an employee’s actual contributions.
On the contrary, a 360 Performance Review seeks to make the process more inclusive. The employee is reviewed by other employees who they work with and around. We’ll explain what a 360 Performance Review is, how it works, the pros and cons, and how to conduct one with your team members.
What is a 360 performance review ?
A 360 Performance Review is an employee assessment process used to obtain in-depth and comprehensive feedback about an employee’s performance, behavior, and contributions to the company.
You may solicit feedback from the employee’s team members, managers, direct reports, and customers. The employee may also be asked to assess their own performance. The idea is that by seeking feedback from people who have varying relationships with the employee instead of just their direct manager, you can gather a 360-degree understanding of their performance. In doing so, the employee, and the immediate supervisor, will understand how their performance is viewed as a whole.
Each person who completes the performance review will answer the same questions to maintain cohesion and consistency throughout the process.
Also, a 360 performance review focuses less on the work the employee accomplished and more on how the employee’s presence impacted the work of others within the organization.
These reviews are often used in the promotion and compensation decision-making process to determine who is the best overall candidate for promotion or whether they deserve a compensation increase.
What’s the goal of receiving 360-degree feedback?
Using a 360 Performance Review aims to identify the contributions the employee makes to the company as a whole while offering a balanced look at the employee.
The valuable skills it takes into consideration include:
- Interpersonal skills
- Work habits
What’s the difference between performance feedback and 360-degree feedback?
While both performance feedback and 360 performance feedback are similar in that they provide feedback on an employee’s performance, they’re vastly different in several ways.
Who provides feedback
Performance review: During a traditional performance review , the manager evaluates the employees’ performance, providing a more narrow view of their performance.
360 performance review : During 360 evalutations, the employee’s performance is evaluated by their manager, co-workers, clients/customers, and other relevant company members to provide a more comprehensive view of their performance.
Performance Review: The employee’s manager often conducts the performance review , so there’s no anonymity regarding who is providing feedback. If the employee has follow-up questions or contests information on the performance review , they can directly speak to who provided the feedback.
360 Performance Review: While the 360 performance review doesn’t have to be anonymous, it often doesn’t allow the employee to seek follow-up information or contest feedback provided by those selected to be performance raters.
Performance review: The typical performance review is often done to determine whether an employee has achieved a certain level of success or is due for a promotion or raise within their current position. Managers will look at the data to determine whether the employee achieved the goals.
360 performance review : The 360 performance review , on the other hand, is based on the idea of understanding how the employee is contributing to the company as a whole and the skills they have and could benefit from improving.
How a 360 performance review works
A 360 performance review works by measuring employee performance . It aims to identify behaviors and skills such as work ethic, attitude, and efficiency. Here are the general steps you can expect to take when conducting one for your employees.
You want to start the review process by determining what criteria you’ll use to rate your employees. Keep in mind that you should primarily focus on understanding soft skills rather than their performance as most traditional performance reviews do.
Next, you should identify those who will assess the employees. You want to include a range of individuals to get the best understanding of performance from all angles. Consider asking their direct reports, team members, customers, managers, and other relevant employees. You can even have clients or customers provide their input.
Next, it’s time for the assessors to provide their feedback. Choose whether or not to keep the responses anonymous or not. Doing so may encourage assessors to be more open. However, it’s also harder to follow up with more questions later. Regardless, be sure to give them enough time to do so thoroughly and accurately, so you should provide a minimum of a week’s notice.
Once you receive all feedback, you want to set aside time to review all information and make a note of patterns and positive and constructive feedback to share during the evaluation meeting.
Hold the 360 evaluation meeting
During the evaluation meeting, you want to share the results found by the 360 performance review so there’s complete transparency across the board. Be sure to highlight both the employee’s strengths and weaknesses.
You also want to determine goals to improve employee performance and employee engagement moving forward. Set follow-up meetings to discuss and check in on these improvement areas in the future.
Pros of a 360 performance review
When you conduct a 360-degree performance review for your employees, you’ll experience several benefits that will serve your employees and the company as a whole.
Receive more comprehensive feedback
Instead of relying on one person’s input to communicate how an employee performs, the 360-degree feedback provides a broader, more inclusive view of employee performance . Receiving feedback from co-workers, managers, company officials, and even clients gives you a more realistic view of employee performance .
Provide opportunities to improve employee relationships
Since this type of performance review allows you to see how others view employee performance within the organization, it provides an opportunity to improve employee relations and teamwork. Team members who can give constructive criticism and accolades to others on their team will allow for better relationships as communication opens up. Also, in looking at the reviews, you can identify where there are weak areas in how team members see each other, which could impact the company’s overall performance.
Along the same lines of the previous point, when employees receive feedback from others in the company aside from their manager, they can better see how their performance impacts others which improves accountability.
Identify training needs
You can use the information gained from the 360 performance review to identify areas of need related to employee development for individual employees and the company as a whole. If you recognize that a particular employee can benefit from added skills in an area, you can provide that. However, if you notice a trend that impacts many, you can address that on a larger scale.
Avoid unconscious bias
Assessing an employee’s performance based on multiple sources helps avoid unconscious bias and levels the playing field.
Cons of a 360 performance review
While 360 performance reviews have vast benefits, they also have drawbacks. Here are some of the cons of 360 reviews to keep in mind.
Assessors can skew results
Inexperienced or unreliable evaluations can skew the data, leading to unexpected negative results for the employee being assessed. Some assessors can be inclined to share more positive information about an employee who isn’t performing well and vice versa. That’s why it’s crucial to select the right people to serve as assessors and to ensure they know what to look for when providing their feedback on the performance review .
Anonymous rating doesn’t allow for follow up
If assessors act anonymously during the 360 performance review , employees can’t seek additional information regarding their views or comments. Similarly, they can’t ask for further or contest feedback if there was a blatant negative review of their job performance.
The process can require more effort
While valuable, you can expect to put more effort into conducting a 360 Performance Review than a traditional performance review . A 360 review is more effective and impactful than a normal performance review when done correctly.
You need the right people conducting the review, the right system for collecting and analyzing the data, and a suitable method for delivering the feedback to the employee at the end.
Sample 360 performance review questions to ask
The success of your 360 performance review is mainly dependent on asking the right questions. You can ask both open-ended questions and close-ended questions to secure qualitative and quantitative insight into employee performance .
You have freedom in selecting questions depending on the areas you want to receive information on. Suppose you’re focusing heavily on one area, such as leadership . In that case, you can ask extra leadership questions or spread them out evenly based on your areas of focus, including leadership , time management, productivity, collaboration, etc…
Create questions that are clear, detailed, and have a specific goal. This will assure assessors can accurately respond and provide quality information.
Sample close-ended 360-degree review questions
- Does this person exhibit strong leadership skills?
- Does this person prioritize teamwork?
- Is this person open to receiving negative feedback?
- Does this person embody the company’s core values?
- Does this person communicate clearly and effectively with team members?
Sample open-ended 360-degree review questions
- What interpersonal skills do you see the employee regularly use when working with you, team members, and clients?
- Are there any interpersonal skills the employee lacks and should work to improve?
- Do you believe the employee shows motivation and drive to complete their tasks effectively?
- How well does the employee adapt to changing priorities?
- What’s an area you’d like to see the employee improve?
- What would you see as their core competencies?
Best practices for 360 performance review assessments
When you choose to implement 360 performance reviews , prepare to gather invaluable information to help your employees improve overall. This benefits not only the employee’s career, but the company as a whole.
Here are some final best practices to consider as you embark upon this feedback process:
- You should first formulate a cohesive and consistent plan for rating each employee — completing this leg work before the process begins is imperative. Consider bringing in someone skilled in this area of work to help you get started.
- Choose the skills that are most relevant to your company and base your survey questions on those components. You’ll find that 360 Performance Reviews are not one size fits all, so you don’t want to rely solely on a cookie-cutter questionnaire template since it won’t give you the quality results you’re seeking.
