360 Degree Feedback: Definition, Benefits & Examples (2023)

Do you want to make people anxious at work and create chaos in yourorganisation? How about making your employees feel plain old uneasy and create an atmosphere of dread and despair?

You might be thinking that we’re talking about laying half of them off, right?

Nope. We’re talking about a shabbily managed feedback system in your company. Though traditional feedback system is being used widely, it has quite distinct disadvantages.

Since there is no element of anonymity in a traditional feedback system, honest feedback is not always shared. However, when you implement 360-degree feedback in your organization, the situation seems to vary.

In 360 degree feedback, the feedback is shared not just by the reporting managers but also by your peers and others working with you. The feedback is kept anonymous so that everyone can share their response objectively.

Table of Contents

What is a 360 Degree Feedback System?

360-degree feedback is a system or method whereby employees receive feedback from different entities, namely their reporting manager, peers, and direct reports. The feedback is private and anonymous. All one has to do is fill an online feedback form answering queries about their work-related competencies.

The form includes rating-based questions supplemented by a comments section wherein respondents give their feedback. Even the person about whom the feedback is given fills out a self appraisal form, wherein he or she answers the same questions as answered by the respondents.

Organisation leaders and managers use 360-degree feedback surveys to provide a safe and reliable way of understanding their strengths and weaknesses. For example, 360-degree feedback for managers provides company profits by gaining valuable insight into 360 feedback questions, leadership, teams, and overall health of the organization.

The top leaders are then able to identify what’s working and what’s not. Furthermore, the 360 feedback for employees gains an honest appraisal of their abilities and deficiencies.

(Video) 360 degree Performance Appraisal

Why 360 Degree Feedback is Important?

360-degree feedback system allows leaders to become more self-aware and identify their blind spots or strengths that they were not aware of. Of course, it is improbable that the top management would have reached their position without having a pretty good idea about their qualities.

However, honest and reliable feedback is crucial to test one’s self-perception. Becoming self-aware is the first step towards bringing about (hopefully) a positive change in oneself.

How can 360-Degree Feedback Improve Performance?

360-degree feedback process helps employees can analyse their own performance and get to know the view of others about their contributions to any project.

As the feedback is kept anonymous, employees get an overall idea about where they stand. There is no scope for them to hold grudges against anyone, as the entire review process is kept anonymous.

Further, the overall qualitative and quantitative performance review is based on feedback from multiple people. This minimizes the chance of biases.

Above all, the 360 review is an ongoing process where employees can improve and deliver better. This review process makes employees accountable for their performance and encourages the idea of learning.

How Does 360 Degree Feedback Works?

360 degree feedback process works in an anonymous manner where an employee receives feedback from peers and their supervisors who work with them. Also, employees can fill out their self-appraisal form where they get to analyse their own contributions to the company’s growth.

Based on the perspective of multiple employees, both quantitative and qualitative review is shared. As the review is not based on one person’s biases, it is likely to be fair and honest.

When is a 360-Degree Feedback System Most Useful for Companies?

360-degree feedback process is being used by organizations to assess the development needs of employees and align the support to improve their skills and behavior. However, this feedback approach gives better results when used for the overall performance review process.

Any big organization can adopt this approach to have a fair idea about the performance of an employee based on qualitative and quantitative reviews from colleagues, subordinates, supervisors, customers, etc.

Top 5 Benefits of 360-Degree Feedback for Organisations

  • Helps Increase Self-Awareness
  • Creates an Open Culture
  • Empowers Leaders and Employees Both
  • Increases Accountability
  • Helps Increase Self-Awareness

360 feedback helps employees gain a true insight into where they stand vis-à-vis their performance. This feedback is less prone to being biased and one-sided, helping them become more aware of themselves.

  • Creates an Open Culture

Since one gets feedback from their peers, subordinates, and managers, the employee is exposed to a more open culture, leading to enhanced employee productivity among teams.

(Video) What is 360-degree Feedback? | Employee Performance Review

  • Empowers Leaders and Employees Both

It’s essential for employees to feel empowered that they have a voice, and they can air their concerns lest they become detached and feel the organisation does not value them.

  • Lessens Employee & Managerial Turnover

Carrying on from the above point, open and positive communication helps expose issues that may have been simmering under the surface. When employees feel important and empowered, they’re less likely to jump ship.

  • Increases Accountability

360 feedback also helps raise the accountability of the company employees. When an organisation reinforces accountability, it helps increase employee engagement and happiness.

Furthermore, if you put an employee in the driver’s seat, giving them the ownership of the task and making them accountable for it, they’re more likely to see that task through to completion.

