Getting feedback is one of the best ways to improve employee and team performance. ⭐️
There are tons of ways to generate insights, but some strategies are more comprehensive than others. If you want a review system that drives employee growth and development, consider the 360-degree feedback approach. 🔄
This review method is designed to highlight areas of strength and identify where employees can improve. It’s a continuous process, keeping employees growing and building their skill sets at all times.
In this post, we’ll explain what 360-degree feedback is and show you how to implement the system in six simple steps. We’ll share feedback examples and highlight the pros and cons of this feedback method to help you implement the best feedback strategy for your business. ✨
- What is 360-Degree Feedback?
- How to Collect 360-Degree Feedback?
- 360-Feedback Examples
- Pros & Cons of 360-Degree Feedback
- Performance Reviews Vs. 360-Degree Feedback
What is 360-Degree Feedback?
Standard feedback is typically given by managers to direct reports. But 360-degree feedback—also known as multi-rater feedback—is a bit different. Think of it as a way to help your employees develop, rather than simply evaluating their performance metrics. 💪
With this performance management strategy, employees will still receive reviews from managers and supervisors—in addition to a handful of other team members who may not directly oversee their work.
These additional reviewers are often coworkers in the same department or cross-functional colleagues who work closely with your team. The process uses anonymous feedback to identify competencies and areas for improvement. Most programs also include a self-assessment component.
The main goal of this method is to generate ideas and constructive feedback from a diverse group of individuals to improve employee performance. Through the process, you can ultimately identify potential issues with your current processes while deepening your team’s camaraderie.
How to Collect 360-Degree Feedback?
With standard performance reviews, employees receive feedback on how well they did in terms of meeting certain metrics. With 360-degree feedback, the goal is to give insights with a focus on employee development instead.
There are many ways to collect 360-degree feedback, meaning there isn’t one specific plan to follow. In general, your process should be clear, transparent, and supportive from start to finish. Here’s a step-by-step 360-degree feedback framework you can customize to fit your business needs. 🌻
1. Establish goals
Start the process by explaining the 360-degree feedback approach to your team members. Remember, it should be a development appraisal, not a performance appraisal. Let everyone know they’ll be evaluated based on their professional development.
This helps avoid competition among employees, which is common during performance reviews since many team members vie for the same rewards. It also ensures feedback is organic and not manipulated.
Use ClickUp’s Goals feature to lay out the objectives of your 360-degree feedback evaluation. Break down the overall goal into measurable Targets—like completing the feedback survey, providing responses, and scheduling 1-on-1 meetings.
2. Host a training session for raters
Since 360-degree feedback will be new to many of your employees, schedule a training session for all stakeholders who will be involved in rating your team members. If you have a small business, you can even hop on a call to do the training online.
During the training, be sure to discuss the rating process, including any evaluation criteria. Establish timelines for the feedback process, and designate a point of contact for procedural questions.
3. Create a questionnaire
Once you’ve laid the groundwork, it’s time to actually start collecting feedback. An easy way to do this is using the Feedback Form Template from ClickUp. Start by creating a Form and adding fields for different questions. 📝
For each 360-degree feedback question, decide if you want the responses to be open-ended or on a rating scale. Scales make the assessment process faster and can provide numerical insights into the average level of work performed over time, rather than in one specific situation.
In general, your 360-degree feedback survey questions should focus on eight to 10 competencies. Limit the survey to 40 questions or less, especially if you’re using open-ended questions. Forms that are too long or time-consuming can create a burden on others’ workload, and some respondents may provide less detailed feedback due to fatigue.
With ClickUp’s Form template, you can automatically generate new tasks once the survey is completed. These tasks can include instant meeting scheduling to go over results and action items based on answers to certain questions within the form.
4. Analyze feedback
Once all team members have completed a self-assessment and all reviewers have rated their team members, it’s time to analyze and share the results. One way to do this is with a Start Stop Continue template. Designed to eliminate bias and social dynamics in the feedback process, it develops clear insights from your 360-degree feedback process.
