360 Degree Feedback
Principle of 360 Degree Feedback
Provides an understanding of how an employee is perceived from different perspectives.
Unlike, the traditional top-down appraisal where a supervisor
appraises the performance of their subordinate, 360 Degree feedback incorporates
multiple perspectives by using feedback from a variety of sources. These sources
include peers, subordinates, customers, self, and supervisor.
May be called multi-source feedback,
multi-rater feedback, multi-level
feedback, upward appraisal, peer review.
The results of this type of feedback process provide an understanding how
the employee is perceived from different perspectives. This process helps an
individual understand how others perceive them.
Feedback is essential to facilitating performance improvements. Feedback
allows people to utilise their strengths to their advantage. Feedback informs
employees which actions create problems for others and to know what changes may
A 360 Degree Feedback process requires a
co-ordinated effort to collect
hundreds, or even thousands, of pieces of data. In addition, the validity of the
results is enhanced by ensuring confidentiality of the participants. This
can be increased by using an independent third party to co-ordinate and organise
The survey administration will require
participant and rater time (to complete the questionnaires)
and computer resources to analyse the data.
- Web Access Are your employees scattered throughout
the globe? Or, across different states? No problem, just use the Internet as
the medium through which your feedback process is conducted.
- Confidentiality Although the data is collected by a
third-party, the confidentiality is enhanced in that fewer internal employees
have access to view the data.
- Simplified Data Analysis Spending time entering data
into a spreadsheet or database for analysis? Use web based tools to collect,
store, and analyse data.
1. Uses for 360 Degree Feedback include:
- Employee Development
- Performance Appraisal
- Performance Management
- Training Needs Assessment
- Evaluation of Training
- Attitude Survey
- Organisational Climate Survey
- Customer Satisfaction Survey
This process can also be a motivator of performance since it shows the
employee that their opinions and views are considered important.
360 Degree Feedback offers a more complete picture of the employee's
performance. This feedback can provide guidance on skills that an employee may
need to develop. Feedback can also include advice on the value of
modifying behaviour, changing attitude/s or operational style. May improve service to customers if they are able to offer feedback to the
A. Develop questionnaire
The data analysis and
planning that precedes setting improvement goals is the most important link in
the team evaluation process. The measured differences between the expected
performance and the actual performance creates the targets for improvement. The
evaluator in charge of helping the employee set the professional growth plans
must combine and assess the types of feedback information and compare this
information to the intended outcomes.
A questionnaire used for 360
Degree Feedback typically contains statements that are rated on a 5 point scale.
These statements may be developed to measure different dimensions of job
performance (e.g., communication, teamwork, leadership, initiative, judgment,
Important: It is essential that these statements relate
to 'observable behaviour' - to the behaviour of the participant (person
being rated) by the rater (person completing the questionnaire). The
value of a 360 Degree programme is frequently totally negated by relying on
'opinion' rather than observed behaviour.
To cover 'opinions', questionnaires can include one or more open-ended questions
to solicit written feedback.
Questionnaires typically include from 50 to 100
statements. When estimating the
amount of time to complete the questionnaire you should estimate about 1
minute per questionnaire statement.
clients have access to a data bank containing approximately 2000 questions
relating to 65 different competencies. Choosing and incorporating
appropriate questions from this databank dramatically reduces the cost of
creating a 360 Degree questionnaire. (No more fees and waiting days for
a consultant to 'create special questions' for you!) Click
here to see areas covered by databank.
We also have similar databanks for questions relating to Employee Attitudes
and Salary Surveys.
B. Ensure confidentiality of participants
C. Plan Orientation and
Steps must be
taken to ensure the confidentiality of the feedback results. For example,
feedback ratings from several subordinates may be combined (averaged) to mask
the identity of an individual subordinate. Comments or written answers to
questions may be summarised in the results to mask the identity of the author.
The confidentiality helps ensure that the results are genuine.
Often the feedback
process involves use of one or more questionnaires, confidential information,
and involvement from many different areas of an organisation. Therefore,
training and orientation to the feedback process is needed to facilitate a
smooth feedback process. During this training/orientation, employees should be
informed of what 360 Degree Feedback is and why it is being implemented at
your organisation. You may want to provide samples of the questionnaire statements
and/or feedback results.
D. Administering the feedback questionnaire
Nowadays, for speed, efficiency and cost reduction, 360 Degree surveys are
normally conducted via the internet. Introduction to the programme would
normally be sent to all participants and raters by email. Frequently
Asked Questions are normally published on the web.
It is important to monitor the progress through the system in order to
contact participants and raters who need to complete questionnaires.
E. Analyse the data
Basic data analysis would include
averages of ratings. More complicated analyses may include statement-analysis
and/or factor-analysis. Types of analyses include: Performance Dimension
Summary; Summary-Performance vs. Expected; Individual Statement Ratings; Statement
Ratings-Performance vs. Expected (normed); Highest- or Lowest-Rated Statements
(shows individual's strengths and weaknesses); Group & Organisational
Ranking, and Recommendations for Development.
