Asking the right questions is essential to performing effective 360 reviews for managers and HRs. It helps you to derive insights from different perspectives to shape the employee’s career goals and development. Also, 360 review provides data-driven feedback that helps improve a company’s performance.
However, many managers struggle to assign the right questions, particularly when the process involves several parties. This leads to a waste of time and resources and a drop in employees' morale when the 360 review does not provide the desired results.
In this guide, we’ll provide a 360 employee review template with expert-written questions to help HRs kickstart the evaluation immediately.
What is 360 review
360 review is an employee evaluation that involves getting feedback from several parties. For example, the employee receives feedback through self-evaluation, peer-assessment, colleagues, managers, and clients. The goal of 360-degree feedback is to support the employee’s personal and professional growth by comparing and analyzing performance qualities from different perspectives.
As employees seek continual feedback that conventional evaluation methods struggle to provide, 360-degree feedback has caught the attention of large enterprises. More than 85% of Fortune 500 companies use 360-degree feedback to hone their next leaders. The all-rounded evaluation system is effective because it doesn’t confine evaluation to a narrow point of view.
Many HR managers find 360-degree feedback helpful for supporting performance appraisals, particularly for hybrid teams. By using 360 review templates and automated HR solutions, companies improve team performance and collaboration amongst on-site and remote employees. Team managers receive data-driven performance scores that help members focus on their strengths and improve weaknesses.
Despite its advantages, 360-degree evaluation is not free from flaws. Without proper guidance, managers might fall into the trap of focusing on the employee’s weaknesses or avoiding addressing them at all. Due to its comprehensiveness, managers might struggle to implement 360 review manually or integrate it into existing appraisal practices..
360 review process - Points of consideration
360 review supports both employee and manager performance reviews when structured correctly. To do that, the HR team needs a 360 review template and a well-defined process that ensures the feedback is compiled, processed, and presented as analytics. Consider the following factors when designing your 360 reviews.
A 360 review is only effective if it includes feedback from different sources. As a rule of thumb, you need at least five participants when evaluating an employee or manager. This includes
Self-assessment from the employee or manager.
Peer review from a colleague
Evaluation from a subordinate.
Assessment from a superior
Feedback from customers or suppliers.
When including participants, it’s important to consider the relevance and interaction with the evaluated participant. For example, you can exclude customers and suppliers if the employee only supports internal operations. Consider the employee’s position when selecting participants from managers, subordinates, or colleagues.
Setting criteria provides clarity when evaluating the participants in the 360-degree review. However, do note that 360 reviews are not meant to judge employees’ performance. When setting 360 evaluation criteria, work within the limits of behavior and interaction qualities.
For example, evaluate how the participant has improved in behavioral traits with questions on leadership competencies, core values, or soft skills. Ask probing questions that provide insights into the participant’s day-to-day interactions with co-workers. Meanwhile, avoid questions that probe the participant's capability to hit team or business KPIs.
A 360 review requires 3 stages to produce helpful insights. The first stage involves distributing the evaluation questions to all participants. This takes place simultaneously, where all employees fill up the assessment form according to their best knowledge.
Next, the HRM team compiles and extracts evaluation data from the forms. They turn the report into reports and analytics, which allows managers to compare the employee’s collaboration and leadership qualities with other participants within or from another 360 evaluation group. These qualities are good indicators of the employee’s performance as an individual and when working in a team.
Finally, both the employee and the manager hold a 1-to-1 meeting to discuss the evaluation results and determine the next course of action.
The HR team uses 360 reviews to support the performance evaluation process. It is usually conducted annually and, in rare cases, once every 6 months. The ample gap between subsequent evaluations allows managers to monitor employees for progress in their performance. It also enables the managers to intervene and take mitigative actions when required.
It takes substantial effort, coordination and resources to implement the 360-degree evaluation. HR managers must design assessment questions, provide guidance, and monitor and compile the evaluation forms in an organized manner. And the process becomes more complicated in large enterprises. Therefore, it takes at least one month to plan and implement the evaluation for all employees.
The entire evaluation process must be transparent to every participant involved. The ideal situation is to publish the result to both the evaluator and participants simultaneously. HR manager or senior manager will have access to the results of all participants. Meanwhile, each employee can view the complete report of their own assessment.