How Does 360-Degree Feedback Help Organisations?

Companies typically use 360-degree feedback in two ways – firstly, as a development tool to help employees become more adept and proficient at their work by helping them identify their core strengths and weaknesses. Secondly, a performance appraisal tool to help measure and rate employee performance over the year.

360-Degree Feedback Examples

360-degree feedback has been around for a while and has been introduced and implemented in various degrees by several prominent enterprises.

Take, for instance, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). Back in 2015, RBS introduced a new business strategy wherein they outlined a plan to become the world’s leading bank in delivering quality customer service, trust, and advocacy. In addition, they recognized the need for bringing about wholesale changes in their culture to help empower their employees to make their vision a reality.

RBS took steps to ensure that employee development was a continuous process rather than an annual process when employees got appraised. They put in place systems wherein employees get consistent feedback to aid in their personal growth and development.

In addition, RBS initiated a leadership program known as ‘Determined to Lead’, which focused on encouraging a recurrent approach to feedback geared towards self-development. The purpose was to enable leaders and other employees et al. to seek feedback and improve themselves. This feedback tool was available to all employees.

Other leading organizations like Goldman Sachs, HCL Technologies, IBM, Amazon, GE, and Ab Inbev have also implemented the 360-degree feedback process to create a culture of learning and growth. These organizations use this feedback process to assess the leadership skills of their team leads and the performance of employees along with suggesting ways to improve.

Tips to Consider When Conducting 360 Degree Feedback Reviews:

Certain guidelines should be adhered to while conducting 360-degree feedback helping you get the maximum bang for your buck!

  • Recognize and understand the purpose behind carrying out 360-degreefeedback
  • Convey the purpose and explain the process of 360-degree feedback to youremployees
  • Test 360 feedback on a pilot group
  • Keep the 360-degree feedback survey short andprecise
  • Gather the perspective of around 10-12 people for every employee. This will help supervisors to have a fair idea about the performance of their individual team members.
  • Conduct both quantitative and qualitative survey to get objective reviewresults
  • Self-appraisal form is important for employees to assess their strengths and weaknesses.


(Video) What is 360 Degree Feedback | 3 steps in 360 Assessments | Types of feedback in 360 Assessment

Typically, 360-degree feedback is an inclusive feedback system wherein employees at the executive, managerial, and leadership level can come together and engage in honest and open feedback.

Herein, all involved parties can identify areas where they’re excelling and where they need to put in more work, leading to overall improvement and growth among employees and leaders.


  1. What is the purpose of 360 degree feedback?

    360 degree feedback helps in assessing the performance of an employee based on reviews and ratings from multiple people, such as, supervisors, subordinates, peers and external stakeholders.

    This type of an all-round feedback approach helps in analysing an employee’s contribution to your company’s success in a holistic manner. Also, 360 degree review process prevents any scope of biases and subjectivity in performance management.

  2. What should be included in 360 feedback?

    360 degree feedback often includes employee self-appraisal, and the qualitative and quantitative feedback from all those who are associated with an employee for tasks. Those include immediate supervisors, peers, subordinates and even the external associations.

  3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of a 360 degree feedback system?

    The 360 degree review process ensures balanced feedback based on multiple perspectives. This type of holistic review prevents any chance of biases and also highlights development areas.

    However, if the review is based on grudges from your peers, it may not serve the purpose. Also, it seems more relevant in bigger organizations where there are enough people to share feedback for every employee.

  4. What companies use 360 degree feedback?

    Most of the bigger organizations and Fortune 500 companies use 360 degree feedback process to create a process of an ongoing learning and growth.

    (Video) Is 360 Degree feedback good or bad for performance management?

  5. How does 360 degree feedback work?

    360 degree feedback works on pre-set criteria for different job roles, structural hierarchy and complexities of the tasks performed. For example, a supervisor would be reviewed for their people management, crisis management and leadership skills.

    However, a subordinate would be reviewed for their team work, rapport with customers, technical skills, etc.

  6. What is 360 Degree Performance Appraisal?

    360 degree performance appraisal is based on how an employee appraise themselves and how other view their contribution.

    Performance review criteria can be set on parameters like team work, internal communication, communication with external stakeholders, job accountability and the impact on company’s growth.

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What is 360-degree feedback with example? ›

360 Degree Feedback is an evaluation system or process in which employees receive confidential, anonymous feedback from the people who work around them. This typically includes the employee's manager, peers, and direct reports.

