Often used as a tool to support the development of staff in management roles, 360-degree feedback has proven to be useful in monitoring the performance of managers across a business. These review processes provide a forum for managers’ reports and colleagues to voice any concerns, raise issues, or give praise in regard to their management style. A 360-degree feedback process allows employees to receive confidential and anonymous feedback from people that work with them on a day-to-day basis.  

So, what exactly is 360-degree feedback? And how can businesses use this insight it to improve their managers, and subsequently, their business as a whole? 

What is 360-Degree Feedback? 

This kind of review is a tool that can be used to improve managerial skills and get honest feedback about their general performance at work. Usually, a group of people comprised of an employee’s colleagues, direct reports, and manager fill out an online feedback form. This form would ask questions about what their performance is like at work, what they should stop doing, and what they could start doing to improve their performance as a manager.  

Feedback can be used to improve an employee’s personal development plan and help formulate new goals and objectives for them to work on in the future. This will enable direct, honest, and actionable feedback to be provided to your employee, and as a result, help guide them to improve professionally.  

How Does 360-Degree Feedback Help Departmental Development? 

In addition to direct benefits to managers, 360-degree feedback can help aid departmental development within businesses. Here are some of the key ways this can occur: 

  • Helps employees to recognize their key strengths and weaknesses. 
  • Allows employees to offer constructive, anonymous feedback to other people in the business in an open forum.  
  • Allows employees the opportunity to change any behavior that may be detrimental to members of their team or other members of the office. 
  • Senior management can use these to set goals for the department as a whole, or to assess how the department is doing compared to others. 

These feedback forms are a structured way that offers constructive criticisms to an employee. Although they are meant for improvement purposes, they are also a great space to share positive thoughts and feelings about someone in the team. 

What are the Disadvantages to the Business if Not Implemented Correctly? 

If implemented correctly, 360 reviews can boost morale and give guidance about where an employee can improve their working relationships. However, if used incorrectly, it can make an employee feel demotivated or disliked in the workplace. Be sure to stress that even though employees should express their concerns, positive feedback should be included as well to make sure the experience isn’t too negative. Here are some tips to help prepare your employees for their feedback: 

  • You should encourage managers to be open when receiving their feedback. The feedback should never be personal, only professional and constructive. 
  • Be sure to let them know that all feedback is subjective and can be discussed and weighted to see what the best course of action is to improve. It is unlikely that they will agree with everything that is written. 
  • This is a development tool, not an opportunity to solely highlight your faults. Treat this as an opportunity to learn and an easy way to improve yourself professionally. 

What Doesn’t a 360-Degree Feedback Interview Cover? 

The objective of this type of feedback should be made clear to everyone involved from the outset. A 360-degree interview should not be used to: 

  • Discuss attendance, KPIs, or other objectives that the employee may have been given previously. 
  • Discuss the employee’s ability to do the role in terms of the skills that the employee may or may not have. 
  • Outline whether or not an employee is meeting their job requirements. Only the questions asked on the form should be answered. 

The implementation of a 360-degree review system can help businesses to develop their managers in a unique way and provide an outlet for employees who may want to express praise or concerns about how one of their peers is working. Not only is it important that employees of all levels adopt a never stop learning attitude, but it is also crucial that feedback is provided throughout their career to promote continuous improvement.  

You can explore more management insights in our advice section. Additionally, if you are interested in hiring for top talent within your sector, please get in touch with one of our specialist recruitment consultants today.