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What is 360 degree feedback?

Lead consultant at Test Partnership, Ben Schwencke, explains what is 360 degree feedback.

0:53 Quickly understand 360 degree feedback.

360-degree feedback, also known as multi-rater feedback, is a form of performance appraisal based on feedback from multiple colleagues, direct reports, managers, or other stakeholders. 360-degree feedback is typically used for personal and professional development, measuring quality of hire, or as part of an annual performance appraisal. By including multiple ratings of performance, organisations can avoid relying solely on top-down manager appraisals, which are often limited and potentially biased. As a result, 360-degree feedback represents a more democratic approach to performance appraisal, ensuring that multiple voices are heard.

360 degree feedback

360-degree feedback typically requires 2-10 raters per employee, ideally those who work closely with each individual. Each rater is asked several questions, usually multiple-choice questions with a rating format i.e. Likert scales, frequency scales etc. These questions relate to specific aspects of performance, often against a particular competency framework. For example, questions could include “Manages their time effectively”, “Includes their colleagues in decision-making”, or “Takes responsibility for those around them”. Ratings on these questions will then comprise a score, which summarises their level of performance. Raters may also provide rich-text comments too, in addition to the purely numerical scores themselves.

360-degree feedback requires an administration platform, allowing teams to answer questions online and generate reports.

Administrators can then invite employees to rate their colleagues, accessing the results and associated findings through their online platform. Consequently, organisations must carefully vet potential providers, ensuring they choose a 360-degree feedback partner who can provide the most value for money.