360 degree feedback is a development tool designed to provide individuals with anonymous feedback from all angles.
Rather than traditional methods of just receiving feedback from supervisors, 360 provides individuals with the opportunity to receive constructive feedback from peers, direct reports and other colleagues. This allows the participant to learn things about themselves; their skills, behaviour and communication, that they wouldn’t otherwise have known.
When carried out correctly, it’s a powerful tool that allows the individual to adapt their working style to develop their career, enhancing their strengths and improving their weaknesses. However, if it’s done poorly it can demotivate individuals, disrupt the culture and leave people feeling angry and hurt.
It’s vitally important to ensure that there is a clear structure in place to communicate the results of the 360 feedback to the participant. The discussion of the 360 feedback should ideally be facilitated by a colleague or external coach who has great feedback and coaching skills and who can ensure that the participant doesn’t focus only on any negative feedback, but sees the full picture. The process of sharing the 360 feedback should be constructive and focused on recognising the participant’s strengths as well as identifying their development opportunities.
360 Feedback Question Ideas
When developing a 360 questionnaire it’s important that the questions are relevant to both the organisation and the participant. What has worked for another organisation won’t necessarily give you the desired outcome, so those constructing the 360 survey should handpick questions that are going to deliver the best possible results for all involved.
There are numerous ways of approaching 360 questions, but perhaps the most useful is to link them to the competencies (skills, knowledge and behaviours) required for the role. These competencies will ideally also form the ‘golden thread’ that runs through the ongoing performance management conversation with the individual and which will inform any promotion or succession decisions.
Another alternative is to link the 360 questions to organisational challenges (such as desired culture or change readiness), personal qualities such as emotional intelligence or the leadership talent factors that predict career potential.
It’s important to develop a tailored set of questions that target the right issues and which are expressed in the organisation’s own language.
Here are some examples of simple, generic 360 feedback questions; feedback providers would be asked to respond to each question using a rating scale:
- Communicates effectively with others
- Conveys complex information in an understandable way
- Listens to and considers other peoples’ views
- Provides constructive feedback to others
- Uses the correct medium to communicate each message
- Works well in a team
- Is adaptable and open to change
- Takes into account others’ views
- Treats others with respect
- Offers fair and constructive feedback
- Manages their own workload well
- Prioritises tasks to meet deadlines
- Plans for both the short and long-term
- Hosts structured meetings effectively
- Manages demands on own time positively and assertively
- Thinks logically when making decisions
- Copes well with responsibility
- Approaches problems with a positive attitude
- Demonstrates confidence in own ability
- Learns from mistakes
- Brings new ideas and approaches to the table
- Thinks ‘outside of the box’ to identify new solutions
- Looks at current challenges to find opportunities to improve
- Always try is to find solutions to problems
- Demonstrates a flexible ‘can do’ working style
These are provided as ‘thought starters’ which can be tailored to reflect the needs of your organisation.
More 360 Question Writing Help
If you need further guidance on the most important questions to include in a 360 feedback questionnaire that you’re developing – which will best evaluate your teams and employees performance – get in touch.
Over the years we have designed, written and delivered lots of 360 questionnaires and feedback discussions. One of our specialist would be able to advise you and support you through the process.
If you need a way of carrying out and managing 360 feedback in your organisation have a look at the 360 tool we developed for running effective 360 feedback assessments.