Useful 360 review questions by HR experts
We put together a list of 360 review questions that help you to derive leadership and collaborative insights from your team.
These questions allow the employee to describe themselves or other participants freely. They encourage conversations and provide finer details that help in the final assessment.
What are your strengths?
What’s an area you’d have to improve?
What are 3-4 words you would use to describe yourself?
How do you describe your career expectations for the next year?
What resources, knowledge or skills do you need now for work and development?
What are the recipient`s strengths?
What’s an area you’d recommend the recipient improve?
What are 3-4 words you would use to describe the recipient?
How well does the recipient communicate and collaborate with others?
Linear scale questions
These questions provide an approximation of the participant’s view without confining them to a participation of yes and no. It helps reviewers assess their sentiment when responding to specific criteria. Besides answering from a rating scale, participants are encouraged to state their reasons for assigning a particular score.
We recommend choosing up to 10 criteria for best results.
For leadership roles:
(Criterion) Leadership (Question/Description: The recipient demonstrates mature/strong/target leadership on daily basis):
Inspires to achieve goals, highlighting the tasks that cannot be solved without enthusiasm and dedication
Supports employees considering the specifics of their motivation/personality type
Role model and mentor for others, helps others in the development and career growth
Takes a responsibility for the difficult issues, ready for risk
Demonstrates empathy and emotional intelligent
Build trust with others, creates a space of trust with the team
Creates an environment where everyone can succeed
Promotes visibility to the contributions and work of the team
Strategic mindset (The recipient focuses on the future and takes a strategic perspective on issues and challenges)
Has a vision mindset, can prognose and model the future
Sets a clear strategy for achieving goals
Adapts and aligns with changes in business priorities
Good in planning, setting goals, and analysis
Sees opportunities not obstacles and limits
Sets ambition goals for his/herself and agrees on it with other`s goals/business strategy
Motivates others to reach their goals
Management (The recipient manages people and processes effectively)
Gives clear instructions and personally leads the work if necessary
Increases the productivity of teamwork by involving subordinates in it
Chooses a leadership style that helps achieve team goals
Distributes tasks among subordinates to achieve timely and high-quality execution of current tasks
Effectively coordinates the work of subordinates/team members
Excellently organizes work and rationally uses all resources
rly separates what can be done by others and what should be done by his/herself
Delegates specific tasks to subordinates/team members and empowers them accordingly
For team members roles (additionally - for leadership roles):
Teamwork (The recipient collaborates with others to achieve shared goals or outcomes effectively)
Responds to requests for assistance from adjacent units
Builds and maintains a network of professional and social contacts both inside and outside the organization
Makes decisions based on the priority of the overall goals of the team/organization
In the process of group discussion, collects feedback from participants, sums up, and ensures the adoption of a team decision
Demonstrates effective and ethical communication and skills of interaction with others
Uses empathy and active listening to the views and needs of others
Can receive and provide constructive feedback
Making a positive impact on teamwork and supporting team-building efforts
Client orientation (The recipient builds strong relationships with clients based on respect and trust):
Knows the clients and their needs
Tries to thoroughly understand the meaning and content of the client's requirements
Takes anticipatory actions, prevents the client's desire to improve the services performed
Constantly develops, deepens, and enriches relations with the client
Demonstrates a professional responsibility, willingness to act honestly and openly under any circumstances
Uses of modern approaches in daily work
Applicates the advanced research, methodologies, and tools to improve the quality and efficiency of service provision/clients collaboration
Has effective resource management skills
Organizational alignment (The recipient knows the organization`s mission and goals and follows them based on the organization’s values in daily work)
Knows and understands the organization’s goals and strategy
Lives the organization values daily
Shows engagement and involvement with organization goals/values
Open in communication about organization ideas or activities and give open feedback about it
Demonstrates strong and clear ownership of the organization
Brand ambassador of the organization, actively recommends organization as an employer/partner/supplier to others
Manages time and other resources effectively and sparingly
Contributes to the improvement of the efficiency of processes in the organization
More questions to aid you when setting up 360-degree evaluations for your employees.
How well do you manage the time and workload?
