Organization & Leadership Consulting

Is a Meaningful 360 Degree Feedback Possible?

a mathematical compass and a 360 degree circular protractor scale sit on top of a map
It is possible to get a meaningful 360 feedback?

Is a meaningful 360 degree feedback possible? The short answer is yes, but it’s a little more nuanced than that. There are several factors to consider before embarking on the 360 degree feedback journey for you and your team. 

What is a 360 assessment?

In short, a 360 assessment is feedback that examines an individual from all possible angles—all 360 of them. For a 360 feedback, special software gathers evaluative information anonymously from people who work above, below, and on equal ground with the subject. So, managers, coworkers, and subordinates all have the opportunity to offer feedback to their coworker or employee. That same software receives and organizes the information into usable results for you and your team. 

A meaningful 360 degree feedback

If all goes according to plan, a 360 evaluation provides an individual team member with nearly comprehensive information about his or her behaviors, skills, and interactions with other employees. The 360 feedback can provide a good idea of where an employee is doing really well and provide information about where an employee can improve when it comes to interactions around the workplace. These evaluations are also valuable for understanding how a team member fits into your organization’s culture. The 360 feedback has potential value for creating a healthy work environment by informing and encouraging team members. 

The anonymous format of a 360 feedback also makes it easier for team members to provide honest feedback to their managers and all-around more honest evaluations. Employees can be more confident in the integrity of the evaluations they receive. It’s much easier to be honest when the feedback is anonymous than if the evaluation process was face-to-face. So, 360 feedback has some strong benefits, but there are some shortcomings as well. 

An ineffective 360 degree feedback

Unfortunately, the 360 degree feedback can backfire if it’s not done properly and managed well. It’s necessary to ensure that you choose the right people to participate in the evaluation process. If there isn’t an even distribution of evaluators on each tier, the imbalance may lead to skewed results. For instance, you should make sure you include evaluators who will provide honest feedback regardless of their personal workplace relationships.

Also consider that 360 evaluations don’t lend themselves well to performance reviews, necessarily. The 360 assessment is effective at understanding how an individual relates to others behaviorally within the organization. Or it can be helpful at evaluating harder to quantify skills like leadership qualities or teamwork. But it is a poor indicator of more objective aspects of job performance like meeting quotas or achieving set goals.

Suggested Resource Creating High-Performance Teams

Ultimately, a meaningful 360 degree feedback is possible especially if you plan ahead and manage participants well. If you’re seeking to create a healthy and positive work environment, our team at TurningWest has the experience and passion you need to achieve your goals and optimize your team. TurningWest – Your Guide to a healthy culture with meaningful results.


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