In contrast to traditional performance review approaches, 360 degree feedback allows you to see the whole picture and get feedback from multiple sources. Why is this important?
Have you ever tried talking to a wall or an inanimate object? You've expressed your thoughts and asked questions, but since you're not getting anything in return, could we say that communication has taken place? It is often said that proper communication is only complete when there is feedback. With feedback, you get to know how a situation is from all perspectives, making decisions with this knowledge.
For companies and organizations, this couldn't be more crucial. Feedback is that all-important link between an organization's management and its employees, as well as among peers within a company itself.However, with well-structured 360 degree feedback questions, it's merely a walk in the park. Let’s find out why that is true.
What is 360 feedback?
Everyone is familiar with the traditional method of conducting employee performance reviews, comprised of feedback and information from an organization's management. 360 feedback takes it a step further and is an all-inclusive performance review consisting of feedback from management, employees, clients, and subordinates.
Sometimes, feedback is sourced from external factors, such as the organization's customers, clientele, or even stakeholders. As you may imagine, it's as all-around as it gets, and that's where the name– 360 degree review (clever, right?) comes from.
How can 360 performance review aid people management?
Managers have most commonly used 360 feedback for professional development purposes. It provides management with the information necessary to assist employees with developing or improving their skills and general behavior at work. The process is also an effective way to get the organization's accurate overview of an employee. The applications, therefore, are endless.
Since it's usually anonymous, the employee in review can get insight into how others receive them, providing the avenue for change and development that can improve how they work.
360-degree review feedback examples are also helpful in avoiding the dreaded employee performance catastrophe, ensuring management knows what improves or depletes performance levels.
Whichever way you look at it, the 360-degree review method gives a more comprehensive look at performances, strengths, and weaknesses. It shouldn't be used in all cases, though.
How to gather 360 degree feedback?
There are multiple approaches to gathering feedback from a 360 survey. Before the tool can be used for people management, these different variants should be explored in greater detail. In short, the gathering process depends on the organizational structure, the employees' workflows, the degree of peer interaction within a company, and the percentage of one employee's performance dependent on other team members.
Another significant aspect is linked to transparency and understandability of the overall feedback culture within a company. In a nutshell, the standard approach for feedback gathering might deviate based on how accommodating employees are to provide feedback.
Keeping the abovementioned factors in mind, there are free key variants for 360-degree review feedback gathering:
1. Offer employees a chance to answer open-ended questions. Yet, focus on the overall feedback process to potentially develop a reviewee. For instance, there is a well-recognized practice of Agile teams. It is coined as Start, Stop, Continue doing. We’ve adopted it within the simplest survey you can start with:
|Start doing||What is one thing this employee should start doing?|
|Keep doing||What is one thing this employee should continue/keep doing?|
|Stop doing||What is one thing this employee should stop doing?|
2. Ask peers directly about the aspects you are interested in the most - strengths, growth potential, and others. This variant is well-suited for consolidated teams, the ones where people are not afraid to be open-minded and honest in their feedback. Yet, keep in mind that in some variations, this survey might offer generalized feedback. To illustrate, this variant stands on the following questions:
- What are 1-2 strengths you demonstrate that positively contribute to the company’s success?
- What are 1-2 things you could do to increase your impact?
- How well do you demonstrate our company values? Please explain your answer.
- How well does this person manage their time and workload?
- How well does this person adapt to changing priorities?
- What’s an area you’d like to see this person improve?
- How do you see the best way of growing this person in the company?
3. Develop a method for competencies assessment. It should be done based on the 360-degree review. This is the most complex yet most accurate feedback-gathering approach. This method’s key upside is that it grants a clearer understanding of the reviewee’s skill level. Thus, when conducting future reviews, you’ll get a chance to compare the results to have a take on change dynamics. Besides, for a company, this variant offers a chance for cross-department skills and competencies comparison (a 9 box grid model is a great tool here). Overall, this helps make better HR decisions.
Keep in mind that interpersonal and Personal Skills are most often assessed. In addition, companies focus on these skills:
- Leadership skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Organizational skills
Putting all the pieces together, it is apparent that 360-degree feedback-gathering processes have their nuances. Yet, with the right knowledge and tools, you can easily pull it off. In such a case, Effy is a performance management software that helps make the 360-review process seamless and effortless. The platform comes with a library of pre-made 360 feedback review templates. You can use them for free.
