What is a 360 feedback report?

We are frequently asked the questions “What exactly is a 360 feedback report?”, and “Why would this benefit my business?” 360 feedback tools can be used alongside organisational surveys such as employee engagement surveys, culture surveys or values surveys. But instead of focusing on the organisation a 360 feedback report focuses on the individual.

In this blog, we are going to fully explain what a 360 feedback report is, how they work, what it will show, and most importantly, what you can take from it and how it can improve your business.

The fundamentals of a 360 feedback report

A 360 feedback report’s main purpose is designed to provide managers and leaders of organisations feedback from multiple sources of those with whom they work closely, to give them a picture and illustration of where their strengths and development areas lie. A good 360 is designed around an organisation’s values and behaviours and/or their competency framework, and good 360 reports are easy to understand and interpret, they should signpost strengths and development areas and encourage self-reflection. One aspect of a good 360 report is that they are facilitated and fed back by a skilled facilitator, often someone external to the organisation.

A 360 report would include feedback from, but is not always limited to, the person themselves, their manager, their peers/ colleagues and their direct reports. Sometimes they can include external contacts/ suppliers as well, depending on the working relationship that exists with them. When a 360 feedback is undertaken properly it is extremely effective as a development tool, as the anonymity provided by the exercise allows employees to provide honest feedback about co-workers, management, and even themselves, that they may otherwise be unwilling or unable to divulge.

How does it work?

A 360 feedback survey is designed to ask questions that are answered by those who work closely with, are managed by, or manage, a specific employee. The same questionnaire is then answered by the employee themselves. Those completing the survey are asked to answer questions using a rating scale, typically, of 1-5, with 1 being ‘Rarely/Never’, and 5 being ‘Always’. Questions can be tailored for each recipient, and questions can include anything from how their co-workers perceive them, their attitude, abilities, performance, as well as their general behaviour.

Example questions could be:

By using the below scale, how would you rate employee X on the following questions?

1. Rarely/never
2. Sometimes                                                        What is a 360 feedback report?
3. Around half the time
4. Mostly
5. Always

* My colleague is respectful toward others
* My colleague understands what motivates others to perform at their best
* My colleague is supportive of others when issues or concerns are raised
* My colleague communicates clearly and honestly

After correlating all answers, including from the participant, the 360 feedback report is created

What will it show?

Once completed, a 360 feedback report will provide insightful feedback on how an employee is perceived in the workplace by those who report into, alongside or above them. The report will address key workplace skills such as listening, how well they plan and set goals, as well as general behaviour and competencies. Areas such as teamwork, leadership skills and overall character are also included. Please note that 360 feedback reports, generally, are not designed to measure whether an employee is meeting their basic role requirements and do not focus on job-specific or basic technical skills.

In addition to the individual report, a combined report can also be produced. For example, if your leadership team are all individually undertaking 360 feedback, a report can then be produced looking at all the responses combined to get a group picture of strengths and development areas.

How do I get the most out of the 360 feedback report?

A well planned and executed 360 feedback report will offer increased employee self-awareness, as well as a more balanced view of the business including the broader development and growth strategies and expectations. By identifying the strengths and weaknesses in your employees’ skill sets you can begin to work on building on their existing skills or implement processes to improve upon them. The report will also assist in creating a more honest culture of feedback that will allow for broader communication between employees. The report can also be used to identify potential training opportunities. After reviewing the 360 feedback report (and any combined reports) you can dedicate time to reflect on what the report has told you, as well as what it means for your business moving forward. After completing the survey there are certain questions that you could ask the survey recipient to ascertain the best way to plan your next development steps for them. These questions could include:

* What are your goals and aspirations for your career?
* Are there any challenges that you’ll be faced with over the next year?
* What will it look/feel like when you have achieved these goals? What will you be doing differently?
* Which management skills do you need to use to help you achieve your goals?
* What might stand in your way in achieving this goal?
* What could you do to remove any barriers to these goals?

By following these steps you will be armed with the information required to make insightful, informed and productive decisions to further develop your own behaviour and support your employees’ performance and overall abilities.

Contact us today to discuss in more depth how The Survey Initiative can plan, create and deliver an expert 360 feedback report tailored to your company goals and objectives.