- Decide who will conduct the assessments and be sure they’re qualified and well trained to provide the needed level of feedback. The employees’ most immediate supervisor, team members, and subordinates should be chosen to participate. In some cases, feedback can be requested directly from the employee.
WHAT TO READ NEXT
360 Degree Feedback: Examples of Positive and Critical Reviews
Qualitative feedback is an excellent value of performance review in any organization. Constructive criticism and positive voices from other team members are effective methods of recognizing your employees’ strengths and weaknesses . In this article, I will show you how to provide 360 Degree Feedback and many benefits this study can bring to the table.
What Is 360 Degree Feedback?
The Definition of 360 Degree Feedback explains that it is a form of collecting feedback on the effectiveness of the employee’s work. Such feedback may concern the following areas: interpersonal skills, practicing company values, communication skills, professional development, employee engagement, problem solving, or leadership skills.
The employee, their superiors, subordinates, and colleagues (sometimes clients) provide feedback in the study. It is a process of comparing a self-assessment of specific skills with the assessment of those skills by other people who observe the performance of the assessed person daily from different but still very important perspectives.
360 Degree Survey
If you want to be a good leader, you have to be open to criticism. Without knowing your strong and weak sides it will be extremely difficult for you to develop and make your company achieve success.
Types of the Constructive Feedback in the Study
Before we move on to the examples of 360 Degree Feedback, it’s worth learning more about the two types of peer insights we can get during the survey.
360 Degree Evaluation Method distinguishes two types of feedback: reinforcing and redirecting. The first one concerns situations when we want to praise someone for the high quality of performed duties and positively impact employee motivation. Contrarily, we use redirecting feedback when we want constructive criticism to translate into improved commitment and quality of work.
Let’s see examples of what such honest feedback can look like in open ended questions.
Reinforcing (Positive) Feedback Examples
Employee feedback from a specific team member is essential to performance reviews ( Pulse Surveys are another useful tool for collecting feedback) Not only is it a tool for assessing core competencies but also an effective way to solve problems, improve the atmosphere in the team, and “build” a committed employee. Try to highlight other team members’ accomplishments or attitudes in case of:
Completing a Specific Project
Management based solely on rebuking subordinates for inferior results is a thing of the past. Praising employee performance is a part of leadership skills and an excellent opportunity to strengthen the team’s motivation. The same goes for praising your colleagues. Don’t spare praise if someone has earned it.
Feedback Example For Performance Review:
Congratulations, Lindsay! Because of your great work and commitment, our latest marketing campaign has attracted many new customers to the company. Fantastic job, thank you!
New Ideas & Creative Solutions
Appreciate the employee who takes the initiative in team meetings and submits exciting ideas. Refrain from quenching your people’s enthusiasm. Such positive approach can help solve problems, or come up with a new solution for the product to help increase profits.
Good Feedback Example for 360 Degree Survey:
Josh, thank you for your curious questions during the last product demo meeting. I also like your great ideas regarding our company’s podcast. Very inspirational for all of us.
Both positive and negative feedback can be good for any organization. The 360-degree evaluation is an excellent tool for appreciating a colleague (subordinate or superior) and communicating constructive criticism.
Helping Others At Work & in Employee Development
A good team spirit is the treasure of every organization. It is a person who cares about a good atmosphere but also cares for others. Someone willingly helped with your problem, even though it was beyond their responsibilities? Or they made sure that new hires did not feel bad at work? Appreciate their attitude in coworker review.
Colleague performance feedback example:
Rachel, I can express how grateful I am for your help with new employees. It was very kind of you to show them what our company’s culture is all about. I bet you make the onboarding process for them as smooth as possible. Thank you!
Strengthening Employee’s Motivation and Confidence
We all have a bad day at work, a failed project, or a nightmare speech at a conference. Do you need to meet deadlines but fail from time to time? Well, that’s life. Keep it in mind if you find someone on your team who needs support. Provide employee feedback to help the person get back on their feet.
In the end, you’d expect the same thing in their shoes, wouldn’t you?
360 feedback examples for peers:
I know you put a lot of effort into preparing the presentation for the conference. Performing on stage is highly nerve-wracking. Don’t worry if not everything went your way. Your presentation is excellent material that our marketing department will surely use. If you want, I will talk to the HR department about the budget for public speaking training. Thanks again for your outstanding work.
Employees Performance Outside the Job
In a 360-degree feedback survey, we can focus on more than just performance management and direct reports regarding employees’ career development. Moreover, such a review system is also a unique opportunity to highlight co-workers that engage in social issues or help local communities.
Positive Appraisal Example For The Survey:
Marie, thank you for organizing the collection of food and warm blankets for the animal shelter in the company. You are an inspiration to me and proof of how the big heart of an individual can change the fate of dozens of stray dogs and cats. You can count on me for next fundraisers. Thanks!
Redirecting (Negative) Feedback Examples
Similarly to employee recognition, in the 360-degree feedback survey, we express criticism.
Evidently, it is much easier to give anonymous feedback, but when we do it constructively and gently, we can try to do so openly. Remember that the purpose of such feedback is not to offend the coworker but to resolve conflicts and indicate areas that should be improved so that your cooperation returns in the right direction.
Here are negative feedback examples for colleagues.
Employee Missed Deadline or Failed Project… Again
Hand up; who has never missed a deadline at work? I thought so.
The problem begins when an employee regularly fails to meet deadlines, neglects their duties, doesn’t conduct their tasks effectively, or does not give high priority to the most critical projects.
Negative 360 feedback example:
Mike, I’m sorry to write this. Because of your design delays, we lost our chances of winning the tender. If you know you will miss the time, please report it in advance so we can organize the tasks differently.
Constructive criticism and positive voices from other team members are effective methods of recognizing your employees’ strengths and weaknesses.
Quiet Quitting & Disengaged Coworker
We value work-life balance. However, this idea does not mean a low commitment to our duties’. On the contrary, in an ideal scenario, the idea is to deliver what we have committed to during working hours in a good atmosphere, and after hours to devote ourselves to family, hobbies, and everything unrelated to work.
Is every employee motivated? Of course not! But the negative attitude of an individual can destructively affect the team’s work. Therefore, it is worth monitoring employee engagement and satisfaction and investing time and resources in problem-solving.
Example of redirecting feedback:
Sarah, I have recently noticed an apparent decrease in motivation, which translates into the results for the entire sales department. Is everything OK? Remember that you can always talk to me. Let’s find a solution to this situation together.
Employee is Not a Team Player
Only some people are predisposed to act like a group leader (it’s related to individual interpersonal skills). But the way each employee collaborates with another has a significant influence on the team. Suppose a coworker does not play for the group’s success, disregards the cooperation and responsibilities of other participants, and ultimately claims the project’s success.
You can enjoy watching Colin Robinson, a brilliant energy vampire in the “What We Do In The Shadows” tv series, but you don’t want to see such a person daily at work. The same applies to people with low personal culture or those who create new ones instead of resolving conflicts.
360 Degree Feedback Example:
I know that you are a good programmer and fulfill your duties, but disrespectful and unpleasant comments towards colleagues have a terrible effect on the atmosphere in the group. Don’t focus solely on your tasks. Let’s work together to develop not only individually but as a team.
Lack of Communication Skills
In mature organizations, the culture of feedback matters. It applies, among other things, to development work and meetings. If we know our coworkers well, we know which of them have many exciting ideas.
Do they sit quietly at meetings? Let’s mention it in the peer review to encourage them to take the floor.
Examples of Team Members Opinions:
Hey Rick, I love your latest direct reports on market research. Great job! You have plenty of insights to share during our meetings. What makes you stay silent? We’d love to hear your voice; if communication is a challenge for you, PM me. Can we organize a workshop for you?
