An Overview of the 360 Evaluation Process

Last Updated:
October 3, 2023

An Overview of the 360 Evaluation Process

As a business owner, it is important to know how your business is performing, but it is also important to know how your employees are feeling about leadership and colleagues. By using a 360 evaluation process, you can learn more about subjective workplace behaviors and competencies.

What is a 360 Evaluation?

The 360 evaluation process is an assessment that is presented anonymously to individuals about their work. Usually, a range of employees are selected to fill in a survey that covers a broad range of workplace competencies. Then, the answers are combined to inform the individual's development plan The questions are answered using a rating scale with a few written questions. The person receiving the feedback also fills in a self-rating questionnaire that includes the same survey questions.

What Does the Evaluation Measure?

The focus of each evaluation should be on the subjective features of each employee. Categories can include teamwork, character, communication, leadership effectiveness, and approachability. These surveys and the results should be used as a way to improve communication, and connection and to build trust within the organization. Furthermore, the 360 evaluation is a great tool for personal and professional development.

Who can fill in a 360 Evaluation?

As the 360 evaluation is a multi-rater feedback process, it should be filled in by those who work directly with the person who is receiving feedback. The best practice is to choose employees who have worked with the person for at least six months to get the most reliable and informed answers.

What are the Benefits of a 360 Evaluation?

The primary benefit of the 360 evaluation is to gain an understanding of strengths and weaknesses within the organization. As the survey is completed by their peers, feedback is honest and based on personal experiences. This means that any issues should appear and any outstanding skills will be highlighted. Managers and leaders can use the feedback to create development plans for employees and help promote growth within the company.

Should Your Business Use a 360 Evaluation?

While using a 360 evaluation is common practice, it may not always be a good idea. This is because it can be difficult to implement effectively, and anonymously. Furthermore, as the survey is focused on behaviors, over job performance, it can feel like a personal attack. However, if used as part of an annual review and performance appraisal, the information can benefit employees. If your business incorporates these evaluations be sure that every employee has a clear understanding of how the information will be used.

Best Practices of a 360 Evaluation Process

  1. Make sure all employees understand the benefits and use of the review and how the results will be issued.
  2. Be consistent with how often the evaluations will happen, whether it is annually or more often.
  3. Include the evaluation results in their performance appraisal as a separate document from their work evaluation and performance review from their team leader.
  4. Provide support throughout the implementation of the development plan.
  5. Conduct progress checks monthly to help employees stay on track.

Utilizing a 360 evaluation process within your business can help to improve teamwork and accountability while promoting personal growth. However, you must ensure all employees understand how the reports will be used. Done well, these reports can help to improve leadership skills and improve workplace culture.

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