Have you ever tried talking to a wall or inanimate object? You've expressed your thoughts and asked questions, but since you're not getting anything in return, could we say that communication has taken place? It is often said that proper communication is only complete when there is feedback. Looking back at our opening question, that seems to be true. With feedback, you get to know how a situation is from all perspectives, making decisions with this knowledge. 360-degree feedback gives an opportunity to see the whole picture and make more relevant conclusions.
For companies and organizations, this couldn't be more crucial. Feedback is that all-important link between an organization's management and its employees, from gathering intel on employee satisfaction to developing plans that can boost team productivity.
According to research by Salesforce, employees who have a say in their workplaces are 4.6 times more likely to perform better. How to receive this type of feedback properly is a significant concern.
However, with well-structured 360 feedback questions, it's merely a walk in the park.
Table of contents
- What is 360 feedback?
- How can managers use 360 feedback?
- In what cases should a 360 survey be used?
- What makes a good 360-degree feedback question?
- How to write 360-degree feedback questions
- What makes a good 360-degree feedback question?
- The best 360 feedback sample questions for 2022
- 360 feedback questions for Manager Roles
- Automated 360 employee feedback
- FAQ: 360 Feedback Questions for Employees
What is 360 feedback?
Everyone is familiar with the traditional method of conducting employee performance reviews, which are comprised of feedback and information from an organization's management. 360 feedback takes it a step further and is an all-inclusive performance review consisting of feedback from management and employees.
Everyone chips in, from supervisors to colleagues and subordinates to the employees themselves. Sometimes, feedback is sourced from external factors, such as the organization's customers, clientele or even stakeholders. As you may imagine, it's as all-around as it gets, and that's where the name– 360-degree feedback (clever, right?), comes from.
How can managers use 360 feedback?
Managers have most commonly used 360 feedback for:
- Professional development purposes — as it provides management with the information necessary to assist employees with developing or improving their skills and general behavior at work. The process is also an effective way to get the organization's accurate overview of an employee. The applications, therefore, are endless.
Since it's usually anonymous, the employee in review can get actual insight into how they're received by others, providing the avenue for change and development that can improve how they work.
- Performance Appraisal purposes — as it helps to measure employee performance. You could utilize this extensive feedback method in performance evaluations or aid in making employment decisions. These include:
- Pay raises
360-degree reviews are also helpful in avoiding the dreaded employee performance catastrophe, ensuring management knows what improves or depletes performance levels.
Whichever way you look at it, the 360-degree review method gives a more comprehensive look at performances, strengths and weaknesses. It shouldn't be used in all cases, though.
In what cases should a 360 survey be used?
Managers can use 360-degree feedback questions in the following instances:
- You can use 360 feedback to measure an employee's behaviors and competencies at work
- A 360 feedback can be used to focus on individual qualities, like organizational, communication and an employee's interpersonal skills.
- 360 feedback can help provide accurate perceptions of an employee by other individuals in the organization
- 360 feedback places scrutiny on core areas like leadership abilities, efficiency and the employee's motivation.
Tempting as it may be, you shouldn't use the 360-degree feedback all the time, such as in the following cases:
- In measuring an employee's performance or contributions to OKRs
- In deciding whether an employee possesses job or field-specific skills
- In measuring objective markers like quotas or timesheets
- In determining an employee's execution of professional requirements
360-degree feedback questions are self-sufficient. It won't work magic on its own. You need to ask the right questions to get the correct information. With the right employee information, you can make the right decisions. What makes a good 360-degree feedback question?
Related: How to Write a Team Meeting Agenda
What makes a good 360-degree feedback question?
So what questions should you ask during a 360-degree review? What kind of questions fit in when creating an efficient 360 feedback tool? It's all about what you should and shouldn't do, and we've covered that in the following section.
How to write 360-degree feedback questions
How you shape your 360 feedback question plays a huge part in how they're answered. If you write them the right way, you're sure to get the right results. Here are some tips on writing questions for a 360-degree review:
- Frame the question properly: your questions must be fair and without bias. All participants' answers must be true to their relevant opinions. The ultimate goal is to ask questions about an employee that others can answer without suggestive influence.
