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Meaning & Definition

360 Degree Feedback

360 Degree Feedback is a system or process in which employees receive confidential, anonymous feedback from the people who work around them. This typically includes the employee's manager, peers, and direct reports. A mixture of about eight to twelve people fill out an anonymous online feedback form that asks questions covering a broad range of workplace competencies. The feedback forms include questions that are measured on a rating scale and also ask raters to provide written comments. The person receiving feedback also fills out a self-rating survey that includes the same survey questions that others receive in their forms.

Managers and leaders within organizations use 360 feedback surveys to get a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. The 360 feedback system automatically tabulates the results and presents them in a format that helps the feedback recipient create a development plan. Individual responses are always combined with responses from other people in the same rater category (e.g. peer, direct report) in order to preserve anonymity and to give the employee a clear picture of his/her greatest overall strengths and weaknesses.

360 Feedback can also be a useful development tool for people who are not in a management role. Strictly speaking, a "non-manager" 360 assessment is not measuring feedback from 360 degrees since there are no direct reports, but the same principles still apply. 360 Feedback for non-managers is useful to help people be more effective in their current roles, and also to help them understand what areas
they should focus on if they want to move into a management role.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

  1. What is the purpose of 360 degree feedback?

    The main purpose of 360 degree feedback is to ensure each individual understands their own strengths and weaknesses. This form of feedback that allows multiple raters, including peers, supervisors, and external stakeholder, contributes insights into aspects of the individual's work that need professional development.

  2. What are the benefits of 360-degree feedback?

    Apart from the fact that 360 degree feedback, gives an employee several different perspectives, it also:

    • Helps identify core competencies
    • Helps identify development opportunities
    • Increases self awareness
    • Clarifies behaviours
    • Improves different work relationships
    • Promotes dialogue
    • Improves accountability
    • Encourages personal development
  3. What are the types of training and development?

    The different stakeholders involved in 360 degree feedback, that is also known as multi-rater or multi-source feedback, include:

    1. An Administrator
    2. The Subject
    3. The Manager
    4. The Reviewers (these include the employee's managers, peers, subordinates, and external stakeholders such as customers.)"
  4. What are some things to keep in mind before buying the 360 degree feedback tool?

    These are some must-have features of a 360 degree feedback tool:

    1. Should provide easy customizability & flexible questionnaires
    2. Should include an Anonymity option
    3. Should provide perceptive analytics
    4. Should have a user-friendly interface
    5. Should be easy to implementation and integrate with your HRMS
    6. Should provide sound security features
  5. How does 360 degree feedback help organisations?

    360-degree feedback benefits organisations in three main ways:

    1. Offers a new perspective: By encouraging multiple opinions, 360-degree feedback gives a unique perspective in performance evaluations which traditional evaluations might not be able to provide.
    2. Reduces the effects of biases: With several multiple sources of feedback and inputs, 360 degree feedback allows you to reduce the effect of any personal or other biases that might come into play in other traditional employee review methodologies.
    3. Reinforces organisational values: By tailoring the 360 degree feedback and questionnaire according to your organisation's specific context and needs, you can reinforce values and the overall vision of the company.
  6. How 360 degree feedback improves performance?

    A 360-degree performance feedback process provides a holistic and unbiased view on an employee's skills, increases the employee’s self-awareness, sets a clear understanding of work expectations, and facilitates open communication, therefore encouraging their development, increasing productivity and evetually improving performance.

  7. Can 360 degree feedback be used in place of traditional performance reviews?

    Yes. 360 degree feedback provides well-rounded information gathers from a multitude of relevant stakeholders, that allows for the holistic development of the employee, improved team productivity, and helps foster a culture of continuous improvement thus leading to a highly engaged and strong workforce.

  8. Are there circumstances where 360 Degree Feedback should not be used?

    There are a few circumstances within which the 360 degree feedback process is not recommended, these include cases when:

    1. When the employee is very new to the organisation
    2. When there are not enough appropriate respondents
    3. During a time of major organisation changes or transitions such as mergers or acquisitions
    4. When there is a high degree of mistrust in the organisation's culture, environment or climate.
  9. Who gets a copy of the 360 degree feedback report?

    The employee, the manager, and a trusted mentor or third party are the only ones who should receive the feedback report.

  10. How is 360 different from personality or style assessment?

    Personality or Psychometric profiling style assessments measure preferences and then predicts how an employee would most likely behave, however, 360 Degree Feedback focuses more on the observed behavioural competencies.

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