What is a 360 degree feedback ?

Learn about the definition and concepts of a 360 Degree Feedback Appraisal Survey.

360 Feedback survey systems aim to collect data on the performance strengths and challenges of employees. The systems were traditionally offered as software to be installed within companies (on premise), but since 2003 a strong shift in the small to medium business market has seen the adoption of online, web or now cloud based services. These services are often referred to as SaaS (Software as a Service) model in which you subscribe to a service without the need to install or own the software.

  • multi-rater feedback
  • multi-source feedback
  • 360 degree review
  • 360 degree employee feedback
  • Multi source feedback
  • Multi source assessment
  • Full-circle appraisal
360 degree feedback

360 Feedback survey systems aim to collect data on the performance strengths and challenges of employees. The systems were traditionally offered as software to be installed within companies (on premise), but since 2003 a strong shift in the small to medium business market has seen the adoption of online, web or now cloud based services. These services are often referred to as SaaS (Software as a Service) model in which you subscribe to a service without the need to install or own the software.

Read our guide which will help in deciding the success factors of any 360 degree feedback system deployment and ensuring continuity so that companies can deal with actionable results from the rich data provided.. Read more in our Quick Startup Guide to 360 degree feedback here.

Collecting 360 Feedback Data

360 Feedback includes collecting data from various raters in different stakeholder groups. This is usually done through means of software application or online software service which sends out emails to the different raters.

When a rater receives an invitation email he/she either logs into a personal account or is presented with a unique link to which the feedback can be provided.

Additionally and inherent to the 360 is the self-evaluation aspect where the ‘subject’ (person being evaluated or appraised) is asked to evaluate him/herself based on the same questions presented to the surrounding raters.

The Data

Data collected is segmented and presented in rater groups. The different scores per group will be reflected against the subject self-evaluation which provides differential gap analysis. The gap analysis depicts strengths and weaknesses of the subject’s performance.

There are many more inferences which can be made from the collected data which can provide different perspectives and trends to which a subject’s performance is measured.

Benchmarking Progress

The better more advanced providers of 360 feedback allow for some sort of benchmarking of data previously collected of the subject. A 360 feedback analysis is most effective when redone over a period of time in which the data supports progress.

Acting on Actionable Data

Once the data is collected there are various ways to act upon the results. For each customer, the follow-up is different and varying in scope. You may decide to use the tool solely as a self-reflection tool for a subject to take home and read the reports, or use the reports as a underlying tool in one-on-one personal talks with line management or HR to go through them.

Alternatively, some clients will hire a specialized HR consultancy firm or mandate the company’s HR to interpret and set-out further guidelines as to substantiating a personal development plan based on the reported data.

360 Degree Feedback Reports

The output of the collected data can be presented in various formats including a typical PDF downloadable format. The reports are usually presented with bar, star graphs and charts and in our case the addition of 360 degree gauges.