The Employee Is Constantly Late
Getting started at a specific time can be troublesome. Sometimes our bus misses, in the winter, the battery in the car will run out, or we will be stuck in kindergarten for a long time, taking the children off in the morning.
We can explain everything. But it’s hard to justify a coworker who is notoriously late for work and shows up at meetings when they started already. It’s just disrespectful to everyone.
Example Way to Communicate Negative Feedback:
I appreciate the fulfillment of your responsibilities and willingness to help others at work, but I have serious reservations about your approach to punctuality. Everyone would be better off if you came to work on time, and the atmosphere at meetings would only benefit if you didn’t go in there with your coffee five minutes after starting. Please, keep it in mind.
A Checklist for Thoughtful 360 Degree Feedback
Both positive and negative feedback can be good for any organization. The 360 degree evaluation is an excellent tool for appreciating a colleague (subordinate or superior) and communicating constructive criticism.
We have prepared a checklist of how to proceed, so that performance reviews bring the most significant value to the company and repair interpersonal relations.
How to Give Positive and Critical Reviews:
- Be respectful of the other person, even if you want to express only criticism
- Peers review is not racing. Think about and plan your answer carefully
- Speak for yourself. It is your feedback and your emotions, not the feelings of the group
- Give precise answers to specific questions, control the chaos of thoughts
- Be honest. Remember that openly speaking is better than anonymous feedback
- Don’t forget about diplomacy, but be firm when necessary
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Monitor Employee Performance with 360 Degree Feedback
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Author: Dariusz Jaroń
Updated: 06 April 2023
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Encourage Employee Growth and Development with 360 Reviews
Everybody loves things a full 360. Think about it! 360 views, 360 turns, 360 flips — 360 everything is great. So let’s introduce the next big 360: 360 reviews at work.
Wait, what? A work review? How can a workplace performance review have anything to do with 360? The performance 360 review is named because it’s all about feedback from every direction, not just top-down. Since reviews are crucial to performance management , these 360 reviews can be a great addition to your strategy.
So let’s jump right into 360 reviews, how they work, why you might want to start using them, and how to get started.
What Is a 360 Review?
Let’s start at the beginning: what is a 360 review? We’ve already hinted that it’s a workplace review from all directions, but let’s dig into that idea. A 360 review (also called 360 feedback, 360 evaluation, review 360, peer feedback, multi-directional feedback) is a talent development tool where an employee gets feedback from many different people and directions – like coworkers and project partners – so they can get a better understanding of their work and how to grow.
You can get 360 feedback from the employee’s manager, other staff members, their peer staff members, their team members, functional managers the employee works with regularly, and even customers or clients. The point here is that they aren’t just getting feedback from their direct manager because the manager has a limited perspective on the employee’s entire performance at the organization. By adding in other employees, other managers, and even customers, you get a broad view of an employee’s performance. You get, well… a 360 view.
How Does a 360 Review Work?
So how does a 360 review work? How would you conduct one? There are several ways organizations conduct them, and so we’ll review a few options.
One simple way a 360 review can work is by having the manager ask for feedback from other employees (and perhaps a few customers). Once the manager receives the feedback, they can compile the feedback together. They also usually analyze the feedback to establish positive trends, and those that require constructive feedback. The manager then meets with the employee, and they go over the feedback together. In this model, feedback responses are typically anonymous, so while the employee receives the input, they do not know the source.
While that method uses open-ended responses, some organizations use electronic tools to tally a point score for certain areas. The manager then shows the employee their point scores, and the discussion starts from there.
So how does a 360 review work when the manager is getting reviewed? Well, organizations can hire a third-party reviewer to conduct the analysis. The reviewer will gather feedback from the manager’s peers and team members, compile it, and look for patterns to discuss with the manager.
The goal, no matter the method, is to share feedback with the person being reviewed. The feedback shared should be as descriptive as possible. Sharing feedback can help the team come together to unite their efforts to improve.
Why Use 360 Reviews?
Let’s assess why companies choose to use 360 reviews and how to address their limitations so you can implement them successfully.
The Benefits of 360 Reviews
There are several reasons to deploy this review method:
- Better quality feedback. Traditional reviews only provide feedback from one person—the direct manager. That’s it. Sometimes that feedback is quality, but sometimes managers struggle to provide meaningful feedback. (Doing so is a skill to itself, afterall.) 360 reviews helps mitigate that . Gathering feedback from multiple sources increases the amount of data you get, which provides a clearer picture of how an employee is performing, which is better quality feedback.
- More diverse feedback . Along the same lines, when you gather feedback from a variety of sources, you gather more diverse feedback. A manager’s perspective is just that: a manager’s perspective. With 360 feedback, you can work with a wider array of input.
- Insight into improvement. Employees are looking for ways to improve, and 29% of employees would consider leaving a job that didn’t provide opportunities for growth. So finding those sweet spots where you can help employees improve is so important — and 360 reviews can help with that. The consolidation of all that feedback can give insight into places for growth and development, something employees need and want.
These reviews also help pinpoint areas the organization can improve. If 360 reviews show that employees are struggling with motivation or morale, that’s potentially a bigger-picture issue with the organization that you now know about and can work to improve that for everyone. Organizational development at its finest, right?
- Value for everyone involved. Reviews are definitely beneficial for the employees getting feedback. But 360 reviews are also valuable for the managers themselves. By gathering feedback from a variety of sources, managers can see how employees are perceiving certain aspects of the work environment. This insight can help managers learn how to better manage and develop teams.
- More trustworthy. Employees don’t always trust the feedback they receive from their managers. But they’re more likely to trust feedback from so many sources. And employee trust in your business operations is so important — employees in high-trust environments are 76% more engaged.
- Online options. Here’s the thing: the world is much more digital than it’s ever been. About 26% of employees work entirely remotely and therefore online. So having online options is a great perk of 360 reviews. You can gather feedback very strategically from a variety of sources all online, and you can use software to compile it all into scores as well.
The Limitations of 360 Reviews
So what’s stopping the whole world from using 360 reviews? After all, those are some pretty great pros. Well, there are a few downsides that some companies run into:
- Can be a little vague . There isn’t a universal standard for 360 reviews, so sometimes the process can end up unstructured and vague. If the feedback ends up vague, it’s hard to benefit and grow from it. So the key to implementing 360 feedback is to create a structured process for your company that works with your team and industry. With a process in place, you can get your employees specific feedback and avoid this downside completely.
- Could suffer from a limit of individuals to provide feedback. To get 360 feedback, you do need employees from which to solicit feedback. If you have few reviewers, the feedback could end up limited and narrow . If this is a problem your organization faces, it could be a great opportunity to bring in a third-party reviewer (or two or three) to observe and perform a thorough review. Also don’t forget to gather customer feedback as another way to bring in an additional perspective!
- Not following through on feedback. Employees have to be open to applying feedback for the 360 review to be effective. Help employees understand the true value of a broad review like this so they’re more motivated to follow through on its ultimate recommendations. And to make sure an organization follows through too: Consider ahead of time what you will to act on any insights that emerge about where your organization can develop.
- Requires more time and energy. A 360 review requires more effort than your traditional one-way assessment. Some organizations consider this a con, but the additional benefits that come from the more intensive process can be worth the additional investment.
Questions to Ask
So you want to get started with a 360 review of your very own. How do you do that? Here are a few things to consider when crafting questions:
- Focus on attributes, not just performance
- Craft questions to address one competency at a time
- Think about how you might identify blindspots
With that in mind, here are some sample questions to add to your next 360 review:
- Does the employee provide solutions to difficult customer problems?
- Does the employee carry out duties without issue?
- Does the employee communicate effectively with customers? Managers? Other employees?
- Does the employee create opportunities for discussion and dialogue?
- Does this employee show respect to others in their team?