How well do you adapt to changing priorities?
How well do you communicate and collaborate with others?
Share the example when you made something that helped your colleague/team
How do you describe your role in your team?
What is one thing the recipient should start doing?
What is one thing the recipient should continue doing?
What is one thing the recipient should stop doing?
How well does the recipient manage the time and workload?
How well does the recipient adapt to changing priorities?
Share the example when the recipient made something you liked and that helped you
What kind of role has the recipient taken on joint projects/in your team?
How does the recipient handle taking feedback and putting it into practice?
Does the recipient approach their work with diligence and attention to detail and resources?
How do you see the next step in career growth or development for the recipient?
Linear scale questions (the examples or criteria – competencies/behavior)
Decision making (The recipient makes quick, clear, and confident decisions even when faced with limits and empowers others to do the same)
Considers the impact of decisions before action
Involves the right stakeholders when making decisions
Takes initiative to solve problems
Has an optimistic attitude
Sees and analysis different options and alternatives
Makes confident decisions even in new and uncertain difficult situations
Takes personally responsible for own and team decisions
Understands and considers the impact of own decision on the activities of others/organization
Collaboration (The recipient forms and nurture relationships with others for good teamwork and develop ideas together)
Builds a strong relationship with others, has a wide professional network
Shows respect to others, makes people feel important and appreciated
Discusses the ideas and problem issues with the colleagues/team and involves them in the decision-making process
Builds team based on each member`s strengths and trust
Open and clear in communication, listens and accepts different points of view
Win-win oriented, comes to a consensus about common goals and solutions
Proactive team member, set team/organization goals ahead
Collaborates with others effectively, helps team/others achieve common goals
Problem-solving (The recipient can examine a problem and find a suitable solution)
Has a system mindset, sees the causes of the problem and connection between elements
Analyses the problem and context before decision-making and activities
Effectively communicates the problem to others and helps others in problem-solving
Provides creative and useful solutions to a problems
Understand the impacts and dependencies of a problem
Identifies, prioritizes, and selects alternatives for a solution
Actively anticipate potential future problems and act to prevent them or mitigate their effects
Use modern tools for analyzing problems and finding the right and effective decisions
Efficiency (The recipient plans, organizes, and does the work effectively)
Demonstrates business awareness, knows what and how the organization acts
Completes the tasks effectively and on time
Creates a sense of collaboration when working with others
Finishes the work to the right level every time
Provides high standards in the work, uses tools for work improvement
Breaks up projects into tasks, and tasks into subtasks
Completes tasks based on priority
While open-ended and linear scale questions are common in 360 review, HR managers occasionally use questions with multiple choices or checkboxes. You can use the same questions in linear scale questions but replace the rating with multiple answers. Meanwhile, checkboxes help reviewers to support participants when formulating a development plan.
Analyzing 360 review results
The 1:1 meeting marks the final stage of the 360 reviews. As you consolidate the results from the 360-degree evaluation, you see different patterns for each employee. 360 review analysis often shows inflated, underestimated, outright positive, and negative results.
Inflated assessment happens when the employee has a confident perception of themselves but does not reflect the reality. In such cases, take the opportunity to discuss the disparity in the scores and help the employee improve performance in the respective areas.
Underestimated self-evaluation hints at an employee's potential self-esteem or morale issues, which requires due attention. An honest conversation, counseling, and regular performance feedback help employees to be aware of their actual performance.
An absolute positive result points to a top performer. Managers want to do their best to accelerate the employee’s career path with possible promotions and rewards.
Negative reviews by the employee and fellow participants call for concrete remedial actions. For example, the manager helps the participant formulate a strategic plan to improve their weaknesses in the coming months.
A data-driven HR management solution can derive more actionable insights from 360 review results. For example, managers leverage the evaluation data to compare performance across demographics and create personalized career development plans for employees.
360 review provides a comprehensive and accurate assessment of employees. However, implementing an effective 360 review requires substantial time and resources. HR managers must ask the right questions to ensure an effective evaluation process. This calls for a cloud-based HR management solution, particularly for an organization with up to 20 employees.
Use this template with Plai and set up your review cycle in just 5 minutes. Plai is free for up to 5 users. Get a demo now.