Why 360-degree feedback matters

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360-degree feedback gives insights on the workplace dynamics

You probably remember what it was like to work in a place where everyone knew each other? Maybe you work in one now. In such a community, everyone is constantly under evaluation, partly unconsciously.

In a small workplace, 360-degree evaluations may not be necessary. But then, when the organization flourishes and grows, you will eventually find yourself in a situation where you encounter colleagues on the corridors or, nowadays, more likely on the remote work platforms, whom you have never met before. They may have been in the company for a long time and you just haven't happened to be on the same lines.

Likely, others will experience the same and you will be in a situation where, in addition to the annual development discussions, other means of evaluation are needed in terms of teamwork and the work done for the company. Are you working for an organization where collaboration needs to be done between multiple teams? If the answer is yes, you will benefit from 360-degree feedback.

Picture. Example of an 360-degree feedback with 4 comparison groups.

Picture. Example of an 360-degree feedback with 4 comparison groups.

What should actually be evaluated in 360-degree feedback?

What is more important than the content defining 360-degree feedback is its implementation method. A person is evaluated from many angles, she is evaluated by her own supervisor, subordinates, colleagues and business partners. Not all 360-degree evaluations are made from all 4 perspectives, e.g. not everyone has subordinates and not everyone's work has external business partners, at least not as evaluators.

As a general rule, all evaluator parties are asked to evaluate the person's performance on the same criteria. The evaluation can, for example, focus on the following dimensions:

  • How does the person in question take into account the totality supervised by him?
  • How does communication work? Cooperation is basically communication, so exactly what kind of a communicator is the person in question?
  • What about competence management? How well does the person in question utilize the competences of her subordinates? Are the group's skills more than the sum of their parts?
  • Decision-making and implementation. What kind of a decision-maker is the person in question? Do things move forward smoothly or is the work in progress piling up?
  • Developing the workplace community. How does the person in question build her team and what are the ground rules of the workplace?

    An interesting starting point can also be the construction of an evaluation framework to measure actions in line with your values. How does the person in question show company values during workdays and does she manage to get others to act likewise? You can use, for example, your service promise or your quality manual definitions as a starting point.

    We recommend that the number of evaluation questions is kept reasonably small. The evaluation should not take more than 20 minutes, because often the same person evaluates many of her colleagues. If there are, for example, 6 people to be evaluated, it takes 2 hours of work time just for 20-minute evaluations. Of course, the time spent on evaluation is worth it if the results are utilized genuinely and the workplace community develops accordingly.

How to make a 360-degree evaluation easily - 10 steps

Starting point - Our clients often use Zeffi's ready-made template as the basis for their 360-degree evaluations. Here is a quick and successful guide to 360-degree evaluation:

  1. Choose the ready-made 360-degree evaluation template and modify the questions to your liking. We recommend sticking to 2-dimensional or scale-questions, which provide the deepest analytical opportunities.
  2. Add a question at the beginning of the survey about who is the person evaluated. The options are typically set in a drop-down menu because there are many of them.
  3. Also add a question about the role of the evaluator in relation to the person being evaluated, i.e. whether she is this person's supervisor, subordinate, colleague or business partner.
  4. Add a thank-you page and a restart button to the end of the survey. The button text can be, for example, Evaluate the next person. This is how you enable one to make multiple assessments consecutively.
  5. Publish the survey and share the open (i.e. anonymous) invitation link. This guide uses the simplest 360-degree implementation method, but there are also alternative methods that you can ask Zeffi's people about, we will be happy to help.
  6. Give all evaluators the invitation link and a list of the people who they are to evaluate. Everyone evaluates one person at a time and responds to points 2 and 3 above, so that the evaluations accumulate neatly into the report in the right places.
  7. Give a response time of at least a week but no more than 2 weeks. Send a reminder at least once during the response time of the evaluations and their importance.
  8. After all the responses have been collected, move on to reporting. On the reporting page you can select the information asked in the questions above, i.e. the person and his evaluator's role. The comparison groups come to the right hand menu. Activate all comparison groups (that is, different evaluator roles). Scroll to the top of the report and save the report. Name the report, for example, with the person's name. You have now made the first person's report. You can return to all responses by selecting "All responses" from the drop-down menu next to the report name.
  9. Now you can follow the instructions in point 8 above to make the next reports.
  10. Do you have at least a Zeffi Genius license? You can share the report with the person being evaluated or another person using the "Share" option at the top right and a private report. The report is shared in the email you provide. You can also download the responses as a file.

    Straightforward, isn't it? You can try Zeffi's 360-degree evaluation template and other ready-made survey templates here: