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Performance ManagementDecember 14, 2022

Benefits of 360 feedback – for leadership and employees

Person answering 360 survey

360 feedback, also known as 360 degree-feedback or 360 appraisals, is a valuable tool for businesses and organisations to help their employees reach their potential and maximise their performance.

By gathering feedback from peers, supervisors, and employees, 360-degree feedback can provide invaluable insight into an individual's strengths and areas for improvement.

In this article, we will explore the benefits of 360-degree feedback, including improved communication, increased employee engagement, and enhanced self-awareness. We will also discuss the advantages of 360 feedback in performance management and employee development, and provide examples of how businesses and organizations can use this tool to help their employees grow and succeed.

Recommended reading: 360 feedback questions [with examples]

360 feedback explained

360-degree feedback or simply, 360 feedback, is an anonymised review process that collects feedback on a person from their different co-workers. The feedback is collected from managers, seniors, peers, employees, and in some cases vendors, customers, and partners. 

Since the feedback collection is anonymous, it opens up interesting perspectives about a person's impact on the company’s day-to-day operations. Apart from measuring performances, it also focuses on developing strengths and identifying weaknesses and blind spots. With constructive feedback, employees can understand where team members expect improvements and top-level decision-makers can find new candidates for leadership roles. 

HRs must use a combination of open-ended and close-ended feedback questions to make the multiple feedback system effective and useful. 

Recommended reading: Employee engagement surveys questions – what to ask and why?

Happy team

What are the benefits of 360-degree feedback?

About 85% of Fortune 500 companies use 360 feedback to improve company culture and make 360 appraisals seamless. Here are a few advantages of using 360-degree feedback:

  • Improved communication: 360 degree feedback encourages open and honest communication among employees, managers and peers.

  • Increased motivation: As individuals receive feedback from a variety of sources, they are more likely to feel valued and motivated by their peers.

  • Improved self-awareness: 360 degree appraisals provide individuals with a comprehensive picture of their performance across a range of criteria, allowing them to identify their strengths and weaknesses.

  • Increased employee engagement: 360 degree feedback encourages employees to be more engaged in the workplace, as they have a greater understanding of how their performance affects the team.

  • Improved team performance: 360 degree feedback provides an opportunity for teams to discuss and identify areas of strength and weakness, improving team performance.

  • Enhanced employee development: Individuals can use the feedback to develop an action plan for improvement, target specific areas for development, and measure progress.

Benefits of 360-degree appraisals: Leadership 

360 feedback is a great way for employees to express their opinions and see changes at the top level without risking their positions. Here are the advantages of 360-degree feedback for leadership:

Prioritises the most important messages

Anonymous and holistic feedback make way for new perspectives but it should still be easy to find points that are consistent in each review. Even if the subject had previously heard a comment about their personality or work ethic, the reiteration of the same message in an honest environment rings louder than anything. The leader realizes what's the common thing people like about them or want them to change. From there, it becomes easier to draw conclusions and prioritize things to improve in the future. 

Allows meaningful leadership changes 

An effective leader can make the lives of employees easier and take the company to new heights. But in order to do that, leaders must have greater self-awareness. When decision-makers see how their subjective perceptions can be construed in ways that are not healthy for the company, they'll try to make efforts to change for the better. For instance, if a boss prefers high-intensity work sessions but receives multiple reviews mentioning they don't respect employee wellbeing—that realization may push the boss to improve their managerial skills.

Opens opportunities for self-evaluation

360 feedback also gives leaders the opportunity to self-evaluate. While social reinforcement is crucial, self-improvement can expedite the process. Not many leaders have the time or energy to retrospect on their work, company, and employees so the feedback exercise allows them to put their thoughts together and gain perspectives.

Benefits of 360-degree appraisals: Employees

As much as it helps leaders to improve themselves, 360-degree feedback also helps employees be at their productive best. According to an OfficeVibe study, 65% of working professionals want more feedback from their managers. For employees, 360 feedback benefits include:

A boost in employee morale

Positive reinforcements can do wonders for employees struggling with a lack of confidence, burnout, and job confusion. Since the reviews are anonymous, employees know they're organic and honest, which expedites the employee development process. 

Identifying skill gaps

The 360-degree feedback system works for both individual evaluation and team evaluation. As leaders and people managers, when you try to improve employee competency and growth development, anonymous feedback can offer unique insights. You can analyze feedback from different people and find interpersonal skill gaps that can be mitigated with frequent training. This way, weaknesses are addressed in a meaningful way and employees can operate on a transparent and level playing field. 

Improving employee development plans

Holistic feedback and further analysis can be used to create more impactful development plans for individual employees. Since every employee comes with different sets of challenges and strengths, HR teams can offer personalized strategies based on historical feedback data. This leads to better employee integration and career growth because the data is based on organic and uplifting sentiments. 

Key takeaways 

Since the 360 feedback system focuses on honest outcomes, it works best when the data is used as the foundation to develop an organisational structure, workplace culture, and company policies. 

Frame questions in a way that encourages honest and constructive answers. Use the responses to develop individual and team growth strategies and identify candidates for succession based on how they're perceived by peers. Train leaders to make the most out of the feedback system and be examples for employees to follow and become better versions of themselves.

How Eletive can help

Eletive provides a complete platform for anonymous employee feedback, and for all things related to employee engagement and performance management. This includes intelligent employee engagement surveys, an anonymous chat for employees, advanced AI analytics to interpret free-text comments, and a whistleblowing channeleNPS surveys, and much more.

Book a demo with our product specialists to learn more!

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