Award Winning Performance Includes 360 Degree Feedback

Posted by Julie • July 12, 2016 (Last modified July 29, 2018) • 3 min read

When we hear 360 degree feedback, generally we think of peer to peer assessments and while they are an important part of the process, a successful 360 degree process will bring together the customer or client perspective, coworker input, management and the employee themselves to make a full circle view of performance. And not just one employee’s performance either. When 360-degree feedback is done right, the entire organization benefits from being evaluated.

Why does a successful 360-degree feedback process improve performance?


It’s Multi-Dimensional with Clear Participant Roles

Traditionally, the performance appraisal involves an employee, a manager and a fairly one-sided discussion of the employee’s previous goals and how those goals were or were not met. The feedback, complimentary or constructive revolves around the employee, the work performed and how they’re contribution affects the organization. Those insights are pivotal, but they leave out so many dimensions of the environment and factors of an employee’s productivity and engagement. Kirk Hallowell (@KirkHallowell1) of MatchPoint Learning and Development believes the traditional model to be tried and true, but incomplete:

“Both research and common sense tell us that performance is the result of many factors and that factors these factors tend to interact. If we are truly trying to improve performance, why do we only measure one set of factors related directly to employee behaviors?”

To ensure more than just one set of factors are considered, performance reviews should include all the roles that actually affect the employee sitting across the desk. Even more, no longer should a review only discuss an employee’s concerns with their own performance.


Read more on the things your performance management system should upgrade immediately.



The Team and Their Roles

  • Employee: The employee should talk as much as the leader performing the review. If you think that’s impossible, consider the prompts your employees are receiving. Are you discussing their goals within the company? Skills they hope to develop? Areas of success/improvement? Most importantly, are you asking how leadership is performing or where the company could be providing more for employees?

  • Manager: The traditional duty of the manager is important and should always be a part of the appraisal. They should gather information on the employee’s performance goals, shortcomings, skill building and all other qualitative variables that can be collected from their work.

  • Administrator: This is the person who actually conducts the appraisal. Sometimes this is a third party removed from the manager and reviewers, sometimes it is a leader who has limited access to the employee and team and sometimes it is the manager who works every day in the same department as the employee. Regardless, this individual must take all the qualitative findings and apply it to actualized goals, often with quantitative measures.

  • Reviewers: The reviewers take many shapes and come from various levels of the organization because the main factor is that they work closely with the employee being reviewed. The important part is that this is all collected and organized for anonymity and professionalism. A typical 360 performance review includes anywhere from 4 to 10 reviewers.

Leaders vs. Managers: Check out the differences in performance management.

Why 360 Feedback Works

A 360-degree feedback process introduces employees to the effect their work has on all facets of the organization while allowing them to offer the same to their coworkers and management. Additionally, 41% of companies who use peer to peer recognition have seen positive increases in customer satisfaction is 36% more likely to have a positive financial result than manager-only.

Before your team can begin feeling the positive effects of a 360-degree feedback process, it’s important that each employee understands their role and how to not only benefit from the results but also how to administer their own portion. A good performance management tool will give your employees and leadership an easy way to report all the awaited feedback all in one easy-to-find place.

If you don’t know what you need in a performance management tool, send our team an email and we’ll help you start your research off right.

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