- Does the employee collaborate with others effectively in a team?
- Is the employee able to work independently to fix a problem?
- Does the employee live the company values daily?
The Bottom Line
Overall, 360 reviews are a great way to give your employees and your company feedback from many directions and perspectives. Ultimately, it can be a key part of your employee performance strategy that helps everyone continue to develop.
A 360 review is just the starting point for focusing on providing employees with opportunities and showing that you really value their growth and wellbeing. And Gympass is here to help you along the way. Talk to a wellbeing specialist to get started with a strong focus on employee development and wellbeing.
- https://www.zippia.com/advice/remote-work-statistics/#:~:text=As%20of%202022%2C%2026%25%20of,comes%20with%20plenty%20of%20benefits .
The Gympass Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.
360 Review Process Guide
A 360 review is about more than peers providing feedback to an employee. 360 reviews help companies gain a holistic view of how each employee functions within their respective department and the greater company.
Getting the 360 process right requires a host of factors: visibility, anonymity, nominations, staging, and question types. The sheer number of variables can be daunting.
PerformYard understands that nailing the process is key to the success of any 360 program. We've helped hundreds of organizations implement 360 review processes that are effective and streamlined.
Let’s look at some real-world tactics you can implement to run a successful 360 review process.
What is a 360 review?
When a company launches 360 reviews, employees are asked to provide feedback to colleagues who fall outside of their traditional work hierarchy.
Instead of having a manager review a direct hire, employees from all levels provide feedback for other employees at different levels within an organization.
Are 360 reviews effective?
The answer depends on your company's process. With each additional exchange beyond manager to direct hire, you add opportunities for conflict.
Employees who fear conflict may hesitate to write anything but positive feedback. Others, not versed in providing constructive feedback, may cause unnecessary conflict by providing overly harsh feedback.
A focused 360 review process gives your employees a helpful guide to keep their feedback meaningful and useful. Process will help you generate better feedback, filter it, and present it in the most effective way.
With the risk of office friction, hurt feelings, wasted time, and strategic confusion; it is critical that we get the 360 review process right.
Start with the Purpose of 360s
When building out your process, always think about the purpose of the 360 review cycle.
The true purpose of a 360 review is to give managers and employees a broader number of perspectives on performance. Through 360s, you collect a more diverse set of ideas about what employees are doing well and what they can improve on. Leadership, managers and the employees get to see a full picture of performance rather than just a single opinion.
When do you do a 360 review?
Oftentimes, peers or supervisors will have a perspective on an employee that their manager does not. This perspective is often missed in a traditional review process, but picked up with a 360 review.
360s are especially useful for collecting perspectives when a manager is not always directly working with the employee, such as when employees work on project teams or have a cross-functional relationship with different departments.
Figuring out why you want to surface diverse feedback will help guide the rest of your decisions and help you get new perspectives.
Four Key Questions to Answer
There are four key questions that your organization needs to answer to create an effective 360 process. Your answers should be unique to your organization so your 360 review process reflects your organization’s needs.
Getting the right answers to these questions is critical to building an effective 360 process. Be honest and be thoughtful.
1. Who Will See the Feedback and Reviewers?
In the traditional review, the employee and manager are the only people who contribute to a review. With a 360 process, this is not necessarily the case -- peer reviewers include feedback.
You need to decide how your employees will receive their 360 feedback:
- Present feedback raw
- Have managers or HR sign-off on feedback first
- Have managers filter the feedback
- Have managers read and summarize the feedback to their employee.
Each of these options presents pros and cons.
Raw feedback allows employees to understand how their peers see their performance. However, it can exacerbate the effects of inappropriate comments and will likely present a less-than-clear picture of what the employee should focus on.
If the manager reads and summarizes the feedback and that’s all the employee sees, they may wonder how accurate a portrayal of the peer feedback the manager’s summary is.
You should make this decision based on how well your employees give and receive feedback. At a minimum, we’d suggest the manager or HR sign-off on all feedback and have the manager summarize everything into a cohesive narrative.
The second part of the question is whether employee feedback will be anonymous for the receiver. Making this decision often boils down to how well your employees have been trained in giving feedback.
If employee feedback focuses too much on personality issues, then the feedback can cause conflict and distrust. We suggest that you present anonymous or summarized feedback until your employees have had a few review cycles to become acclimated to this holistic feedback approach.
As you continue to train your employees and they become more comfortable with 360 feedback, you can adjust the process to align with your company’s strategic vision.
2. How Will You Stage the Process?
Unlike a simple manager review, 360 reviews include multiple steps in the process. Make sure you give yourself enough time to account for these additional steps.
Here's what a typical process might look like:
- A nomination period
- Peer and self-reviews
- Manager review
- Final sign-offs
- Review meeting between manager and employee.
Consider the number of peer and manager reviews your employees will need to complete to determine a timeframe. 1-2 weeks is typically an appropriate amount of time for each employee to submit their reviews. Longer will result in a dragged out process. Besides, employees will typically wait until the last week anyway, so no need to give extra time to procrastinate!
Scheduling review meetings should also take 1-2 weeks. This way, everyone can plan for and make time on their calendars for a dedicated review period, as opposed to haphazardly slotting people in over a month or longer.
Another important stage in the process is how the feedback form is presented to the employee. You could choose to present the completed feedback forms to the employee ahead of the review meeting. This allows the employee to read, digest and prepare for an effective conversation. It’s important not to share these forms too far ahead of the meeting, however, as a lot of important context will be shared during the discussion, and you don’t want employees to stew over misunderstandings. Less than 24 hours is a good time frame.
Alternatively, you could present all the feedback forms after the meeting as support/summary of what was discussed. This puts the employee at a disadvantage and could result in less effective discussions.
All of these stages add up, and adding unnecessary time into each stage can stretch a few review weeks into a review quarter. Be judicious with your timeline.
3. What should a 360 review include?
When creating review questions, remember that most peer reviewers are probably not trained to give accurately calibrated ratings or answer detailed competency questions.
That’s ok. That’s not the purpose of peer reviews. We’re not looking for a final determination from peer reviewers; we’re looking for more perspectives. Stick with high level questions that draw out details you won’t get from a manager review.
Some classic 360 review questions include:
- “What does the employee do well? Share examples.”
- “What can the employee improve on? Support with examples.”
- “Share examples of how the employee lives up to x or y key values.”
Always ask for specific examples as they keep reviewers focused on actions rather than opinions of character. Examples will increase clarity and reduce “she-said-he-said” if there is disagreement between peers.
As a general rule, a few open-ended and high level questions work best. A simple form keeps the process moving rather than bogging down employees who will often need to complete several peer reviews per cycle.
4. Who Will Review Whom?
The selection of peers can be a challenge. Most employees will have one manager, which makes it easy to know who will complete the manager review. However employees can have many qualifying peers, so it becomes difficult to determine who reviews whom and who chooses these reviewers.
We’ve found that there are two variables you can use to easily determine who reviews whom:
- What are the criteria for qualifying peers?
- How many peer review forms will each employee complete?
Once you determine the answers to these two variables, you arrive at a more manageable and stable pool of potential peer reviewers.
A common approach is to give employees a fairly detailed list of criteria, and then let the employees nominate whoever they want peer reviews from who match the aforementioned criteria. Managers and HR will then check the nominations to ensure they are qualified before moving ahead.
When it comes to the volume of reviews, we believe that the number of peer reviews should be balanced based on how much you’re asking from each peer reviewer and how much feedback you want to solicit. We’ve seen companies do 10+ peer reviews per employee and use a very easy to fill out form. Other companies choose to do just 2-5 peer reviews and ask a bit more in the form.
Importantly, 360s reviews shouldn’t come from only peers. Because your purpose is to solicit diverse feedback, the most valuable perspectives could be from multiple supervisors, direct reports or even clients. Make sure that each employee has a balanced list of reviewers so that they get a holistic look at their performance.
The 360 Review Process Step by Step
You’ve answered your four key questions. Congrats! Now it’s time to set up your successful 360 review process. Let’s go through the steps together.
Step 1: Train Reviewers
Letting your employees figure out how to give constructive feedback on their own can quickly turn into a nightmare with feedback that is vague, overly negative, or plain unhelpful.
You should give your raters general guidance before the 360 surveys are sent out to ensure their feedback is productive. We have included an email template at the bottom of this article that provides some helpful feedback guidelines as well as links to some helpful resources. Feel free to borrow it!
When training reviewers, give models of good positive and negative feedback. Instead of focusing on who the employee is as a person, feedback should talk about specific actions and impacts. Reviewers should write specific examples for both positive and negative feedback. Negative feedback should include things employees can do better. Focus on actions, not personalities.
It’s also important to explain why 360s are valuable to your organization. Take the time to show how 360s can be great for career development. When people know why they’re giving feedback, they’re more likely to give feedback you can use.
We believe that comprehensive training on feedback would be best -- such as an in-person or livestreamed presentation -- but even a short clear email at the start of the process will make a big difference.
Step 2: Nominate Reviewers
Create clear nomination criteria and then carve out a separate time period for employees or their managers to nominate who will provide peer reviews. For small organizations, consider having HR complete the nominations if this is feasible.
Make sure you have a due date for nominations. You’ll need all the reviewers and reviewees determined before moving into peer reviews, so setting an early deadline will reduce the odds of a bottleneck in your process.
Don’t just assume the nominations will happen. Send reminder emails throughout the deadline week, and give yourself time to track down everyone who misses the deadline. Trust us, there will be people who miss the deadline.
Lastly, build in some time for HR or managers to review the nominations before proceeding to the reviews.
Step 3: Launch the Cycle
Do not go small on the launch.
Everyone will be busy with their own work, and it’s easy to miss or ignore the launch of the review cycle if it’s confined to a single email. You need to amplify the message. Here's what a cycle might look like from the HR side:
- Jump into department meetings.
- Ask your CEO to send an all-company email.
- Send another email a week ahead of the launch to get people thinking about what they’ll write.
- Send another email with a short guide to giving feedback.
- Send an email the day before with an overview of the process.
- Finally, send an email the day of announcing the forms are live.
You’ll know the right balance for your organization, but don’t be afraid to go big.
As the cycle progresses, don’t be afraid to keep sending updates and reminders even before the forms are overdue. Occasionally letting everyone know how many of their peers have already completed their forms and reminding them of the due date can keep your process top of mind.
Step 4: Collect Feedback
Collecting feedback, passing along feedback, and alerting the next person in the process comprises one of the most critical, yet underlooked components in the 360 process.
If you’re unprepared, this is where things will get clunky -- forms will get lost or delayed, and everything can get bogged down. In the worst case, reviewers may misunderstand the process and email a raw review form directly to the reviewee. Yikes!
To prevent this, HR should either create very clear guidelines for who employees need to pass forms to, or HR should act as the central dispatch, receiving and sending out the forms themselves.
Either of these work great, but if you’re really looking to streamline your process, you should look into performance management software, which completes these steps automatically.
Step 5: Review/Sign-Off/Analyze
After all feedback is collected, managers or HR should read each form to make sure the feedback lives up to the standards of your feedback training. Follow up on any conflicting or vague information. Managers should pay special attention to trends across multiple reviews, building a holistic view of the employee in question.
Don’t skimp on this step. The manager should be prepared to help the reviewed employee interpret the feedback and understand how to best act upon it.
Step 6: Bring Feedback Together
Think about how you’d like to share the feedback with your employees. We’ve found that showing the feedback from multiple peer reviewers inline, along with a manager’s commentary, followed by a summary from the manager, makes all the feedback easier to understand for the employee.
Step 7: Present Feedback to the Employee
Shortly before an employee’s review meeting with their manager, send the employee a copy of their review forms. This gives the employee time to digest the feedback and prepare for the meeting.
Not everyone is calm under fire, and if you present an employee with unexpectedly negative feedback in the meeting, they may get flustered and not be able to have a constructive conversation. After a few hours or even a day, everyone has had time to compose themselves and think about what they want to say.
On the other hand, it is best to not wait too long, as employees may stew on feedback without the ability to discuss this with a manager.
But -- and this is important -- not all feedback is negative. A lot is positive! Many employees will receive positive and constructive feedback. Receiving this ahead of the in-person meeting will still allow the employee to focus on the points raised, and help ensure the conversation is productive.
Step 8: Discuss Feedback with the Employee
Set aside plenty of time to have a thorough discussion of the employee’s feedback. This meeting is what everything has been building towards. The result of a peer review is not a bunch of filled out forms — it’s an informed and productive discussion of past and future performance between a manager and employee.
The manager should give the employee ample time to share their own thoughts on their performance and focus the discussion on how the feedback can be translated into productive future action.
This is how employee development happens. A productive 360 review process will give an employee a clear view of their own standing in the organization as well as a strong path forward.
360 Review Example Case Studies
Let’s take a look at some notable companies who implement 360s in their review cycle. Maybe one of these will end up being a great match for you!
Egg Strategy is a consulting firm that runs 360 reviews after every project . This results in a lot of 360s -- some employees can get upwards of thirty a year. The questions are qualitative and touch on specific qualities of participating in the project. The feedback had been anonymous, but Egg Strategy recently shifted to open feedback after they trained employees on delivering high quality feedback.
Five-Star Technology is an IT consulting company that uses 360s as part of their annual review process. The peer feedback asks how employees live up to the six core values of the organization. Managers then go through a process called “qualitative coding,” where they compile quotes on each core value and then create a cohesive picture on the employee's performance. Sometimes, the lack of positive feedback around a core value can be very enlightening as to where deficiencies lie.
J2 Interactive, a technology services firm, runs annual 360s . Each review cycle includes feedback from 5-10 people, such as account managers, peers, clients and direct reports. The feedback forms ask a few open-ended questions on examples of success and areas for improvement. All the feedback is reviewed by a manager and the employee’s mentor. These two people discuss the feedback with the employee in question. Following the meeting, the reviewers write up their summary of the feedback, discussion, and next steps.
Netflix has a bold and famous 360 review process where anyone can review anyone else in the company. Employees use an online form to tell each other what they should stop, start, or continue. As an added layer of transparency, everyone up the chain of command has access to your 360 review.
This may seem like an extremely high-pressure way to collect feedback, but 360s are separate from compensation reviews. That way, no one worries about how their feedback will affect the pay of themselves and their coworkers. Netflix also has a hard-earned feedback culture that is regularly reinforced.
360 Review Tool Cost
360 degree feedback software costs between $4 and $12 per employee per month based on the number of employees. If you have under a few hundred employees, you can expect to be on the higher end. Minimum annual contract sizes range from $4,000 to $15,000.
It's important to consider the full cost of implementing 360 degree feedback software. Some vendors will add additional charges for set-up, training, customer support and add-on modules.
360s In PerformYard
PerformYard makes the 360 process streamlined and automated. Gone are the days of chasing down forms, emailing raw feedback to HR, and manually delivering the results to each manager.
Now, HR can easily set permissions, quickly send reminders, collect feedback, and examine employee trends all in a single platform.
Let’s take a quick look at how you can run your 360 process through PerformYard.
Set Up Your Cycle
Your HR team (or whoever is an admin in PerformYard) can quickly set up settings for each 360 review cycle. These settings, which will all be set before any reviewer even gets nominated, will cover every aspect of the 360 process. This means nominations, notifications, approvals, data collection, and feedback dissemination. The entire process is streamlined and set up in advance.
Set Up Your Nominations
PerformYard has four typical ways in which reviewers are selected.