You may want to analyse the data by
organisational division or department
to assess group and organisational strengths and weaknesses. This can be used
to support or promote training and organisational development.
F. Develop and Distribute Results
should be shared with the participant. It should not, in our opinion, be mandatory that the
participant share the results with their supervisor. However, you may want to
make this an optional part of the performance review of the employee.
Most results for an employee will include a comparison of their ratings to
the ratings of their supervisor/s and and average of the ratings from others
(peers, customers...). The comparisons may be in the form of numbers or simple
You may want to provide individual review sessions or group workshops
conducted by a facilitator to help individuals review and understand the
results and develop appropriate goals and objectives.
Typically, an organisation using
360-degree feedback will have desired outcomes embedded in its strategic
planning goals. A common expectation for
supervisors is that achievement of their subordinates will improve continuously
Using templates called management action plans for
administrators or project action plans for instructional staff, the coaching
evaluator and the participant will set one to three goals. The action plan will
ask the following questions:
- What is to be accomplished? (the goal)
- How it is to be accomplished? (a series of short-range objectives)
- What resources are needed? (funds, materials, staff)
- When must the goal be completed? (a specific date usually within a year)
- How will accomplishment of the goal be measured? (via achievement results,
client satisfaction, improved feedback, lower costs, etc.)
Responses are collected for statements
that fall under a specific dimension of job
performance. A single questionnaire may contain dozens of questions that measure
responses on one or more dimensions. Example dimensions are shown below.
- Problem Solving Statements
about this dimension measure how well a
person can understand information and options, give appropriate considerations
to information, make correct decisions, analyse and interpret information, and
react to changing situations. Examples of statements include:
- Works quickly when faced with difficult problems.
- Analyses issues and reduces them to their component parts.
- Makes judgments based upon relevant information.
- Planning and Organising
Statements about this dimension measure a
person's ability to develop plans and objectives, develop long-term solutions,
set business objectives adhere to schedules. Examples of statements include:
- Plans meetings effectively.
- Organises and schedules events, activities, and resources.
- Sets up and monitors time frames and plans.
Statements about this dimension measure a person's ability
to adjust to changing circumstances as needed. To be flexible in responding to
problems. Examples of statements include:
- Learns from personal experiences and/or mistakes and integrates
experience to cope with new or untried events.
- Keeps control of his/her feelings and
behaviour, even in high pressure
- Adapts to circumstances as needed.
Statements about this dimension measure the ability to
present information formally and informally in both written and orally. Also
measures the ability to communicate with customers, staff, peers and
supervisors. Examples of statements include:
- Communicates a clear understanding of the subject at hand.
- Speaks clearly, fluently, and in a compelling manner to both individuals
- Delivers messages with energy, enthusiasm, and conviction.
- Writes in a clear and concise manner, using appropriate grammar, style,
and language for the reader.
- Supervisory Skills Measures the individual's skill level in
planning, organising and overseeing the work of subordinates. Also measures a
person's ability to manage work flow efficiently. Statements may include:
- Motivates others in order to reach
- Influences others in a way that results in acceptance, agreement, or
- Administrative Skills Measures an individual's ability to implement
and monitor actions to ensure compliance with policies and regulations. Also
helps identify the ability to distribute information, allocate staff and
maintain records or documents. Examples of statements include:
- Establishes and documents goals and objectives.
- Follows existing procedures and processes.
- Empowers others to achieve results and holds them accountable for
- Analytical Skills Measures an individual's ability to work
effectively with facts and figures. Is able to transform, compile, and project
data and technical resources. Examples of statements include:
- Asks the "right" questions to
size up or evaluate situations.
- Identifies patterns in conflicting information, events, or data.
- Generates alternative solutions to problems and challenges.
- Analyses issues and reduces them to their component parts.
- Creativity Skills Measures an individual's ability to create new
concepts or products. Examples of statements include:
- Creates new and imaginative approaches to work-related issues.
- Generate innovative and practical ideas and approaches.
- Identifies fresh approaches and shows a willingness to question
- Business Control Measure the skill in, and concern for, controlling
expenses, reducing costs, setting performance standards and reviewing budgets.
Examples of statements include:
- Understands and applies business and financial principles.
- Views problems from a business perspective, opportunity, investment,
risks, and anticipated results.
- Understands the costs, profits, markets, and added value of issues.
- Accurately evaluates the implications of new information or events.
- Manager Potential Index A measure of the composite score of the
scales reflecting an individual's overall ability to successfully perform
more information please contact
Jennifer Horobin on +44 (0) 208 402 1022
Research UK Ltd. | +44 (0) 208 402 0122
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