What Is a 360 Review? (2023)

The 360 review is a professional feedback opportunity that enables a group of coworkers and managers to provide feedback about a fellow employee’s performance. Unlike a typical employee performance review in which an employee's work performance is evaluated by only their manager, a 360 review takes into account feedback from peers and reporting staff—even customers and other people who interact with the employee.

What Is the 360 Review Process?

In a 360 review, feedback about an employee's performance, skills, and contributions is solicited and then shared with the employee.

Coworkers who participate in the 360 reviews usually include theemployee's manager, several peer staff members, reporting staff members, and functional managers from the organization with whom the employee works regularly.


The term is called a "360 review" because performance feedback is solicited from all directions in the organization. The objective of the feedback is to give the employee the opportunity to understand how their work is viewed in the total organization by coworkers in any position.

The 360 review tends to focus more on how the employee affected the work of other employees than on whether the work was accomplished, which is the goal of a typical performance review. In those reviews, the manager may seek additional informal, often verbal, feedback from other employees, especially managers, about the employee's performance, but that's different from a formal 360 review.


The 360 review focuses directly on skills and the contributions that an employee makes. The goal of the feedback is to provide a balanced view to an employee of how others view their work contribution and performance in areas such asleadership, teamwork, interpersonal communicationand interaction, management, contribution, work habits, accountability, and vision, depending on the employee's job.

(Video) The 360-Degree Performance Review

The review allows coworkers to assess the employee’s impact on furthering their goals, objective accomplishments, and positive customer results as observed by team members.

  • Alternate names: 360 feedback, peer feedback, multi-directional feedback

How Does a 360 Review Work?

Organizations use a variety of methods to seek 360 feedback about employees, depending on the culture and climate of the organization.

In many organizations that use 360 reviews, the manager asks for and receives the feedback. The manager then analyzes the feedback looking for patterns of behavior to note as well as positive and constructive feedback.


The goal is to provide the employee with the key and important points without overwhelming them with too much feedback data.Often the manager has sought feedback in response to specific questions so the feedback is easier to organize and share.

Some organizations use instruments that tally results electronically and give employees a score in each area assessed, while others rely on open-ended questions. Online processes make the feedback easy to tally up and share.

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Organizations may also hire external consultants to administer the surveys, usually when managers are receiving a 360 review. The consultants then analyze and share the data with the manager, or with the manager and staff in some cases. In the best of these circumstances, themanager and staff join together to plan improvements for both the manager and the department.


This process is strongly recommended as the best chance of improving the overall organization as well as the performance of the individual employee. Sharing the 360 feedback received as well as goals for performance improvement can help a team unite in their efforts to help a manager achieve their performance improvement plan.

In more progressive organizations that have built a climate of trust, employees provide 360 feedback directly to each other, without the manager as a filter or go-between.

No matter how you collect and share the 360 feedback, you must always ensure that the feedback is as descriptive as possible so that the employee has something tangible to improve on. When sharing is open, make sure also that you solicit frequent employee feedback about how the process is working and affecting employees.

Take a look at sample questions for 360 reviews for ideas about what questions will solicit solid, actionable information in a 360 review process. In any case, remember that how you introduce, monitor, and evaluate the effectiveness of the 360 review process is critical to its success or failure.

Pros and Cons of a 360 Review

  • Gathers feedback from multiple sources

  • Improves productivity and morale

  • Various survey methods exist

  • Can be vague and unstructured

  • Less effective if too few raters

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  • Can fail without follow-up or willingness to change

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Pros Explained

  • Provides feedback from multiple sources. The data collected and questions can include employees, their colleagues, co-workers, and customers. As a result, a significant amount of data can be gathered to help understand how an employee or person impacts the organization and those around them. From there, steps for improvement can be developed.
  • Leads to improvements in productivity and morale. An employee's review by a manager can be inadequate for many organizations. By conducting a 360 review, employees receive and give feedback that can help lead to positive change. The process can inspire employees to work on improving their weaknesses, making them more well-rounded and productive.

    Also, the process can empower workers since they have a more effective way of reviewing their colleagues and manager. A 360 review can lead to positive results and a sense of teamwork, boosting morale when implemented properly.

  • A 360 review can be done online.The 360 review process can be instituted in several different ways. Some companies opt for an online survey to collect the data through a third party. Others use their human resources department, while other companies use a consultant.