The first is an employee requesting to review another employee. The second is by an employee requesting that another person review them. The third is for a manager to request that employee x review employee y. The last is that HR creates all the peer reviews.
HR has the ability to set permissions -- companywide -- that limit or expand who employees can request for reviews. Admins can also require manager or HR sign offs on each requested review, ensuring that each review is for a valid reason.
What you’re doing here is delegating the nomination step down to the manager and employee level -- with guardrails put in place. Now, a manager and an employee can choose who are the correct reviewers for the 360 process, without having HR get bogged down in the process.
Set Up Your Due Dates and Reminders
With your PerformYard admin account, you can quickly set up uniform due dates for every step of the process. Due dates for nominations? Check. Due dates for feedback? Check? Due dates for manager review? You can see where this is going.
Every time an employee completes a step, this information is automatically recorded in PerformYard. But, sometimes employees forget (we’re all human!), and so reminders need to be sent. Not to worry, you can easily set reminder emails to go out whenever a due date is missed. These emails will contain a link directly to the form the employee needs to complete, helping reduce further delays.
Set Up Your 360 Forms
PerformYard has flexible 360 form templates that you can customize however you need for your organization. You can modify the form so that the peer review is different than the manager review, which is different than the self review.
As a general rule, a few open-ended and high level questions work best. A simple form keeps the process moving rather than bogging down employees who will often need to complete several peer reviews per cycle
Once all your forms and permissions are set, it’s time to launch your cycle!
Launch the Review Cycle
Launch your 360 process! Once triggered, PerformYard will send an email to all employees containing links that will bring them directly to their next step in the process.
First, they’ll complete nominations. Once the nomination process has run its course, PerformYard will send another email launching the review portion. This email will have a link to where each employee completes their necessary reviews.
As always, if anyone is behind in the process, PerformYard will send a reminder email, prodding them to finish their outstanding task.
Manager Review and Sign Off
After all reviews have been completed, managers will gain access to the 360 feedback for each of their employees. From there, they will be prompted to review, summarize, or prepare the feedback as your organization sees appropriate. Additionally, managers will have access to peer review as they complete their own reviews of their employees.
Once manager reviews and sign offs are completed, PerformYard will automatically disseminate the feedback to employees per the permissions you have established.
We Made It!
And that’s it! Thanks to PerformYard’s streamlined review process, the entire 360 experience has been streamlined and formalized. All feedback is easily stored and accessed through one software, allowing admin and managers easy access to performance insights and metrics, making employee evaluations and development discussions more transparent and understandable.
We’re pretty proud of how easy PerformYard makes the review process, and hopeful that you’ll partner with us in the near future!
360s Process Templates
360s are a bit daunting if you’ve never rolled one out before. To make their adoption easier, we’ve included two example templates below -- a training email template and a review questions template. Feel free to borrow these!
If you’re looking for an example timeline and a feedback guide for employees, be sure to download our free 360 degree process template .
Training Reviewers Template
This month, we’re kicking off our 360 review process. You will be asked to give open-ended feedback on your colleagues. As you write this feedback, please keep a couple of things in mind.
One, focus on actions, not personalities. Write about specific actions and impacts that you’ve seen from your colleagues.
Two, focus on the positives, but don’t forget the negatives. Suggest ways your colleagues can improve on their weaknesses.
Three, give helpful feedback. Simply writing “Jane does a good job” is not helpful for Jane. Why is Jane doing a good job? What should she continue doing?
An example of helpful feedback would be “Jane is doing a great job at connecting with customers. She is truly concerned for their well-being. I see this in the way she remembers their birthdays and other life events. Jane could do better at getting back to customers in a timely manner. Sometimes customers email me when Jane hasn’t replied to them in a few days.”
Review Questions Template
- How have you seen this employee perform well in the last year? Give three specific examples.
- What are three specific things this employee should work on in their performance? Give examples.
- How has your experience overall been working with this employee. Give examples.
- Is there any other information you wish to share?
- Share examples of when this employee contributed at a very high level.
- Share examples of when this employee could have done better.
- Would you always want to have this employee on your immediate team? (Yes/No)
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Insta360 Flow review: the four in one smartphone accessory
Selfie stick, mobile gimbal, power bank, and tripod – the insta360 flow does it all.
The Insta360 Flow might not be the best smartphone stabilizer on the scene, but if you're okay with some limitations, its multi-function will more than make up for it, acting as a mobile tripod, power bank and a selfie stick, in addition to a mobile gimbal. The icing on the cake is its active tracking feature working in third-party apps, including native camera applications, albeit limited to portrait orientation.
Competent stabilizer and power bank
Mobile tripod and selfie stick function
Powerful tracking in the app
Works across Android and iOS
Range of motion isn't best-in-class
Third-party tracking locked to portrait orientation
Trunk doesn't lock when Flow is collapsed
Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.
Price and availability
- Features and performance
The Insta 360 Flow is a solid four in one for your smartphone. It’s a selfie stick, small tripod, mini power bank and a basic gimbal – and that’s before you even pair your phone with Insta360's app.
Once you do, you can enable smart tracking features that turn your Android or iOS device into a camera person, as well as a nifty panorama-taking, montage-making gadget.
The control system takes a little getting used to, and the Flow’s range isn’t best-in-class, and big phones with bulky cases may also be a challenge for its slimline phone grip.
Weight : 369g
Folded size : 79.6x162.1x36mm
Unfolded size: 73.6x269.4x69.9mm
Compatible phone thickness : 6.9-10mm
Compatible phone width : 64-84mm
Connectivity : USB-C, Bluetooth 5.0
Selfie stick length : 215mm
Battery capacity : 2900mAh
Quoted run time : 12 hours
Provided it can handle your smartphone case and you’re comfortable with its limitations, the Insta360 Flow combines powerful features for casual and enthusiast smartphone videographers alike.
Between performing well at the basics and adding thoughtful touches like the built-in cold shoe and extending tripod legs to the mix, matched with its relatively compact size, the Insta360 Flow is a mighty offering if you’re on the market for an affordable all-in-one smartphone camera companion.
- Launched in March 2023
- $159 / £145 / AU$239 list price for standalone kit
- Three different kits available in all
Available in three packages, the Insta360 Flow can be picked up in the Standalone Kit, a Creator Kit, and a Pro Tripod kit.
If you buy it standalone, you’ll get the Flow, a USB-C cable, a smartphone clamp, and a grip for the trunk of the Flow itself, as well as a bag to put it all in. It’ll set you back by $159 / £145 / AU$239 – and for most, this kit would absolutely suffice.
If you fancy upgrading your carry case to transparent plastic, picking up a lanyard, and more importantly, getting a USB-C powered fill light, the Creator Kit’s for you, costing $209 / £199 / AU$319.
The final package is the Pro Tripod kit. While the Insta360 has an extendable tripod that pops out of the base, it also has a standard tripod thread mount. The Pro Tripod kit ships with a wider, more solid tripod than the extending legs of the Flow, which screws into the bottom of the grip, and costs $192.98 / £179.98 / AU$283.
- Weights 369g
- Compact when folded
- Compatible with big and small phones
The Insta360 Flow is a very compact gimbal system considering just how multi-functional it is.
While it isn’t as light as the featherweight 309g DJI OM 6, at 369g, the Flow is still manageable.
The system trunk rotates when folded – not locking in place – but it’s a relatively solid, sturdy closed system that you can chuck in a bag without worrying something might bend and snap.
Unfurl the Flow fully, and what sets it apart from its main competition are the extending tripod legs, which in-part help justify the extra weight nicely.
The trunk of the Flow has a round control panel with a joystick in the center, a trigger on the other side, and a USB-C port on the side so you can power up the gimbal.
The arm has a transparent plastic cover for some fun-looking, exposed circuit boards, a bit of branding, and that all-important cold-shoe mount.