A Start Stop Continue template lets you create a discussion with three distinct sections:
- Start: Highlight behaviors and actions the employee should begin implementing immediately
- Stop: Identify things the employee should discontinue. These may include actions that waste resources or create roadblocks for other employees. It can also include work habits that prevent the employee from further developing their skills
- Continue: Acknowledge the employee’s wins and what they do well already. The focus is on areas where they currently succeed and how important it is for these actions to continue
5. Create a communication plan
Once you have peer feedback on the employee’s work, share the results not only with the employee but also with the team at large. This doesn’t mean calling out individuals in front of their peers. Instead, the idea is to create a communication plan and identify common areas of improvement as a whole. 👨🏽💻
Turn to Communication Plan templates to find a method that works for your business. From action items to strategy plans, there’s a template to ensure your process is transparent and informative.
Decide if your communications will be limited to a simple one-on-one or create more elaborate communication schedules to check in regularly with employees. Since this is 360-degree feedback, check-ins aren’t limited to managers and direct reports. Set up communication plans for team members and raters to keep the development conversation going.
6. Customize the model
You understand your business better than anyone, so take some time to think about your company’s needs and how you can use feedback to spur employee development.
ClickUp is loaded with hundreds of customizable features to tackle this exact task. Create Custom Fields, collect employee surveys, and access more than 15 flexible views to analyze your results. If your employee feedback program is complex, work with consultants to build an action plan and bespoke process.
When it comes to your 360-degree feedback system, responses will vary depending on the rater’s perspective and relationship with the employee. That means some 360-degree reviews may have a performance component while others will be more process-based or skills-focused. 🙌
For example, let’s say you’re a marketing supervisor providing feedback for an SEO manager. Your 360-degree feedback may focus on how well they met ranking metrics and how they adapted to Google Core updates. Additionally, you may provide feedback on their management style and highlight their communication skills.
Another example is a 360-degree feedback system where a member of the web development team rates a project manager. Since these two individuals aren’t on the same immediate team, there may be no discussion of goals performance. Instead, feedback may center on the working relationship or areas where the project manager could learn additional dev-related skills.
Pros & Cons of 360-Degree Feedback
As with all review processes, there are benefits and drawbacks to the 360-degree feedback approach. Use the table below to get a quick overview of the pros and cons of this performance metric system. For a more in-depth look, read on to find a breakdown of the 360-degree feedback method—good and bad. 👀
|Increases self-awareness of strengths and weaknesses
|Becomes disorganized if implemented too quickly or without a clear approach
|Builds open communication
|Needs to be part of a larger performance analysis and not a stand-alone review process
|Highlights areas for employee training and career development
|Makes it more difficult to get answers to follow-up questions since the feedback is anonymous
|Supports accountability and encourages taking initiative as a team player
|Tends to skew toward weaknesses, rather than highlighting strengths
|Minimizes bias and the potential for discrimination
|Leads to inaccurate or incomplete feedback since not all team members have experience providing feedback
|Creates a road map for expectations across teams
|Increases workloads, which means some team members may find the review process tedious
Pros of 360-degree feedback
There are many benefits to the 360-degree feedback method. From opening lines of communication to highlighting areas for improvement, here’s why you should incorporate this review system into your processes.
With detailed feedback and a self-assessment component, employees become more self-aware. The insights work as a personal development tool to highlight areas where an employee can improve and what they already do well.
As opposed to performance reviews, an employee can use this honest feedback tool to improve things like self-discipline, daily work habits, and cross-department communication skills.
Creates open lines of communication
Using feedback from different perspectives supports overall team management and fosters better communication. Peers can communicate directly with each other to provide feedback, rather than keeping communication between managers and direct reports. 🗣️
The focus shifts from performance-based assessments to creating a work culture where peers can share ways to improve with each other. They can also provide support if they have expertise in an area where a peer needs improvement.
Emphasizes areas for training
When it comes to employee development, it’s not enough to just identify areas for improvement. You want to create a culture where training is a daily task and employees are constantly aware of growing and learning.
Some employees may need to work on their leadership skills or communication skills while others may need problem-solving help. From leadership development and interpersonal skills to technical skills, 360-degree feedback lays the groundwork for training and more effective employees.