What is the most important benefit of a 360 degree review? ›

1) 360-degree feedback creates a more accurate picture of employees' performance. Receiving feedback from peers, direct reports, and managers give employees insight into their performance from all angles. In other words, it creates a better picture of an employee's performance.

Why is 360-degree feedback important in the workplace? ›

The process of completing 360-degree feedback provides raters with greater insight and understanding into the values and behaviors that are important for team success. Seeing how others are being evaluated allows team members to formulate their own expectations around goals for performance and behaviors (Dominick et.

How do you summarize 360-degree feedback? ›

The concept of 360 degree feedback is simply that people should seek feedback from those all around them. From 360 degrees around them. The argument is that this helps to ensure they get a clear reflection on how they are performing. This model also helps people understand how they are being perceived.

What are the pros and cons of feedback? ›

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Feedback Devices
  • Advantage: Automatically reduce errors. ...
  • Advantage: Improve stability. ...
  • Advantage: Increase robustness against external disturbances. ...
  • Advantage: Reliable and repeatable. ...
  • Disadvantage: Changes. ...
  • Disadvantage: Complexity. ...
  • Types of feedback devices.

Which is the best example of positive feedback? ›

The process of labor and childbirth is perhaps the most-cited example of positive feedback. In childbirth, when the fetus's head presses up against the cervix, it stimulates nerves that tell the brain to stimulate the pituitary gland, which then produces oxytocin. Oxytocin causes the uterus to contract.

What are the 4 types of feedback? ›

There are four types of constructive feedback:
  • Negative feedback – corrective comments about past behaviour. ...
  • Positive feedback – affirming comments about past behaviour. ...
  • Negative feed-forward – corrective comments about future performance. ...
  • Positive feed-forward – affirming comments about future behaviour.

How 360-degree feedback is used to improve leadership effectiveness? ›

Organizations can use 360-degree feedback for leadership development by gathering feedback on a leader's performance from peers, direct reports, bosses, customers, and others who have seen the individual in action. Leaders can build self-awareness by comparing how they see themselves to how they're perceived by others.

What are the 3 importance of feedback? ›

Feedback promotes personal and professional growth.

It provides positive criticism and allows to see what everyone can change to improve their focus and results. It brings people together and creates a healthy communication flow.

What are the benefits of giving feedback? ›


Constructive feedback provides the opportunity for ongoing performance improvement. It prevents performance from going off track or becoming misaligned, wasting valuable time, energy or resources. Appreciative feedback and recognition builds someone's sense of being valued.

How do you give 360 feedback to your boss example? ›

Examples of 360-degree feedback
  • Positive environment. “The positive environment you created in our workspace made an astounding positive impact. ...
  • Appreciating the help. ...
  • Good management. ...
  • Clarity of instructions. ...
  • Miscommunication issues. ...
  • Increased workload. ...
  • Handholding. ...
  • Areas of improvement.
Nov 21, 2022

What is another term for 360-degree feedback? ›

360-degree feedback (also known as multi-rater feedback, multi source feedback, or multi source assessment) is a process through which feedback from an employee's subordinates, peers, colleagues, and supervisor(s), as well as a self-evaluation by the employee themselves is gathered.

Why is it called 360-degree feedback? ›

360 degree feedback, also known as multi-rater feedback, is a system in which anonymous feedback is gathered about a member of staff from various people they have working relationships with. This is usually their managers, peers, direct reports, subordinates - hence the name "360 degree".

What is another term for 360-degree feedback *? ›

360-degree feedback, also called multi-rater or multisource feedback, is an instrument to get performance ratings and feedback from subordinates, peers, customers, suppliers, and/or supervisors. It is most often used as a tool to provide feedback to leaders and managers.

What is a good example of positive feedback? ›

Positive feedback you can give: "I'm really happy with your determination to finish this project. I know it wasn't easy, but I knew you could do it. Your helpful attitude makes it clear that you can continue to take on new challenges and grow with the company.

What are the four sources of 360-degree feedback? ›

What is 360-Degree Feedback? 360 Degree feedback systems incorporate multiple perspectives (perceptions and insights) by using feedback from a variety of sources. These sources include peers, subordinates, customers, self, supervisor, and others.

Which is a disadvantage of 360-degree feedback? ›

One of the biggest problems with 360-degree feedback is that once the questionnaires are collected and information disseminated, the employee is left with a huge (and overwhelming) amount of data. This means they will have a large number of suggestions on how they can improve their performance in the coming months.

What is a weakness of 360-degree feedback? ›

Receiving 360-degree feedback from so many sources can be overwhelming for the employee, especially if the person cannot handle negative criticism. This can result in a decrease in motivation and productivity.


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