At the top of the arm, there’s also a USB-C port for charging your phone, or powering the fill light in the Creator Kit, as well as a magnetic mounting point.
If you haven’t used a mobile gimbal before, the first couple of times you open it out, the Insta360 Flow might seem a little fiddly, but it’s easy to get the hang of, and once you’re confident in its folding mechanism, it feels at least as robust and natural to set up as the best competition.
The metal clamp that lives on your smartphone is also worth touching on. We used it across a range of phones, from a super-wide Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra inside a Mous case, through to a compact Asus Zenfone 9, and its spring-loaded mechanism handled both extremes like a champ. What might be a challenge are large phone cases.
The saving graces of the Insta360 Flow are the soft rubberised grip cover that sheathes over the trunk of the gimbal and its extending base. Without these, holding the Flow is awkward, given how slim and short it is. Add the grip and extend the base, though, and even big hands should be able to maneuver the Flow without any awkward gripping.
- Smartphone stabilizer with active tracking through app
- 2900mAh battery with power bank functionality
- Mobile tripod and selfie stick
The first feature worth talking about is the Insta360 Flow’s main function – being a gimbal.
Just like the DJI OM 6, it has three-axis stabilization, and while it covers different angles of pan, roll, and tilt, the range is virtually identical across both gimbals – 330º panning and rolling, and 180º tilting.
For anyone picking up the Flow primarily as a gimbal, therefore, it’s well matched by the direct competition from DJI, but stabilizing isn’t its strongest feature given the more limited range than more single-function options. Where the Flow does excel, though, is in its multifunction.
While the DJI OM 6 features a modest 1000mAh battery, the Insta360 Flow’s is a much higher-capacity 2900mAh.
This isn’t just a boon for long shoots, it also means as a power bank, the Flow can seriously boost battery life, especially when matched with a small phone like an iPhone 14 or SE.
The Insta360 Flow’s selfie stick arm extends from the Flow by 187.6mm, which isn’t quite as far-reaching as some competition, including the OM 6. It does, nevertheless, add some handy utility to the experience that goes beyond just selfies.
In addition to its battery, the Flow’s extending legs are a key point of differentiation and perform a two-fold function. The first has been covered – they add extra length to the Flow’s trunk, making it easier to grip. The second function of the legs is much more apparent – they become a tripod – perfect when shooting on a surface with the tracking feature in the Insta360 app, or using your phone as a webcam.
While the legs aren’t super-sturdy, especially when the Flow’s arm is fully extended, they can still hold a phone stable for steady footage and long-exposure photography provided your surface isn’t too wobbly.
Through the Insta360 app, the Flow flexes more than just hardware, bringing excellent subject tracking to the fore, as well as manual photography, multi-shot panorama, Timelapse, TimeShift (hyperlapse), and our favorite feature, Live Mode. This lets you use the gimbal’s smart tracking in other apps, whether you’re on a WhatsApp call, in a Zoom meeting or just filming on the native camera application. When paired with a phone like the Xperia 1 V, with its mighty manual camera apps, therefore, it’s a fantastic counterpart to eke out even more from your kit.
As a result, even if some of the Insta360 Flow's features aren't class-leading, as a package, its full feature-set is exceptional.
- Features: 4.5/5
- Three-axis stabilization isn't best-in-class
- Multi-function features outclass the competition
- Third-party subject tracking through the Insta360 app
We had a great time testing the Insta360 Flow out. Before you even fire up the application, all its hardware features are powerful standalone, especially once you realize that the extending legs make it much easier to hold one-handed.
The fiddliest thing about the gimbal is definitely changing modes. The round control panel has a bunch of inputs – buttons, a jog dial for zoom, and a touch-sensitive ring, as well as a joystick. It’s this touch-sensitive ring that we struggled with.
The touch ring switches between Follow, Pan Follow, and First Person View, as well as Auto mode, so we didn’t have to interact with it too much – but it’s definitely the control system’s weak point.
The jog dial to control zoom seems like Insta360’s direct response to DJI’s rotating toggle on the OM 6, and it isn’t quite as refined but still does the job. Insta360 has a handy list of compatible phones on-site, and most phones we matched it with were able to directly access multi-camera system zoom using the Flow’s controls, which is impressive.
We also found getting to grips with the familiar trigger, joystick, and buttons a breeze – super intuitive for seasoned gimbal users, and not too jarring for novices we asked to give it a whirl.
How good video capture when using the Insta360 Flow is will largely depend on your phone, but there’s no doubt the gimbal system does a good job of boosting stabilization while simultaneously adding handy features to the mix.
We generally weren't fans of capturing content using the Insta360 app. It’s clumsier than native apps, which is little wonder, because it isn’t purpose-built for each camera system it’s paired with. What we did love, though, was the fact Insta360’s Live mode which works across iOS and Android expands some of the gimbal’s core functionality – tracking – beyond the Flow’s app, matching it with the much better native camera apps. It's just a shame that in our testing, this was locked to portrait orientation.
If you’re wondering which setup to get, we’d suggest most folks opt for the original bundle. The Creator Kit fill light is handy, but isn’t a must-have, and the gimbal’s legs make the tripod kit seem a bit redundant. Most would be better off picking up a specific tripod or mini pod that fits their needs rather than go with the one bundled in that kit.
Irrespective of which kit you go for, though, we can definitely recommend Insta360’s smart, powerful mobile gimbal, even if its controls can be a little fiddly and its stabilizing isn't best-in-class.
The DJI Osmo Mobile 6 is the Insta360 Flow’s main competition, but so too are the OM 4 and 5 for anyone who doesn’t mind last-gen tech. In fact, while the OM 4 is a much bulkier package, it offers a superior range and power bank functionality, making it a smart alternative for anyone who doesn’t mind a little extra heft.
- Performance: 4/5
The DJI OM 4 was the first gimbal to capture smooth cinematic video without holding your smartphone hostage thanks to a magnetic clamp system. While it isn't as compact as the Insta360 Flow, it does offer a superior range of motion.
While the DJI OM 6 offers a similar range of motion to the Insta360 Flow, its specific angles are potentially more useful. It's also a lighter alternative thanks to the fact it offers fewer secondary features than Insta360's gimbal.
Basil Kronfli is the Head of content at Make Honey and freelance technology journalist. He is an experienced writer and producer and is skilled in video production, and runs the technology YouTube channel Tech.
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A comprehensive guide to 360-review
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Employee experience, employee engagement, performance management, 360-degree feedback, workforce analytics, employee review software, employee feedback software and tool, employee churn, employee retention.
What is a 360 review?
What are the top 5 benefits of 360-degree reviews, 360-degree performance review surveys, identify patterns in your workplace.
360 review can be defined as a review where employees receive feedback from peers, subordinates, managers, and even clients sometimes. Organizations widely accept review 360, for it is a well-rounded process that offers employees the opportunity to understand and compare how their strengths and weaknesses are viewed at various levels of the company. Traditional reviews, where only managers of employees reviewed them, are not as effective. 360-degree performance reviews help identify any gaps and address them. It also brings additional issues to the fore, such as training requirements, team management, customer communication, etc.
360-degree performance reviews come handy in three key ways: to replace the annual review process, to augment professional development, or to identify critical patterns and discrepancies across multiple groups.
When performing 360 reviews, employees can give and receive feedback in the following categories: leadership qualities, communication skills, teamwork, quality of performance, and customer relations.
Organizations rely on 360-degree performance reviews because they work. 360 performance reviews build a bigger picture from the perspective of various stakeholders. Let us look at the top 5 pros of 360 performance reviews.
- Multi-source feedback: Traditionally, only managers weighed in on an employee’s performance. Even though useful, it wasn’t a wholesome view of employee's performance. With 360 reviews, you get a broader perspective that provides performance insights from multiple functions and stakeholders.