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Moreover, our representatives help you choose the correct template and configure the tool to meet your business needs. It is the prime time to see what Effy has to offer.
The best 360 feedback sample questions for 2023
Coming up with the questions for a 360 feedback survey can still be tricky, even with all the tips and information at hand. To help you get started on yours, we've compiled a list of the best 360-degree feedback sample questions you can use for your company. The following competencies group them:
- Leadership skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Organizational skills
These questions assess the leadership attributes of the employee in review:
- Does the employee take the lead on assignments and projects?
- Does this employee motivate others on the team to do their best?
- Is the employee accountable and takes responsibility for project results?
- Does this employee demonstrate leadership qualities daily?
- Is this employee a role model for other team members to look up to?
- Does the employee carry out their duties without problems?
- Does the employee contribute to problem-solving discussions?
- Does this employee help solve customer problems?
- Can the employee put aside their ego and ambition to work with others on projects?
- Does this employee supervise work effectively?
These questions evaluate an employee's interaction with peers, managers and customers.
- Does the employee communicate well with other workers?
- Does this employee possess great written communication skills?
- Is this employee able to speak clearly and concisely?
- Is the employee open to receiving feedback from peers?
- Does the employee consider the suggestions of others?
- Does this employee seek clarity when they don't understand something or are confused?
- Does the employee communicate well outside of their department?
- Can the employee clearly express their ideas to other workers?
- Is the employee open to encouraging discussions?
- Does the employee communicate well with customers?
These questions assess an employee's relationships with peers, managers and customers.
- Does the employee collaborate well with others?
- Has this employee had any conflict with other team members?
- Can the employee function well alongside others on team projects?
- Does the employee praise co-workers or acknowledge their accomplishments?
- Does this employee respect their team members?
- Is this employee in charge of their emotions, especially when dealing with colleagues?
- Does this employee consistently clash with others?
- Is this employee someone to turn to in times of need?
- Is this employee effectively managing their stress levels?
These questions consider an employee's ability to provide solutions to problems.
- Can this employee work without managerial supervision?
- Does this employee possess decision-making skills?
- Does the employee react quickly to unforeseen events and challenges?
- Does this employee contribute to discussions and help solve problems?
- Does the employee regularly have creative ideas for solving problems?
- Can the employee spot problematic situations?
- Can the employee effectively bring others up to speed on a problem?
- Can this employee fix a problem without assistance?
- Can the employee effectively evaluate a problem?
- Does this employee take the initiative when solving problems?
These questions assess an employee's alignment with the organization's values.
- Is the employee fully aware of the company's goals and top objectives?
- Does the employee represent the organization's values?
- Does the employee regularly recommend the organization and its services to the public?
- Is the employee aware of the company's strategic vision?
- Does the employee give effective feedback on all company-related activities?
- Are the company's customers a major concern for the employee?
Efficiency questions measure the employees' performance at work. Let’s go through some of them.
- The employee attempts their tasks effectively.
- The employee strives to complete tasks to the right level.
- The employee completes assigned tasks on time.
- The employee's completed tasks are of a high standard.
- The employee's work and work ethic surpass expectations.
- The employee contributes to the improvement of work processes.
Below set of questions assesses an employee's enthusiasm for their work.
- Does the employee appear to enjoy their role/ work?
- Do you find it challenging to motivate the employee on a task?
- Is this employee a source of motivation for team members?
- Does this employee regularly communicate how motivated they are with their job?
- Is the employee motivated enough to share their work with colleagues?
These are primarily simple questions—so if you want a broader response range, you can add a scale to measure responses (Strongly Agree | Agree | Neutral | Disagree | Strongly Disagree).
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What makes a good 360-degree feedback question?
So what questions should you ask during a 360-degree review? What kind of questions fit in when creating an efficient 360 feedback tool? It's all about what you should and shouldn't do, and we've covered that in the following section.
When it comes to good 360-degree questions to gather feedback and collect data, consider the following:
- What are the employee's strengths?
- What is one thing you think the employee should improve?
- What is one thing the employee should stop doing at all?
- How well the employee meets deadlines and handles workload?
