One of the hallmarks of high performing organisations is an emphasis on evaluating and developing the skills and competencies of their employees to achieve extra-ordinary results. This might take place as part of annual, or more frequent performance appraisals to support the personal development of employees, identify their potential and/or make promotion or redeployment decisions.  

Whilst performance reviews have usually been undertaken by the employee’s line manager, for many years organisations have used 360-degree feedback surveys (also referred to as multi-source or multi-rater feedback surveys) to collect input from colleagues who interact with that employee. The findings from the 360-degree feedback process provide a holistic and more objective perspective of the strengths and areas for development of employees and can be meaningfully used in the performance appraisal process. Typically, in addition to the line manager’s input, the process can collect feedback from an employee’s peers, direct reports and in some cases, even their customers/external stakeholders. 

The same questionnaire is sent to everyone, so each reviewer records their perception of the employee’s performance by answering the same questions – a process that takes only a few minutes. The information gathered is collated and analysed into a report that gives a “360-degree view” of the employee’s strengths and of areas where development is needed. 

360-degree feedback helps with the development of realistic employee development plans and provides a method of benchmarking changes/improvements over time. The feedback process enhances openness and trust among team members and provides new insights into employee performance through constructive feedback. 

In addition to individual employees, the 360-Degree feedback process can be used for groups – such as a single department or the management team, or across an organisation. 

If you would like to know more about the science behind 360-degree feedback, please see our previous note: 

Introducing 360-degree Feedback 

Traditionally, 360-degree surveys have been customised for each organisation – a process that requires the involvement of the internal team and an upfront investment.  

On the other hand, while standardised, off-the-shelf, 360-degree surveys measuring core competencies have been available for several years many of these are simplistic and produce results that are of little use in planning development needs. 

ODRL has spent many years developing tools and question sets for our clients’ 360-degree surveys and can now offer easy-to-use, standardised surveys and reports using our custom online platform to provide clear insights about your employees. Examples of 360-degree surveys are as follows: 

  • 360-degree survey for leaders 
  • 360-degree survey for managers  
  • 360-degree survey for staff   

Our standardised tools are a time and cost-effective way of introducing and embedding the 360-degree process. It is particularly useful in small teams requiring interdependent ways of working to achieve results. In start-ups, it is an effective way of building and sustaining a culture of openness, accountability, and continuous improvement from the outset.  

If you have any questions about using 360 Degree feedback in your organisation, please get in touch. ODRL can help you assess and build development strategies for you. To discuss this please contact Dr. Kay Sahdev.