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What Is 360-Degree Feedback?

By Erika Miller
Illustration of Carl the yeti on the card with 5 golden stars.

Remember those awkward yearly evaluations? The ones with the uncomfortable pauses, the lack of eye contact, and the really roundabout way of getting to the point? Yeah, you know what we’re talking about.

It’s safe to say that the traditional method of employee feedback has a bad rap. But when 65% of employees want more direction from their employers, dropping it altogether isn’t really a viable option. What to do?

360 feedback, that’s what.

Easy to use and simple to measure, 360 feedback puts the yearly evaluation back where it belongs — the Jurassic Era. All you need are some digital tools and the right mindset to start gathering and disseminating useful information at a glance. No awkward pauses necessary!

But let’s back up for a sec. What is 360-degree feedback, and how does it impact your organization? Glad you asked! Let’s explore the ins and outs of holistic feedback for your business, and how you can implement it into your regular workflow.

What is 360 feedback — and how should it be used?

image with text - Gather feedback about an employee from multiple points of contact rather than just supervisors alone.

360-degree feedback gathers feedback about an employee from multiple points of contact rather than just supervisors alone. The approach petitions for honest feedback from coworkers from all over the business, implemented together to provide a holistic perspective of work, productivity, and team cohesion.

However, to gain an effective snapshot, 360-degree feedback is collected from no more than twelve sources at a time — the average number of close contacts within the average employee’s network. All collected info is totally anonymous, which helps to encourage honest feedback (that goes beyond nice-but-shallow staples like ‘he’s a great teammate’ or ‘she’s okay I guess’).

Most 360-degree feedback is used to measure employee productivity and provide tangible benchmarks to the organization in question. However, it should also be used to edify, encourage, and direct the actions of your employees.

Most 360 feedback surveys ask for very specific feedback, measuring skills like:

  • Behaviors
  • Competence
  • Soft skills
  • Professional development
  • Overall impressions

Let’s look at Doug for example (hey, Doug!). He works in the accounting side of your business, and regularly interacts with several teammates, managers, and a couple of other departments. To do 360-degree feedback right, your organization should send regularly scheduled surveys to gather employee responses and insights. These will be aggregated together to create a brief and comprehensive report, which will eventually be shared with Doug.

Makes sense, right?

What is the primary reason for 360-degree feedback assessments?

In a word: motivation. In three: really good motivation!

360-degree feedback aims to put insight into action. By gathering survey feedback from the perspectives of peers, leaders, and supervisors, organizations can get a holistic view of their employee — and not just from a top-down perspective. Honest and robust feedback keeps your organization on its toes. Everyone stays engaged, focused, and interested and feels as though they are contributing something meaningful to your brand. And who doesn’t want engaged employees?

360-degree feedback assessments are extraordinarily powerful when used correctly. And when they’ve been implemented for a decent amount of time, you can start to see its positive effects in every area of your business.

How does 360-degree feedback help organizations?

There are so many reasons to love 360-degree feedback. And it’s not just because of the cool name!

image with text - 75% of employees find feedback to be important and valuable, using the insights of others to enhance their skills and abilities.

Used correctly, 360 assessments can edify your employees, pad your bottom line, and even improve your company culture.

  • Employees want to be made aware of their shortcomings — and not just because they have to be, either. Statistics show that 75% of employees find feedback to be important and valuable, using the insights of others to enhance their skills and abilities.
  • The better your employees are, the better your company will be! Use the feedback of others to promote engagement and growth, and even productivity. As a matter of fact, regular surveys can even boost profits by nearly 9%.
  • Listen to your employees, supervisors, and managers on a more intimate level. Gather anonymous feedback without promoting a culture of awkwardness or distrust, and aggregate multiple responses into a single report.
image with text - Regular surveys can even boost profits by nearly 9%.

360 feedback is seriously awesome. And all you need to get started is a simple survey!

Getting ready for 360-degree feedback with Motivosity

So you’ve got your heading and your mission — now you just need a ship to take you there. And although Motivosity’s no Jolly Roger, we do have a pretty fearsome reputation for supporting the Great Recognition!

As one of the best employee engagement platforms available online, Motivosity is passionate about helping you gather feedback that matters. Our Listen suite of products allows you to collect and distribute surveys at lightning speed, creating a meaningful 360 review that really moves the needle.

Ready for the demo? Pro tip: it’s free! Sign up today to see how Motivosity could be a part of your solution. We’re looking forward to chatting with you soon!