10 Benefits of 360 Degree Feedback

Jun 6, 2017


In recent years, there has been a surge in the popularity of 360 degree feedback. As per some estimates, a significant percentage of Fortune 500 organizations tend to use this type of feedback. Nonetheless, there are still many who ask, “What is 360 degree feedback?” For businesses to grow, two essential components are necessary: feedback and evaluation. All individuals in an organization require evaluation to understand their performance levels, their strengths and weaknesses. Feedback gives them the opportunity to know what improvements are required.

As such, 360 degree feedback does have several benefits to offer. Before you learn about the actual benefits, you must first understand what 360 degree feedback is.

What is 360 Degree Feedback?

360 degree feedback is the process by which feedback is generated by the people working with and around an individual. The feedback is typically confidential and always anonymous. This feedback involves all the people that the individual interacts with regularly. This includes his or her managers, supervisors, peers, and the people who report to the individual as well as the people to whom the individual reports to.

A mixture of people drawn from the above categories will be asked to fill out an anonymous feedback form. The form will consist of several questions related to various aspects of work and other workplace competencies. There can also be rating questions and questions that demand a descriptive answer. The individual who will receive the feedback will also be asked to self-assess and fill up a similar feedback form.

360 degree appraisal is meant not only for the employees of the organization but also the management and the leaders. These days, it is generally performed online due to the simplicity and convenience offered by 360 appraisal software.

Importance of 360 Degree Feedback System

360 appraisals can be incredibly effective in generating usable feedback apart from aiding the development of the individual in question. There are many scenarios in which honest feedback cannot be given face to face. For example, many employees may find it uncomfortable to evaluate and provide feedback about their managers directly.

Compared to traditional evaluation methods, 360 degree feedback can prove to be rather effective. Unlike traditional evaluation methods, 360 degree feedback involves a greater range of raters, resulting in a more comprehensive assessment.

The Benefits of 360 Degree Feedback

360 degree assessments can have a wide range of benefits, as discussed below, divided into appropriate categories.

For Teams

1. Improvement in Communication: For teams, communication is vital and 360 degree assessments enhance it considerably by giving each member the opportunity to voice his or her feedback.

2. Enhancing Synergy: By providing feedback, members begin to understand each other better leading to improved collaboration. They start functioning more cohesively. Team synergy is improved as their goals and processes are aligned.

3. Improved Effectiveness: 360 evaluations allow each member of the team to understand the level and quality of contribution he or she is making to the team. They can work on any problems being suggested by the review to become more effective members of the team.

For Individuals

1. Boost in Self-Awareness: This is one of the most vital benefits that 360 degree evaluations provide to individuals. The reports and reviews provided by the evaluation highlight the areas in which they can improve in as well as their existing strengths. Individuals become more aware of themselves and their role in the organization.

2. Discovering Strengths: It is essential for the individual’s strengths to be recognized and acknowledged allowing him or her the scope for personal improvement. Recognition of strengths allows a development plan to be tailored for each individual.

3. Accurate Overview: Since the feedback is gathered from multiple sources at different levels, it provides a more accurate idea about the behavior, performance and capabilities of the individual.

4. Discovering Blindspots: Individuals can discover and understand the behaviors that they exhibit without them noticing. Proper steps can then be taken to overcome these blindspots.

5. Skill Development: 360 degree evaluations give each individual an idea of the skills that they need to work on or lack. A development plan can be tailored for each individual’s improvement.

For Leaders

1. Multiple Perspectives: Leaders are the most prone to getting less than honest or zero feedback from their juniors. However, the anonymity of 360 evaluations allows the feedback to be honest. Additionally, a more comprehensive report is generated since raters from different levels will be providing the feedback.

2. Encourages Evaluations: The most important benefit of 360 degree evaluations is that an atmosphere of learning and improvement can be created. Employees will be inspired when they see leaders actively participating in the feedback and implementing the necessary changes.

You should now have a better understanding of what a 360 performance review is’ as well as the benefits. Knowing the benefits, you should seriously consider implementing this feedback mechanism in your own organization.

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