Cons Explained

  • Can be vague and unstructured. The 360 review process can vary depending on the company or industry. Since there is no exact standard for the review, it can lead to a vague process in which the survey has little to no structure. As a result, the company might gather reams of data with little ability to create actionable steps for improvements.
  • Too few raters. If there's not a wide range of people performing the ratings of the person, the results can be too narrow and inaccurate. For example, if the raters are friends of the rated employee, the feedback might be positive but incomplete. Conversely, if the raters don't get along with the employee or are not constructive, the results can be skewed negatively.

    By selecting a larger number of raters that interact with the employee at various levels—e.g., customers, colleagues, and support staff—a better understanding of the employee's strengths and weaknesses can be achieved.

  • No follow-up to make improvements. It isn't enough to do the 360 reviews, receive feedback, and compile the data; the company must follow through to make the needed changes. The company should have an employee's manager review the findings or hire an internal or external consultant to help, particularly if the manager is the one being reviewed. Also, employees must be open and willing to cooperate and change.

Key Takeaways

  • The 360 review is a type of performance evaluation that gathers a wide range of feedback from an employee's co-workers, reporting staff, colleagues, and customers.
  • The goal of a 360 review is to measure an employee's effectiveness and performance to help enhance employee development.
  • The 360 review includes questions about an employee's leadership qualities, interpersonal skills, efficiency, and problem-solving ability.
  • A 360 review's findings can inspire employees to make positive changes by improving on their weaknesses, making them more well-rounded and productive.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What should a 360 review include?

The 360 review typically includes a series of questions surrounding topics such as leadership qualities, interpersonal skills, efficiency, problem-solving, and motivations.

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What is the purpose of a 360 evaluation?

The 360 review provides employee feedback by surveying a wide range of people who interact with the employee, including managers, co-workers, reporting staff, colleagues, and customers. The goal is to gather data about the employee's effectiveness and performance that lead to employee development.

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What should be included in a 360 review? ›

The 360 review includes questions about an employee's leadership qualities, interpersonal skills, efficiency, and problem-solving ability. A 360 review's findings can inspire employees to make positive changes by improving on their weaknesses, making them more well-rounded and productive.

What is an example of a 360-degree feedback? ›

Examples of 360-degree feedback

Communication: "This coworker has a hard time listening to other people's ideas. They rarely provide context or evidence to support their decisions and instead prioritize their own ideas." Teamwork: "This person helps delegate tasks and organize the team during group projects.

What are the 3 feedback questions? ›

The questions are:
  • What should I stop doing?
  • What should I keep doing?
  • What should I start doing?
Aug 4, 2011

What are good comments for a performance review? ›

Positive Feedback

You're a strong team player.” “Your coworkers appreciate you and respect you.” “You're a reliable team member and coworkers know they can count on you to get the job done.”

How many questions should a 360 have? ›

Most of the assessments we help to design run between 45 and 60 questions. To determine the “right” size for the assessment, you should think about: What is (are) the objective(s) of the assessment?

How long should a 360 review take? ›

However, 360 reviews can be very quick – read on to learn more. Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman, co-founders of the leadership development training firm Zenger Folkman believe that the 360 degree assessment should be no longer than 15 to 20 minutes.

How do you write a 360 evaluation? ›

So, for your feedback to be constructive without making things awkward, you can follow these steps:
  1. Be empathetic. The most important thing when giving feedback is to consider the receiving employee's reaction. ...
  2. Consider your position. ...
  3. Be objective. ...
  4. Include positive feedback. ...
  5. Constructive criticism. ...
  6. Give examples.
Nov 21, 2022

How do you give good feedback examples? ›

Examples of reinforcing employee feedback
  • “Something I really appreciate about you is....” ...
  • “I think you did a great job when you…[insert specifics] it showed that you had….” ...
  • “I would love to see you do more of X as it relates to Y” ...
  • “I really think you have a superpower around X”

What are some examples of feedback? ›

Feedback examples:
  • “Your emails have gotten so much more clear recently. I know you've been working on that, and I see the fruits of your labors.”
  • “I'm so impressed by how gracefully you've been juggling so many things. I might ask you to teach a time management course to the rest of the company.”
Jul 15, 2022

What questions should I ask in a 360 review? ›

Sample 360 degree feedback questions for evaluating current managers within your organization:
  • Is this manager effective at solving problems?
  • Does this manager treat others respectfully?
  • Do the actions of this manager Inspire growth and development in others?
  • Is this manager able to resolve conflict appropriately?
Dec 12, 2019

What are the 4 Tips for giving feedback? ›

Giving effective feedback
  • Concentrate on the behaviour, not the person. One strategy is to open by stating the behaviour in question, then describing how you feel about it, and ending with what you want. ...
  • Balance the content. ...
  • Be specific. ...
  • Be realistic. ...
  • Own the feedback. ...
  • Be timely. ...
  • Offer continuing support.