- Focus on one thing at a time: you don't want a confusing survey. Each question should encourage helpful feedback by focusing on an employee's core competency at a time to avoid complex surveys. By assigning each question to a specific area, you eliminate unclear and complicated responses.
- Choose your language carefully: while 360-degree reviews are used in an official organizational setting, the language doesn't have to be so. After all, you're trying to get useful insight, so technical jargon isn't essential if it will hinder comprehension.
- Consider the questions' relevance to your organization: the final tip is to assess the relevance of the questions you've chosen. They need to cover attributes and behaviors beneficial to your organization fully. Remember, one of the aims of the 360 feedback is to see how an employee fits into the organization's culture.
You also need to consider what the aim of the 360-degree review is. For development and employee satisfaction purposes, you need to ask questions specific to each individual. No two persons are the same, and even if they work in the same department or do the same jobs, their development paths will differ.
One employee's review may include questions on problem-solving and leadership if they're in a leadership role, while questions focusing on communication and teamwork may be included in a team member's review. Some questions may focus on strengths and weaknesses, opening doors for new opportunities when there are previously unknown skills.
The right 360 feedback questions will apply to every company member when considering performance appraisal purposes. This general overview sets a point of reference for performance, useful for accurate evaluations.
Should you add open-ended questions to your 360 feedback questionnaire?
The debate on if you should add open-ended questions in the survey or not is situation-specific. If you decide to go ahead with them, you should ensure that they give room for fleshed-out answers instead of the simplistic nature of "yes or no."
One other crucial thing to take note of is avoiding employee feedback fatigue. Getting feedback is great, but you don't want a situation where your questionnaires are too lengthy– you may not hear the exhausted sighs, but they will tell on the responses given.
The goal? It's long enough to inspire useful replies but short enough that they're no bother. Another way to avoid such fatigue is to act on previous surveys, as employees are more likely to respond to subsequent questionnaires if they see a trend of improvements.
The best 360 feedback sample questions for 2022
Coming up with the questions for a 360 feedback survey can still be tricky, even with all the tips and information at hand. To help you get started on yours, we've compiled a list of the best 360-degree feedback sample questions you can use for your company. The following competencies group them:
- Leadership skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Organizational skills
These questions assess the leadership attributes of the employee in review:
- Does the employee take the lead on assignments and projects?
- Does this employee motivate others on the team to do their best?
- Is the employee accountable and takes responsibility for project results?
- Does this employee demonstrate leadership qualities daily?
- Is this employee a role model for other team members to look up to?
- Does the employee carry out their duties without problems?
- Does the employee contribute to problem-solving discussions?
- Does this employee help solve customer problems?
- Can the employee put aside their ego and ambition to work with others on projects?
- Does this employee supervise work effectively?
These questions evaluate an employee's interaction with peers, managers and customers.
- Does the employee communicate well with other workers?
- Does this employee possess great written communication skills?
- Is this employee able to speak clearly and concisely?
- Is the employee open to receiving feedback from peers?
- Does the employee consider the suggestions of others?
- Does this employee seek clarity when they don't understand something or are confused?
- Does the employee communicate well outside of their department?
- Can the employee clearly express their ideas to other workers?
- Is the employee open to encouraging discussions?
- Does the employee communicate well with customers?
These questions assess an employee's relationships with peers, managers and customers.
- Does the employee collaborate well with others?
- Has this employee had any conflict with other team members?
- Can the employee function well alongside others on team projects?
- Does the employee praise co-workers or acknowledge their accomplishments?
- Does this employee respect their team members?
- Is this employee in charge of their emotions, especially when dealing with colleagues?
- Does this employee consistently clash with others?
- Is this employee someone to turn to in times of need?
- Is this employee effectively managing their stress levels?
These questions consider an employee's ability to provide solutions to problems.
- Can this employee work without managerial supervision?
