360 Degree Feedback – What’s It All About?

360 degree feedback has a few different synonyms, for example, multi-rater feedback, multi-source feedback, multi-source assessment or panoramic feedback and is a type of employee survey.

360 degree feedback is a technique and a tool that affords each employee an opportunity to obtain feedback from their manager, peers, co-workers, representatives from other departments and sometimes customers and suppliers. They are normally carried out hand in hand with an individual’s staff appraisal and allows each individual to understand how effective they are as an employee and how they are perceived by others they work with.

Unlike traditional evaluations, 360 degree feedback nurtures an atmosphere of teamwork and trust. Working together, employees commit themselves to complete honesty and help each other achieve an understanding of their performance and actions. This experience, particularly when appraisal results are encouraging, can build trust among colleagues to foster high-performance teams and effective and successful organisations.

The main reason why organisations use this type of feedback is to gain an insight into its workforce’s strengths and weaknesses. It measures behaviours and aptitudes, it provides feedback on how others identify with an employee. Feedback can help address skills such as listening, planning and setting goals. A 360 evaluation focuses on subjective areas such as teamwork, character and personality as well as leadership efficiency.

A 360 degree feedback review should be an integral part of an organisations performance management strategy providing ongoing employee support, growth and development. They should be used as an assessment for personal development rather than evaluation of an individual’s ability to carry out their work. Output from the feedback process should always be provided in a supportive atmosphere, where employees have an opportunity to talk through their feedback.

Overall, they provide both an employee, and the organisation they work for, information and feedback that is comprehensive, objective and rounded, and if handled properly, will provide valuable insights and opportunities for an employee’s developmental needs and have the potential to drive positive changes within an organisation.

Call us on +44 (0) 1255 850051 to find out how we can work with you on your 360 review process or use our web contact form to contact us.