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360 Degree Feedback Questionnaire [2023 Examples]

August 7, 2021
7 Min Read
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What is a 360 degree feedback questionnaire?

It's a popular question, with 360 degree feedback surveys being increasingly used by companies instead of the traditional one-directional feedback form utilized for performance appraisal. 360 degree survey techniques are simple to implement into existing company culture, allowing employers to gain valuable insight on how employees feel about workplace issues without contentious manager-led conversations. This information can be used to analyze current working conditions and find areas for improvement.

But first, for the question: what is a 360 degree feedback questionnaire anyway? 360 degree feedback questionnaires are usually a written or web-based questionnaire that solicits input from peers, subordinates and managers. These surveys typically also ask employees to rate their own performance using a pre-determined scale. 360 degree feedback is meant to quantify the traditional "gut feeling" about an employee's performance through observation by multiple parties and through the employee's own view of their performance. It can be incredibly powerful in providing a multi-faceted perspective of an individual's performance, but only when used correctly and with the proper purpose.

The 360 degree process is meant to provide insight into how employees are viewed by others in their work environment. This type of multi-rater feedback can also be used to identify areas of improvement for an employee.

The evaluation process allows companies to use input from peers, subordinates and managers to create an accurate 360-degree view of employees' performance. 360 degree feedback questionnaires are flexible because they allow companies to choose who they want feedback from and how many people they want to include. These feedback questionnaires also allow employees to see the results and understand what needs improving, and why.

Within 360-degree surveys, employees are also asked to rate themselves on a scale of performance. This rating process is one of the most misunderstood aspects of 360-degree surveys.These feedback questionnaires are not meant to be used as a comparison tool. Rather, they are designed to provide insight into how an entire company views someone's performance. 360-degree ratings also allow employees to compare their own rating to what others think they deserve.

Pros and cons of a 360 degree feedback questionnaire. 

If you’ve been told that 360 degree feedback surveys is are the end-all meet-all for employee evaluation and engagement, you’ve been told wrong. There are both pros and cons of using 360 degree feedback questionnaires. 

The pros include:

  • 360-degree surveys give companies the opportunity to get many perspectives on how their employees are performing.
  • 360 degree feedback questionnaires have the potential to create an honest dialogue.
  • 360 degree feedback techniques provide insight into areas of improvement.
  • 360 degrees surveys allow for multiple inputs, so the 360 evaluation tends to give a balanced view and is unlikely to be skewed by the bias of one feedback provider.
  • 360-degree feedback questionnaires can help in improving employee performance by providing a company with a direct report on where the employee needs improvement.

But nothing is all sunshine and roses. The cons of these type of multi rater feedback surveys include:

  • 360 assessment questionnaires can create an added workload for employees, and often creates an added layer of stress for overworked teams. Employees already have enough work on their plates, and creating another task for them to worry about can lead to an unproductive environment.
  • A 360 degree feedback form requires a company's employees to take the time outside of work hours to provide honest input. These surveys also require additional training and education, which can be costly and time consuming. 

Managers often struggle with 360 degrees surveys because they don't understand the purpose of 360-degree feedback, or because 360 degrees questionnaires require effort on their part as well. 360-degree feedback requires managers to complete questionnaires for all their employees so it creates more work on the management side. These surveys also require managers to be available to answer questions and provide support throughout the process.

Even though 360 degree feedback questionnaires have pros and cons, they can still be valuable tools companies can use to get a better idea of how their employees are performing. When they’re done well, these feedback questionnaires give a company a clearer picture of where they need improvement and what areas of the company could be improved. 

How to use a 360 degree feedback questionnaire 

360 degree feedback questionnaires can be used to give managers and employers more insight into what employees are thinking about the direction of their company. That said, it’s important to note a 360 feedback survey should only focus on performance aspects, so don’t include questions about personal or private information. A 360 degree feedback survey also provide insight into other parts of the business, including customer service, company morale, leadership, and management performance.

360 survey questionnaires can be used to better handle current employees. They are a great way to view how well your company is currently being managed and can also be used to evaluate managers' strengths. 360 degree questionnaires may be designed to allow for anonymous responses and allow companies to have open dialog, where companies can learn from their employees. 360 degrees questionnaires are also a potential way to get employee input on how they feel the company should move forward in certain areas of business. They may be used by companies to figure out salaries, bonuses, perks, and promotion opportunities, and can also be used to decide when it's time for a company to part ways with employees. These questionnaires are especially helpful in the hiring process because 360-degree surveys allow employers to get information about prospective employees that they can't find anywhere else.

360 degree feedback questionnaire strategies

Gather 360-degree feedback from a diverse group of people. For an accurate picture, you'll want to provide questionnaires to employees, managers, and even customers to gain an accurate picture. The idea behind multi rater evaluations is that differing perspectives provide a fuller, multi-dimensional view that would be missing from a single user survey. 

Since you want everyone filling in these surveys to be candid and honest, it’s best to design your 360-degree questionnaires ensure anonymity for those who fill them out. Respondent names should be skipped, and an anonymous collection strategy or online survey can be used. 

Keep your survey well organized and easy to understand. Since these questionnaires can be overwhelming, you may want to break them down into manageable chunks in order to make them easier for employees who participate.

Don’t rely entirely on formal surveys to give feedback to your employees. Informal constructive feedback is important too. Consider using an app like the free Slack app Matter to make peer feedback, appreciation and kudos a consistent part of your company culture, and you’ll be surprised how much employee engagement increases. 

Final tips on 360 degree feedback questionnaire surveys

Think about your 360 degree feedback questionnaire this way: you're starting an open dialogue about the performance of your employees, so that you and the rest of your HR team can get them the tools they need to succeed. Viewed this way, 360 degree feedback surveys can be an extremely helpful tool to boost employee engagement and interpersonal skills while creating a competency framework that helps everyone. Here are three final tips on 360 review questionnaires:

  1. Remember a 360 degree feedback tool is more than just employee evaluation questionnaires - they can go beyond the typical "review of performance" to also function as an employee satisfaction survey or employee engagement survey. This added benefit is especially important if you've received negative feedback on 360 evaluations in the past, which is common for most companies their first time through the 360 process. Tweaking these questionnaires can help turn your company around by generating a positive culture of communication about employees' strengths and weaknesses.
  2. Be consistent about your use of 360 surveys, every five years isn't enough, nor is once every three. multi source feedback questionnaires are best used on an annual basis to give accurate information about how the participant is progressing over time. When used consistently, they can help you pinpoint specific ways in which your employee training or employee development strategies need to change, and allow you to measure the success of the programs you've implemented.
  3. Share the 360 degree feedback report with your employees - 360 degree feedback questionnaires are most valuable when they're given to employees as well, so that they can see exactly how their peers and superiors feel about them. If you didn't use an anonymous feedback process, be sure to reduce all names and share information on a 'blind' basis before sharing the performance review with your feedback recipient.

As you design your own 360 feedback questionnaire, don't forget the final aim: a productive, engaged workforce in open dialogue about any performance issues they might have.

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