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Imagine that an employee in your organisation has displayed high-quality work throughout the year and you feel it’s time to consider them for a promotion to management. To go beyond just a feeling, you want to support your empirical observations with a 360 degree review.
But 360 surveys can be tricky to implement. If you’re asking a group of colleagues for their feedback about a particular employee, you need to be sure to create questions that work across the workplace hierarchy.
We asked Netigate’s top survey experts, with over a decade of experience, to compile a list of sample 360 degree feedback questions. This 360 template can be used throughout the year, whenever a comprehensive evaluation is required.
“What’s important to consider with a 360 is the goal or the intention of the review,” said Mark Åström, Netigate’s Senior Technical Project Manager. “As for the purpose, I recommend that clients not view 360s as a performance measurement but as a blueprint for the employee’s development.”
Because 360 reviews are traditionally anonymous, a questionnaire (and ranking scale from 1 to 5) should help keep the feedback laser-focused and constructive. We recommend avoiding open-form questions, which sometimes lead to personal or ad hominem comments. If qualitative feedback is necessary, however, then make sure reviewers know that feedback could potentially be tied back to them.
360 Degree Feedback: A Quick Review
360 reviews solicit input from fellow employees, managers, and direct reports. The result is a more balanced snapshot of the employee’s skills as a colleague, leader, or manager. As opposed to the traditional performance review, 360 degree feedback is designed to capture and assess an employee’s development (particularly in a team setting). As Åström noted, the 360 is not a performance tracker per se. Instead it provides a thorough look at the employee’s strengths and how they fit into the company as a whole.
All organisations have unique values and characteristics, so feel free to adjust as you see fit. And consider that these sample questions are more of a guide than a set-in-stone template of how to carry out a 360 review.
What Your 360 Degree Template Could Look Like
Here are sample questions HR could assign during a 360 review session. We’ve tailored them to fit the example mentioned above.
For distribution, be sure to add a detailed explanation of who is being reviewed and what type of feedback is desired.
That could look like this:
Please find the attached questions for the 360 Review for “Employee X.” Respond to the questions below by providing a ranking on the scale based on your individual interactions with the employee.
These answers will be combined with the remaining feedback to build a complete picture of Employee X’s leadership, communication, interpersonal, problem-solving, and organisational skills.
- Does the employee take the lead on projects or assignments?
- Is the employee a motivating force in the team?
- Does the employee put aside their own ego and ambition when it comes to team projects?
- Does employee value accountability and take responsibility for project outcomes?
- Does the employee communicate well with their fellow employees?
- Is the employee open to receiving feedback from peers?
- Does the employee not only actively listen but also seek clarification on areas they don’t understand?
- Does the employee communicate well outside of their department?
- Does the employee collaborate well with their colleagues?
- Has there been any conflict between the employee and other members of the team?
- Does the employee recognise or praise colleagues for their accomplishments?
- Is employee able to work autonomously (i.e., without direction from a manager)?
- Is the employee decisive when it comes time to choose a direction?
- Does the employee react quickly to unexpected challenges or obstacles?
- Is the employee aware of the organisation’s top goals?
- Does the employee live our company values everyday?
- Does the employee keep the customer front-of-mind?
These sample 360 review questions will help you supplement your ongoing performance review processes. Keep in mind that 360 reviews, if done poorly, can be a misuse of resources. That’s why it’s important to maximise these opportunities to provide your organisation with the best-possible data. But if you have an organisation that values continuous improvement and professional development, then 360s are a must in your HR toolkit.
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