By establishing a regular and ongoing feedback system, managers and employees can create development plans to improve accountability. You’ll find increased employee engagement since each person needs to work more closely with peers.
Since 360-degree feedback comes from a variety of perspectives and sources, the chance of discrimination and bias is significantly reduced. This is particularly apparent for cognitive biases like the halo and horn effect, where feedback can be skewed based on recent interactions and past performance.
Lays out a development road map
By highlighting various areas for improvement with 360-degree feedback, you lay the groundwork for a road map to better employee development. Instead of ranking whether an employee met a metric, you’ll dive into the skills they use to get there. When you find areas for improvement, you can set up training programs and initiatives to address those needs across the company. 🗺️
Cons of 360-degree feedback
Very few things in the world are perfect, and the 360-degree feedback process is no different. While overall it’s a great tool for many businesses, there are some drawbacks.
Many of these downsides can be avoided by implementing the feedback thoughtfully. Here are some cons to watch for when using the 360-degree feedback approach.
It can feel disorganized
When implemented too quickly or without clear goals, this feedback approach can seem disorganized. Since there are also several moving parts and lots of employees involved, things can fall through the cracks. Maybe you forget to provide feedback to a peer or perhaps the evaluation step gets skipped.
To avoid this, use a project management tool like ClickUp to stay organized. Assign tasks to relevant team members, and conduct process reviews to make sure you aren’t missing anything.
It’s not an all-in-one solution
360-degree feedback is designed to work as part of a larger employee evaluation system. It’s ideal for generating constructive criticism on skills and abilities, but it’s not good at evaluating performance. Use this as just one component in your review system for the best results.
Feedback is anonymous
While anonymity means people feel free to be brutally honest, it also means follow-up is more difficult. If an employee receives feedback they don’t fully understand, it’s hard to get clarity since they’re unsure who provided it. 🥸
To overcome this, consider hiring or training someone to be a 360-degree process coach. They can serve as a go-to intermediary to clarify feedback and help employees learn how to understand their reviews.
The focus is on weaknesses
When done hastily, 360-degree feedback may skew toward negative feedback and team performance evaluations. To avoid this, emphasize in the goals phase that the idea is to improve employee retention and boost development.
Be clear that the type of feedback you’re looking for is based on competencies, rather than meeting target metrics. Ask employees to highlight areas where work is done well along with areas for improvement.
Not all employees can provide good feedback
The fact is, not everyone has an innate ability to provide constructive feedback. Some people don’t give enough detail, and others provide too much.
Other times, competitive working relationships may lead to inaccurate or overly negative feedback. Establish checks and balances by reviewing feedback and addressing any areas where there isn’t consensus.
Workloads may increase
Giving feedback is time-consuming. Some employees may feel this process increases their workload too much.
To avoid burnout and feedback fatigue, keep your questionnaires short and succinct. Ask employees to review the feedback process and implement suggestions as you go. 📚
Performance Reviews Vs. 360-Degree Feedback
Performance reviews are tools designed to evaluate an employee’s performance in exchange for a reward like a bonus. On the other hand, 360-degree feedback aims to help the employee develop better skills. 🛠️
While performance reviews typically have an endpoint centered around a goal, 360-degree feedback is continuous. The process should constantly evolve, helping the employee identify areas for improvement. Part of the procedure should include follow-up communication so you can help the employee along the way as they improve their skills.
Another key distinction between the two is that 360-degree feedback is anonymous while performance reviews are done face-to-face. The anonymity enables direct reports and managers to provide real, authentic feedback.
Create a Better Feedback System With ClickUp
Review processes shouldn’t just be about rewards. Implementing a successful 360-degree feedback procedure helps keep the focus on development. That way, everyone works together to improve themselves as individuals and as contributors to the team as a whole.
Sign up for ClickUp today, and get started building a better feedback system for your employees. Whether you want to build a review system for one specific department or the entire company, ClickUp lets you map out the process, assign tasks with deadlines, and customize a form for collecting feedback. 🙋🏻♂️