What not to say in a performance review? ›

In a performance review, this might include statements like “you said I was going to get a raise,” “you didn't clearly outline expectations,” etc. “'You' statements can come across as accusatory and blame ridden,” says Jen Brown, Founder + Director, The Engaging Educator.

How do you write a overall self performance comment? ›

How to write a performance self-evaluation
  1. Make a list of your positive attributes. To write a self-performance review, first determine where you are in your professional career. ...
  2. Reflect on your accomplishments. ...
  3. Reflect on your mistakes. ...
  4. Close with opportunities to grow.
Feb 4, 2020

How many people should complete a 360 review? ›

Each individual (especially managers), may be required to complete multiple evaluations. We recommend limiting the number of raters requested to provide appraisal feedback. Common practice is limiting the number of raters in each rater group (Peer, Direct Reports, Others, etc.) to 2-4 people.

How many questions is a 15 minute survey? ›

15-minute survey: 30 to 45 questions

For most surveys, 20 minutes is about the maximum you can go before respondent attention lags and data quality deteriorates.

How many survey questions is too many? ›

There is no hard and fast answer. However, as a general rule, the survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete; less than five minutes is more than twice as good. Typically, this means about five to 10 questions. Ask fewer questions if they are particularly involved or are free-response questions.

Why does 360-degree feedback fail? ›

One of the biggest problems with 360-degree feedback is that once the questionnaires are collected and information disseminated, the employee is left with a huge (and overwhelming) amount of data. This means they will have a large number of suggestions on how they can improve their performance in the coming months.

Is 360-degree feedback fair? ›

Given the anonymity and comprehensive nature, 360-degree feedback is seen as one of the most equitable ways to administer honest feedback.

Are 360 reviews worth it? ›

One of the biggest issues that employees face in their workplace is a lack of frequent feedback. Employees crave feedback, and the 360 review gives them a chance to get more of it from more people. Employees will likely also perceive the feedback as more fair since it's coming from multiple sources.

What are 5 qualities feedback should have? ›

Five Characteristics of Good Feedback
  • Good Feedback Is Timely.
  • Good Feedback Is Insightful.
  • Good Feedback Is Constructive (Not Critical)
  • Good Feedback Is Collaborative.
  • Good Feedback Is Actionable.
Mar 23, 2022

What are 3 three tips for giving feedback? ›

Here are some tips for providing feedback that is meaningful and actionable:
  • Prepare for the discussion. ...
  • Present the 'big picture' ...
  • Be tactful. ...
  • Meet face-to-face. ...
  • Focus on the fix. ...
  • Offer clear guidance. ...
  • Make it a conversation. ...
  • Follow up.
Oct 6, 2022

What is good constructive feedback examples? ›

Constructive feedback examples about communication skills

I've noticed you can cut off team members or interrupt others. You share plenty of good ideas and do good work. To share some communication feedback, I'd love to see how you can support others in voicing their own ideas in our team meetings.”

What is the most impactful feedback? ›

Impact feedback is the most effective type of feedback to start with because it informs a person about the results of their behavior without dissecting the details, assuming motivation, or placing blame.

What is feedback very short answer? ›

The term 'feedback' is used to describe the helpful information or criticism about prior action or behavior from an individual, communicated to another individual (or a group) who can use that information to adjust and improve current and future actions and behaviors.

How do I do a 360 review on myself? ›

The Importance of Self-Evaluations in 360 Feedback
  1. Get employees involved in their own growth. ...
  2. Reveal possible problems or misunderstandings. ...
  3. Provide insight for performance reviews. ...
  4. Look over the evaluation. ...
  5. Review expectations. ...
  6. Reflect on performance. ...
  7. Reference personal notes. ...
  8. Start in the middle of the rating scale.
Mar 1, 2022

How to do a 360 review on your boss? ›

Here's a step-by-step guide for giving 360 feedback to your manager:
  1. Start with positive feedback. When giving 360-degree feedback, it's good to lead with a positive appraisal of your manager's performance. ...
  2. Review your relationship. ...
  3. Give examples. ...
  4. Be objective. ...
  5. Plan your feedback. ...
  6. Be empathetic. ...
  7. Practise.
Jul 27, 2021


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