- What are one example of what an employee did wrong and one example of what an employee did right?
|Ask questions that are relevant to the employee being reviewed.||Don’t ask for opinions or evaluations from peers, subordinates or managers that don’t have an appropriate relationship with the employee.|
|Ask questions that focus on the employee’s qualities. Ask about behaviors such as interpersonal skills or communication.||Don’t focus solely on their performances. Try as much as possible to keep KPI-related reviews out of it, as focusing on performance takes the focus off employees.|
|Ask questions that evaluate without bias. They should attempt to show areas generally considered as the employee’s blindspots.||Don’t ask questions that are attacking or suggestive. Let the answers flow naturally.|
How to write 360-degree feedback questions
How you shape your 360 feedback question plays a huge part in how they're answered. If you write them the right way, you're sure to get the right results. Here are some tips on writing questions for a 360-degree review:
- Frame the question properly: your questions must be fair and without bias. All participants' answers must be true to their relevant opinions. The ultimate goal is to ask questions about an employee that others can answer without suggestive influence.
- Focus on one thing at a time: you don't want a confusing survey. Each question should encourage helpful feedback by focusing on an employee's core competency at a time to avoid complex surveys. By assigning each question to a specific area, you eliminate unclear and complicated responses.
- Choose your language carefully: while 360-degree reviews are used in an official organizational setting, the language doesn't have to be so. After all, you're trying to get useful insight, so technical jargon isn't essential if it will hinder comprehension.
- Consider the questions' relevance to your organization: the final tip is to assess the relevance of the questions you've chosen. They need to cover attributes and behaviors beneficial to your organization fully. Remember, one of the aims of the 360 feedback is to see how an employee fits into the organization's culture.
You also need to consider what the aim of the 360-degree review is. For development and employee satisfaction purposes, you need to ask questions specific to each individual. No two persons are the same, and even if they work in the same department or do the same jobs, their development paths will differ.
One employee's review may include questions on problem-solving and leadership if they're in a leadership role, while questions focusing on communication and teamwork may be included in a team member's review. Some questions may focus on strengths and weaknesses, opening doors for new opportunities when there are previously unknown skills.
The right 360 feedback questions will apply to every company member when considering performance appraisal purposes. This general overview sets a point of reference for performance, useful for accurate evaluations.
Should you add open-ended questions to your 360 feedback questionnaire?
The debate on if you should add open-ended questions in the survey or not is situation-specific. If you decide to go ahead with them, you should ensure that they give room for fleshed-out answers instead of the simplistic nature of "yes or no."
One other crucial thing to take note of is avoiding employee feedback fatigue. Getting feedback is great, but you don't want a situation where your questionnaires are too lengthy– you may not hear the exhausted sighs, but they will tell on the responses given.
The goal? It's long enough to inspire useful replies but short enough that they're no bother. Another way to avoid such fatigue is to act on previous surveys, as employees are more likely to respond to subsequent questionnaires if they see a trend of improvements.
360 feedback questions for Manager Roles
These are job-specific questions to ask employees about managers' performances.
- Is this manager respectful toward other workers, even if they are subordinates?
- Does the manager consider team members' opinions in decision-making?
- How would you rate this manager's problem-solving skills?
- Does this manager handle work pressure effectively to meet deadlines?
- Does the manager appear to be aligned with the company values, goals and objectives?
- How responsive is the manager to their team's needs?
360-degree feedback advantages
Here are the top benefits of 360 reviews:
- Zero in on strengths and weaknesses – 360-degree reviews improve a person’s self-awareness. They receive feedback in real-time that reveals their strengths and areas for improvement.
- Increase employee engagement – companies can engage employees through continuous feedback. According to research, employees are four times more likely to engage when they receive actionable feedback. 360-degree reviews engage them even more because they get comments from multiple individuals.
- Decrease employee turnover – open communication enables organizations to grow. HR teams should ensure everyone is willing to accept and give peer feedback. Team members who feel valued and appreciated will stay longer.
- Boost productivity – the majority of HR professionals use feedback as a way to increase employee retention. However, you can also use it to boost productivity. Introducing a continuous performance management process can make team members work harder.
- Enhance personal development – knowing which areas you need to improve helps you grow. 360-degree feedback is a great tool for personal development. Your colleagues are familiar with your work, so they know where you’re exactly lacking.
- Point to training needs – HR professionals can easily identify which training employees need because of 360-degree feedback. They can set up development programs to help individuals improve their skills.