‍Reviews are a critical part of any effective performance management strategy. And while traditional performance reviews — which allow supervisors to provide feedback to their direct reports — can be helpful, gathering feedback from multiple sources at different levels of the organization can be an even more effective approach to employee development. “Specific, real-time feedback conversations in all directions — upward, downward, and peer — are incredibly important,” said Brianna Inoa, organizational psychologist and Senior Manager of Talent Development at app database MongoDB. There’s no doubt that 360 reviews are an excellent way to gather feedback from stakeholders at all levels of an organization, and leverage that feedback to drive performance, development, and growth for individuals and teams. But what, exactly, are 360 reviews — and what kind of benefits and challenges can they bring to your organization? Here’s a closer look at everything you need to know about 360-degree reviews.

“A 360-degree review is a talent development tool used to provide the recipient with feedback from all directions,” Inoa said. “This typically includes upward feedback from their direct reports, peer feedback from those they work closely with, and downward feedback from their manager.” Patricia Thompson, PhD, corporate psychologist, executive coach, and President of consultancy Silver Lining Psychology, explained it visually: “If you imagine the 360 degrees of a circle, with the individual in the middle, they are getting feedback from those above and below them on an org chart, as well as those who are horizontal,” she said. Generally, 360 reviews are anonymous and include the people who work closest with the employee to obtain the most relevant and helpful feedback.

The 360-Degree Performance Review

What is the purpose of a 360-degree review?

The goal of the 360-degree review is to provide you with actionable feedback. This system clarifies your strengths and areas for improvement by surveying multiple people representing different perspectives within the company. You can use this feedback to develop a plan for your professional and personal development.

What is a 360-degree review?

A 360-degree review is a process of collecting, interpreting and delivering employee feedback. In the 360-degree review, people from all company levels, including your supervisors, coworkers and people you manage, will evaluate you. Other important stakeholders, such as clients, may also participate. This feedback is aggregated, presented anonymously and comes in the form of a survey with written comments.

What does a 360-degree review measure?

The 360-degree review focuses on interpersonal and business skills. Therefore, many of its questions reflect someones perception of their coworkers in ways that might not be quantifiable.

Here are examples of skills the 360-degree review measures:

What are the benefits of a 360-degree review?

There are many advantages of the 360-degree review, including the following:

You get feedback from a variety of sources

Taking feedback from many people improves the chances that your skills will be noticed. For example, although your supervisor might not often see your managerial talents or excellent customer service style, the 360-degree review can highlight these strengths. Another advantage is that multiple evaluators can outweigh any one individuals feedback.

The results of the 360-degree review can give you a more accurate tally of your strengths and focus areas. You might find that the combined feedback from people in various positions feels like a fairer and more accurate assessment than traditional feedback from a single manager.

You can provide anonymous feedback

You might be more comfortable giving an honest evaluation if you are sure that the person will not know that a specific comment came from you. Ultimately, this system both protects you and helps the person being evaluated get honest responses.

You can find out how others perceive you

The 360-degree review gives you feedback about how others see you and whether your communication strategies are effective. This feedback can help you improve your communication style and build stronger working relationships.

You can use the feedback to direct your personal development

Following the 360-degree review, you may have a better idea of soft skills you excel in and those you can improve. Take this as an opportunity to develop in areas necessary to be more effective in your role and advance in your career.

What doesn’t a 360-degree review measure?

The 360-degree review does not measure whether you have successfully met your performance benchmarks. It also does not evaluate whether you possess the necessary technical skills for your position. Other types of feedback programs, like performance reviews, are better at measuring some quantifiable achievements than the 360-degree review is.

Who completes the 360-degree review?

People from various levels within your organization should complete the 360-degree review, including people that report to you, your peers and your supervisors. Other people can also complete your 360-degree review, including your customers or clients and other people you interact with for work, such as representatives from businesses you coordinate with. You will probably also complete your own review as a self-evaluation.

How can I take advantage of a 360-degree review?

The 360-degree review is an excellent opportunity to improve your current skill set and be better positioned for raises and promotions. Here are some tips to get the greatest value out of your feedback and leverage it into career growth:

Have an open mind

The goal of the 360-degree review is to provide you with an accurate picture of your performance. This allows you to take advantage of your strengths and develop the areas you are not as strong yet. Try to see the process as an opportunity for growth rather than as a critique. Prepare yourself mentally for receiving feedback so you can keep your emotions controlled and be receptive to helpful comments.

Understand that the feedback is anonymous

The 360-degree reviews anonymous nature is essential because it allows everyone who participates to feel comfortable being honest. Consider this as an opportunity to learn how others perceive you. If you find that your feedback does not match how you want to present yourself, you can have the chance to change your behavior or communication style.

Look for repeated comments or themes

If you get the same feedback from multiple people, consider that it is probably genuine. A single outlier score or comment may not be reflective of your performance. Also, take note if your scores are significantly different for one group of evaluators. An example would be if you had excellent feedback about your written communication skills from all groups you work with directly, but a mediocre rating from your clients. This might be a sign that you need to evaluate your email style when writing to clients.

Identify your strengths

Pay attention to the skills others praise you for. These are areas where you can continue to build on. For example, you might learn that the people who report to you appreciate your approachable demeanor. You could leverage this strength to develop and lead a mentorship program.

Identify your places for growth

Look for areas where feedback suggests you have room to improve. When you identify areas where you can do better, you can raise your chances for promotions and other professional advancements.

Make a plan

Once you have identified your strong skills and those that need more development, you can brainstorm specific steps to capitalize on what youre good at and work on those areas that need more development. Try to focus on a few areas and actionable steps so that any changes you make are manageable. You can discuss your plan with your supervisor and request additional coaching or support if needed.

FAQ

What is the 360 review process?

Pros of 360 degree feedback
  • More Complete Assessment. …
  • Create Better Teamwork. …
  • See How Others See You. …
  • More Feedback Is Always Better. …
  • 360 feedback is anonymous. …
  • It Can Create A Negative Culture. …
  • It Might Not Be Accurate. …
  • Too Focused On Weaknesses.

What is the goal of a 360 review?

A 360 degree feedback survey is a low-cost multi rater performance evaluation to improve management, leadership, peers, and employees’ competencies. This anonymous multi rater appraisal is a blueprint for action. Ongoing: Typical cost starts at US$95 per person receiving feedback.

What is a 360 review at work?

The process of completing 360-degree feedback provides raters with greater insight and understanding into the values and behaviors that are important for team success. Seeing how others are being evaluated allows team members to formulate their own expectations around goals for performance and behaviors (Dominick et.

What is the most important benefit of a 360-degree review?

5 Tips for Giving Effective 360 Degree Feedback
  • Think Ahead. As a rater, provide candid comments. …
  • Be Respectful. …
  • Speak For Yourself. …
  • Focus on the Questions. …
  • Be Honest. …
  • 360 DEGREE FEEDBACK.

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