What Is the 360 Degree Assessment Method?

Companies are always looking for better ways to measure employee performance. One of these methods is the 360-degree assessment. It provides detailed results and involves asking peers for holistic feedback.

Let's discuss it below.

Run a modern, formalized 360 feedback process with PerformYard's intuitive platform.Learn More

What is the 360-degree assessment method?

In the past, most companies used traditional reviews. These usually came from a supervisor and no one else. The 360-degree assessment method goes a step further. It collects feedback from:

  • Coworkers
  • Direct-Reports
  • Customers and Clients

These points of view provide a well-rounded look at an employee's performance.

Definition of the 360-Degree Assessment

This evaluation method offers confidential and anonymous feedback. Since several people take part, these assessments are much more detailed than one-on-one assessments. The feedback covers performance, behavior, and skills.

History and Origin

The 360-degree method first appeared in the 1950s when the military used it to evaluate officers. It gained popularity in the business world in the 1990s, and has since become a standard practice in many organizations.

Purpose and Benefits

The purpose of the 360-degree assessment is to provide a detailed view of performance.

360s offer several benefits:

  • They collect feedback from different sources
  • They provide insight into personal development by finding strengths and areas for improvement
  • They open communication between employees and managers
  • They include employees in the evaluation process

How 360s differs from traditional assessments

Traditional assessments usually assessed one person's performance. The 360-degree assessment has changed that structure. It brings in feedback from many instead of one, making it more well-rounded and detailed.

What is the 360-degree format?

The 360-degree format involves specific steps and critical details to gather better feedback. The structure starts with planning the process in detail. This process varies by organization. But, a standard outline includes:

  • Choosing participants
  • Distributing questionnaires
  • Collecting and analyzing feedback
  • Reporting results

Key Components Involved

Questionnaires focus on skills and behaviors. Participants usually include managers, peers, and direct reports. The feedback creates detailed reports for employees.

Participants in the Process

Managers provide details on performance and successes. Peers offer opinions on teamwork and collaboration. Direct reports give feedback on leadership and management skills, while employees can assess themselves or peers and compare their performance with others.

Types of Feedback Collected

The feedback collected covers the following components:

  • Communication skills
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership abilities
  • Problem-solving skills

These components help employees understand their strengths and understand where they need to improve.

What does a typical 360-degree assessment look like?

These assessments collect much more detailed feedback than traditional reviews because there are more people involved.  Sometimes, clients get involved in order to provide external feedback. Put together, all these insights give a more complete picture of a person's performance.

Run a modern, formalized 360 feedback process with PerformYard's intuitive platform.Learn More

Characteristics of 360-Degree Assessments

Typical elements of 360-degree assessments include:

  • Anonymity
  • Comprehensive feedback
  • Focusing on behaviors and skills
  • Focusing on personal and professional development

Common Practices and Procedures

Each assessment will differ based on the needs of the organization and its workforce. No two assessments are alike. But remember, the goal is always the same.

Common features in 360-degree assessments include:

  • Confidentiality to ensure honest feedback without fear of repercussion
  • Standardized questions to ensure consistency
  • Following up on feedback to help with employee improvement

Skills and Behaviors Focused On

360-degree feedback focuses on communication, collaboration, leadership, and adaptability. Communication focuses on clarity and effectiveness. Collaboration focuses on the ability to work well with others. Leadership focuses on the ability to lead and motivate teams. Adaptability looks at how the employee works in different situations.

Tools and Technologies Used

Tools like PerformYard make 360-degree assessments effective. PerformYard provides 360 feedback software and reporting software to simplify the distribution and collection of reviews. The feedback software analyzes and reports the feedback, while the HR analytics software software provides deeper insights into performance trends.

Run a modern, formalized 360 feedback process with PerformYard's intuitive platform.Learn More

How do you write a 360-degree assessment?

Writing a 360 assessment involves:

  • Defining objectives
  • Designing relevant and accessible questionnaires
  • Selecting several people to take part
  • Distributing the questionnaires
  • Collecting the feedback
  • Analyzing the data
  • Creating a report

Guidelines for Writing Feedback

Be specific, balanced, and constructive. Specific feedback includes clear examples and avoiding vagueness. Balanced feedback details strengths and areas for improvement. Constructive feedback focuses on how the employee can improve while offering suggestions and encouragement.

Best Practices for Constructive Feedback

Giving constructive feedback includes three factors:

  • Using "I" statements to show the reviewer's perspective
  • Focusing on behavior instead of personal traits
  • Offering solutions for improvement

Recap of the 360-Degree Method

Let's review the key takeaways of the 360-degree method that we've gone over above.

Importance in Modern Performance Evaluations

The 360-degree assessment method is an excellent tool for modern performance evaluations. It offers a great view of an employee's performance by including feedback from others. This helps find areas for improvement and celebrates strengths to create a more positive and productive work environment.

Future Trends and Innovations

In the future, we may see more use of AI and advanced analytics in the 360-degree assessment. Employees and managers may use these tools to provide more detailed and precise feedback.

Final Thoughts and Recommendations

Companies should do three things to make the most of the 360-degree assessment method. First, be open and honest about the process. Second, keep it fair. Third, use a dedicated performance management software platform to streamline the process and make it easy for employees, managers and HR.

Run a modern, formalized 360 feedback process with PerformYard's intuitive platform.Learn More