360 Degree Feedback Explained


Often referred to as 360 reviews or 360 assessments, 360-degree employee feedback provides a all encompassing view of an employee by gathering feedback from an employee’s whole team. That includes their manager, peers and direct reports. Sometimes, external salespeople or vendors who work one on one with the employee are included as well.


This multi-direction feedback differs from what typical annual performance reviews provide in the following ways:

  • Omni-Directional look. Standard performance reviews involve the employee getting feedback directly from their manager. While a manager’s perspective is likely t be the most important, it’s is also limited. 360-degree feedback involves feedback from many team members, providing a well-rounded feedback loop for an employee. Let’s face it, people act differently around their boss than around their subordinates and peers.
  • Forward-looking. An accepted rule of thumb is that traditional performance reviews evaluate what has happened; for that reason they are backward looking – how have employees performed in relation to their goals. That is very different than 360-degree feedback, which is less evaluative and more forward-looking – what is this employees’ skills, triumphs, strengths and yes weaknesses. What can the individual do to take developmental steps and become even better.
  • Constructive Feedback with a Positive Vibe. The overwhelming tendency is that an employee’s peers are much less likely to provide negative or even constructive feedback if they think it will negatively impact someone’s standing in the company negatively. For that reason well constructed 360-degree assessments include many non-evaluative questions and that can prove essential to getting honest feedback.


360-degree multi-directional assessments comment on important competencies and provide valuable insight for managers, as peers and direct reports provide priceless developmental feedback that may not otherwise be shared.

When the goal is measuring valuable employee skills and attributes, few exercises are as effective as 360s. With them we can quantify things like, teamwork, leadership, interpersonal communications, decision-making, delegation, and collaboration. By their very nature our jobs are a continual journey, we can cop-out and only dig deep enough to see how well employees get their jobs done, instead of taking the leadership role by helping them develop into the most productive employee they can become. 360s help paint a picture that allows managers and employees look at competencies that enable them and their organizations as a whole get better.

—– Thanks for checking this out hope it explained 360s in a way that can help. -Spiro