- Does this employee possess decision-making skills?
- Does the employee react quickly to unforeseen events and challenges?
- Does this employee contribute to discussions and help solve problems?
- Does the employee regularly have creative ideas for solving problems?
- Can the employee spot problematic situations?
- Can the employee effectively bring others up to speed on a problem?
- Can this employee fix a problem without assistance?
- Can the employee effectively evaluate a problem?
- Does this employee take the initiative when solving problems?
These questions assess an employee's alignment with the organization's values.
- Is the employee fully aware of the company's goals and top objectives?
- Does the employee represent the organization's values?
- Does the employee regularly recommend the organization and its services to the public?
- Is the employee aware of the company's strategic vision?
- Does the employee give effective feedback on all company-related activities?
- Are the company's customers a major concern for the employee?
Efficiency questions measure the employees' performance at work. Let’s go through some of them.
- The employee attempts their tasks effectively.
- The employee strives to complete tasks to the right level.
- The employee completes assigned tasks on time.
- The employee's completed tasks are of a high standard.
- The employee's work and work ethic surpass expectations.
- The employee contributes to the improvement of work processes.
Below set of questions assesses an employee's enthusiasm for their work.
- Does the employee appear to enjoy their role/ work?
- Do you find it challenging to motivate the employee on a task?
- Is this employee a source of motivation for team members?
- Does this employee regularly communicate how motivated they are with their job?
- Is the employee motivated enough to share their work with colleagues?
These are primarily simple questions—so if you want a broader response range, you can add a scale to measure responses (Strongly Agree | Agree | Neutral | Disagree | Strongly Disagree).
360 feedback questions for Manager Roles
These are job-specific questions to ask employees about managers' performances.
- Is this manager respectful toward other workers, even if they are subordinates?
- Does the manager consider team members' opinions in decision-making?
- How would you rate this manager's problem-solving skills?
- Does this manager handle work pressure effectively to meet deadlines?
- Does the manager appear to be aligned with the company values, goals and objectives?
- How responsive is the manager to their team's needs?
Automated 360 employee feedback
360-degree reviews are a unique technique that can help improve a team's efficiency—but we can't have a conversation about efficiency and not touch on automated processes. You may want to log all responses and compile performance reviews manually, and it would be way more effective and efficient to automate them. You can quickly get this done with Effy.
Its performance management software is perfect for seamlessly getting all that tedious work done, and you just need to log on to the Effy website to begin.
Effy makes tracking your employees' progress and improvements as easy as pie.
The tool also lets you create unique surveys that give employees feedback on your organization's performance in real-time so you can implement necessary changes quickly.
If you would like to automate your performance management processes and achieve objectives faster, click here to get your first demo.
By now, you understand how essential 360-degree feedback is. It gives a clearer picture of an organization and points management in the right direction with change-making decisions. They are also crucial in developing employees, identifying strengths and would-be candidates for leadership roles. Not to mention, it fosters proper communication, which creates open and diverse work environments.
360 feedback questions are one of the best ways to incorporate value into your organization.
FAQ: 360 Feedback Questions for Employees
What should I include in 360 feedback?
You should typically aim to have questions that address core competencies and individual qualities such as communication skills, interpersonal skills (collaboration and teamwork), innovation, leadership qualities and organizational skills. These questions will allow respondents to answer concretely about the reviewed employee.
What are 360 assessment questions?
These are the questions asked in a 360-degree review that give managers feedback on an employee's perception from their managers, peers, and subordinates. These questions can either be close-ended, requiring simple Yes/No answers, or open-ended questions, which call for more opinionated solutions (qualitative feedback).
360 assessment questions focus on the competencies and qualities of the employee.
What is an example of 360-degree feedback?
Here are some examples of 360-degree questions that provide employee feedback, representing specific competencies:
- Leadership: "Does this employee motivate others on the team to do their best?"
- Efficiency: "Does this employee strive to complete tasks to the right level?"
- Communication: "Does this employee seek clarity when they don't understand something /are confused?"