- Identify blind spots: In organizations, when you are working on multiple projects or with numerous functions, there could be concern areas that an employee may not be aware of. This review process helps bring to the fore such areas, arming management to address them at the earliest.
- Identify training needs: Thorough employee feedback highlights improvement areas. This makes it easy to identify and implement any training requirements that will help improve the employee’s performance.
- Offers constructive feedback: Participation from multiple sources helps give well-rounded feedback. This is crucial in improving the employee’s performance. It helps the employee become a better manager, colleague, and subordinate.
- Proves visibility: An employee may work with various peers and functions over their tenure. With 360-degree performance reviews, peers and subordinates get to give feedback on the employee’s performance. This not only ensures organization-wide visibility but also they are efforts are valued.
Review 360 takes some co-ordination since it’s multiple stakeholders participating in an employee's evaluation. You have numerous colleagues, peers, managers, and customers giving performance feedback. Conducting surveys is an excellent way to gather input for 360-degree performance reviews.
Here are the top five reasons why you should use an online survey platform or tool for conducting 360-degree reviews.
- Simple and quick: Building and conducting online employee performance surveys are hassle-free and fast with survey software. Most of the tools have pre-defined surveys, which can be edited to suit your needs. It gives you the freedom to use your own set of questions, making it user-friendly.
- Easy data gathering: Data gathered from online employee surveys is stored centrally with its unique tracking and storing properties. This is useful in not only data gathering but also accessing. This comes in handy when you are doing multiple surveys for many employees all year round.
- Easy data sharing: It’s essential to share your survey data with key and relevant leaders for effective 360-degree performance management. With online survey tools like QuestionPro Workforce, you can easily share data with various people and even assign role-based access. This helps maintain data privacy, shareability, and ease-of-access.
- Reporting dashboards: Online survey tools provide you with options to create and customize dashboards. These can be shared directly with relevant managers for further analysis. It helps in review 360 since it lets you put in fields that help monitor things like KPIs, goal management, etc.
- Customize your surveys: Online survey platforms come with a host of options. These are not only restricted types of surveys but also the level of customization that you can do. You may have your brand colors in surveys, domain names, your own data centers, and much more. Depending on your requirements and needs, you can customize your tool and surveys.
Whether you’re looking for a way to streamline your review process or help your employees grow, 360 performance reviews certainly help. Not only do 360-degree reviews increase accountability, but your organization can disseminate the data and apply it company-wide to fix repetitive issues. These can be oversights during the training process or even procedural matters that can thwart employee growth.
Organizations conducting 360 reviews certainly helps in improving employee performance and employee experience. Data gathered from such reviews can be fed into your performance management system and used to develop and enhance training plans, feedback programs, etc.
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A 360 performance review is a method for measuring employee performance. It uses feedback from approximately six to twelve people, including an employee self-evaluation, to provide a comprehensive look at an employee's efficiency, productivity, contributions and work behavior.
Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman December 23, 2020 Jorg Greuel/ Getty Images Summary. Companies have continued to use the 360-degree process throughout the years because it works. But for it to be...
The term is called a "360 review" because performance feedback is solicited from all directions in the organization. The objective of the feedback is to give the employee the opportunity to understand how their work is viewed in the total organization by coworkers in any position.
A 360-degree review measures your performance in abilities like these: Communication skills like listening, comprehension and nonverbal communication Planning and organizational skills related to your job responsibilities Teamwork skills like willingness to help and reliability Leadership skills like decision-making and vision-casting
A 360-degree performance appraisal, also known as 360-degree feedback or multi-rater feedback, is when employers evaluate employee performance from as many sources as possible, instead of only one-on-one feedback from a direct manager.
Also called "multi-directional feedback," 360 feedback refers to a performance review that asks for constructive feedback about an employee's work performance from several people, including the employee's manager, peers, and customers or clients, as well as a self-appraisal.
360-degree feedback is a method of employee review that provides each employee the opportunity to receive performance feedback from their supervisor or manager and four to eight peers, reporting staff members, coworkers, and, in some cases, customers. Key Takeaways
March 18, 2021 360 Performance Reviews : The Pros and Cons You Should Know 360 Performance Reviews are a must-have of a modern HR strategy- or are they? This post explores the pros and cons, and how to make 360 reviews work by Lara Kelly #performance-reviews #hr-management Rippling
A 360 review is a process of getting feedback on an individual's performance and/or potential from their manager and others who interact with them regularly, ie., peers, direct reports, manager's manager, etc... A 360 review has several different names - 360 evaluation, multi-directional feedback, peer feedback etc.
1. Define the Purpose of the 360 Degree Review. Common goals include leadership development, performance improvement, identifying blind spots, and promoting self-awareness. Time: It can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to define the purpose of a 360 review, depending on several factors: Complexity of the Organization
2. The 360-degree feedback helps identify developmental needs — both at an individual and organizational level. Another major advantage of 360 reviews is that they're an incredible tool for identifying the employee's developmental needs.
A 360 Performance Review is an employee assessment process used to obtain in-depth and comprehensive feedback about an employee's performance, behavior, and contributions to the company....
The 360 degree evaluation is an excellent tool for appreciating a colleague (subordinate or superior) and communicating constructive criticism. We have prepared a checklist of how to proceed, so that performance reviews bring the most significant value to the company and repair interpersonal relations. How to Give Positive and Critical Reviews:
Closed-Ended 360-Degree Review Sample Questions. It helps to have a balance of quantifiable data for performance insight, and qualitative responses for additional context. For gathering quantifiable data, closed-ended questions work best. Using the following options — "strongly disagree," "disagree," "neutral," "agree," and ...
The Benefits of 360 Reviews. Better quality feedback.Traditional reviews only provide feedback from one person—the direct manager. That's it. Sometimes that feedback is quality, but sometimes managers struggle to provide meaningful feedback. (Doing so is a skill to itself, afterall.) 360 reviews helps mitigate that.
A 360 review (360-degree review) is a continuous performance management strategy aimed at helping employees at all levels obtain responses from various parts of an organization in order to develop and sharpen their professional skills.
A 360-degree performance review might surface perspectives on an individual's ability to lead a team, work cross-functionally, and collaborate with teammates.
A 360 review is a specific type of workplace assessment. Multiple people may assess an employee's workplace performance and consider how they operate in the wider team. This contrasts to performance reviews, where just a manager assesses an employee's performance. Related: Who contributes to a 360 review?
In performance reviews, an employee's performance is assessed and discussed with them to support their development and/or inform pay or other decisions. ... 360 degree or multisource feedback involves employees receiving ratings and feedback from a number of stakeholders, including colleagues and any reports they manage, as well as their own ...
The true purpose of a 360 review is to give managers and employees a broader number of perspectives on performance. Through 360s, you collect a more diverse set of ideas about what employees are doing well and what they can improve on. Leadership, managers and the employees get to see a full picture of performance rather than just a single opinion.
These reviews are sometimes called 360-degree performance reviews, 360-degree reviews or 360-degree appraisals. Businesses may consult the following people when assessing an employee with a 360-degree review: Their peers. Their supervisors or managers. Employees they supervise. Employees from other departments they interact with.
Two-minute review. The Insta 360 Flow is a solid four in one for your smartphone. It's a selfie stick, small tripod, mini power bank and a basic gimbal - and that's before you even pair your ...
360 feedback, which is also called 360-degree feedback, is a popular technique for generating honest performance reviews. When utilised effectively, you can use it to get insightful feedback on several aspects of your workplace performance. Knowing what 360 feedback is and its uses can help you make the best use of this technique.
360 Reviews improve productivity, employee engagement, employee health, and provide insights for powerful improvements over time. Use QuestionPro Workforce to conduct 360-degree feedback reviews in your organization. 360 Review | 360 Performance & Degree Review | Workforce 360 Reviews Products Survey SoftwareEasy to use and accessible for everyone.
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