If you want to ensure continuous growth in your company, the first step is to assess the current performance of your employees.
To get accurate data we suggest doing it from multiple angles, instead of the traditional vertical approach where managers are reviewing their team members’ performance.
The most effective way is to do it through a 360-degree feedback questionnaire. According to one research, 90% of Forbes 500 companies are using 360-degree feedback on a regular basis.
Some of its benefits include understanding the bigger picture, boosting productivity and increasing employee engagement.
In this article, we’ll explain how to implement 360-degree feedback in your organization, even if you haven’t used it before.
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What is a 360-degree feedback questionnaire?
This type of questionnaire allows you to get feedback from multiple people, including teammates, managers and even subordinates to get all-inclusive insights into someone’s performance, their strengths and weaknesses.
Unlike traditional feedback questionnaires, a 360-degree feedback goes one step further than simply collecting data on employee performance from the management.
This approach combines multiple reviews from people in different positions and levels to get a broader picture. It consists of performance reviews and feedback from upper management, but also colleagues and subordinates.
You can also include external reviews in your 360-degree feedback model. Some companies ask all their customers as well as stakeholders for performance reviews of their employees.
Many organizations keep their questionnaires anonymous to ensure that respondents will give honest answers. Honest feedback is the best way to help employees discover areas for improvement and development.
How can a 360-degree questionnaire benefit organizations?
It allows them to get a more comprehensive and more accurate review of their employees’ strengths and areas for improvement.
Oftentimes, peer reviews can help identify small details in someone’s behavior that the manager might be too busy to notice.
Questionnaires boost employee engagement because employees that are encouraged to express their opinion feel validated and more motivated.
As a result, they could use the insights both for professional and personal development.
Finally, according to one survey, 360-degree feedback can increase employee retention which as a result also reduces costs related to hiring new employees.
How to get started with it?
Many organizations complain that their employees are reluctant when it comes to giving feedback or they feel like they don’t know how to do it.
It may be true, because no one is teaching us how to provide proper, actionable feedback.
That is why the first step would be to explain the importance of 360-degree feedback and how everyone in the organization could benefit from it.
Also, if you want to avoid generalized feedback, you should first determine what your goals are and then create questions accordingly.
For example, asking people to list three strengths and three weaknesses of each employee could be a bit overwhelming and you could get vague responses.
Instead, try with more specific questions:
- Is there something this person should be doing more of?
- Is there something this person should stop doing?
- Name one area where this person has potential for improvement.
You can use the following developer performance review examples to make your own questionnaire or you can use an online template that can be customized according to your needs.
Example of a 360-degree questionnaire
Here are some questions that you can include in your questionnaire. We’ve grouped them around five competences that are relevant in all industries, but you could also add some more specific, industry-related questions.
This set of questions helps to measure not only employee’s performance at work but also their ability to organize and prioritize tasks.
- Does this employee respect deadlines and tends to complete tasks on time?
- Is this employee autonomous at work?
- Does this employee have a good work ethic?
- Does the output of this employee match the company’s standards?
- Has this employee helped to optimize some company processes? If yes, which process and how?
- Does this employee know how to prioritize tasks?
This set of questions helps to evaluate employees’ interactions with clients and colleagues, whether they’re superior or subordinate to them.
- Is this employee respectful in communication with clients and colleagues?
- Is this employee able to deliver a clear and concise message?
- Is this employee open to receiving feedback?
- Is this employee an active listener?
- Does this employee feel free to express their ideas, ask questions or ask for help when needed?
This set of questions helps you determine whether a certain employee is solution-oriented and what is their problem-solving style.
- Does this employee take initiative when an unexpected challenge appears?
- Is this employee able to solve problems within their job description without assistance?
- Does this employee have creative ideas for solving problems?
- Does this employee actively try to predict and prevent potential problems?
- Is this employee willing to help others with problem-solving?
- How does this employee behave in unexpected circumstances? Do they panic or tend to stay calm?
This set of questions could help you determine which employees are a good fit for leadership roles in your organization.
- Does this employee take leadership on tasks and projects?
- Does this employee take full accountability for their results?
- Does this employee show initiative and in what situations?
- Does this employee seek additional responsibilities?
- Is this employee able to supervise the work of their team members in an effective way?
This set of questions helps you determine what motivates and drives forward an employee. Thanks to these insights, managers will know how to entice employees to create better results, to mutual benefit.
- Does this employee seem satisfied with their role?
- Does this employee inspire or motivate other team members?
- How likely is this employee to go the extra mile at work?
Mistakes to watch out for
These are the four most common mistakes that companies make when implementing a 360-degree feedback.
Not having a clear goal or purpose
One of the main reasons why organizations fail to implement 360-degree feedback is the lack of purpose. Without clear objectives, you won’t be able to act on the data gathered through this process.
The best way to use a 360-degree feedback questionnaire is to design it for a specific purpose. Some of the common objectives include:
- Performance assessment
- Identifying areas with room for improvement
- Management development
- Career development
- Succession planning
- Communication assessment
Lack of confidentiality
360-degree feedback should be based on privacy and confidentiality because it involves reviewing your managers and superiors, and most people are not comfortable doing it unless they are sure it’s anonymous.
If this is the first time your company is organizing this type of feedback, it’s important to reassure employees that their answers will be confidential.
Ideally, if the questionnaire could be anonymous, but if it’s not, you should be transparent about who the feedback is shared with and to what degree. For example, only the HR manager has access to all the comments and ratings, but managers can’t see how their team members rated them.
Making it too complicated
If you want to increase the number of participants and the quality of their answers, the first rule is to keep the questionnaire simple and straightforward.
The questionnaire should make it crystal clear who needs to rate whose performance and what is the time frame to complete the survey. You should give employees enough time, but not too much or else they will forget about it and get distracted by other tasks.
Another mistake to watch out for is complicated scoring and administration that may negatively affect completion rate. The questionnaire should be user friendly and the easiest way to do so is to use one of the templates you can find in our software.
Not involving all stakeholders
The best thing about the 360-degree feedback method is that you can analyze and compare feedback gathered from multiple sources.
That’s why organizations shouldn’t use it in the same way as traditional forms of performance feedback, which usually involve only managers and supervisors.
360-degree feedback encourages involving all stakeholders, both internal and external. Clients, peers, external business partners, etc.
By now you have all the means to create your first 360-degree feedback questionnaire. Remember to start with identifying the purpose of the survey and then add questions accordingly.
If you want to conduct a 360-degree feedback in the most effective way, we suggest using our software. You can choose from highly customizable templates, according to the type of your organization and your needs.