Management · Team Building

Have you done 360 feedback and how did it go?

Jack Byer Cofounder at Stealth Startup

February 14th, 2016

We're considering doing 360 Feedback for our team. Curious to hear how it went for others and if you used an outside third party to collect the feedback or software ?  Did the employees feel empowered to give honest feedback or were they worried about backlash?

Rohan Mishra Account Manager at SourceFuse Technologies

February 14th, 2016

Before you do invest in 360, whoever you may want to engage to do it and whatever format you decide to follow consider this.

Does your organisation allow people to make mistakes and openly accept them to get better without fear of getting punished? Do you have a culture of learning and growth and openness to feedback?

If you have doubts in answering these questions, or even if you've said yes o these questions, your answers are your perceptions.

Before you go ahead and do a 360, go ahead and do a Trust Index Survey. If the environment isn't conducive for a 360, then it might do more harm and cause damage that'll be difficult to repair.

William Guillory at Innovations International, Inc

February 14th, 2016

Yes Very receptive. Most important to have serious, transformational feedback and a follow up plan. Outside partner is essential . Bill

Pat Lipovski International Executive Coach & Leadership Training Specialist | Referred by top leaders, executives and elite athletes

February 14th, 2016

Hi Jack,

I've been certified to deliver and debrief 360's for nearly 16 years. just ensure the intent and outcome is focused on being positive and growth oriented by nature.  

John Spence One of America's Top 100 Business and Leadership Experts

February 14th, 2016

Yes, I have used them several times with clients and it is always been very impactful. 

A couple of key things I have learned:

Make sure that you use a good tool edit excellent facilitator, giving the feedback can be difficult and you need someone who can do it superbly.

 

Make sure that you get enough raters so that it is completely anonymous and will give valuable data.

 

Make sure that you have a strong follow-up plan in place to help people improve in the areas of weakness. Once they get the feedback, you have to give them a clear path of what they can do to improve.

 

Help them understand very clearly that negative feedback does not mean there a bad person, it simply means that there are some areas where they could improve.

 

Make sure that everyone involved participates in the review, if senior managers or executive level leaders refuse to do a 360, it will have no value for anyone else in the organization.

 

I hope you found this helpful, if you’d like me to recommend someone who could help you with this I’d be happy to.

Mariangellys Rodriguez Senior Development Scientist at Beckman Coulter

February 14th, 2016

I have provided and received 360 in various formats. The most helpful (in my opinion) is: few, well crafted, open-ended questions where reviewers have to write answer and provide examples.

Joe PhD Using the business of entrepreneurialism to turn ideas into products and products into sustainable businesses.

February 14th, 2016

If you're doing it to say that you've done it, save your time and money. If you have a specific set of issues that you are prepared to address and take action on, 360s can be a powerful tool. 

The challenge is that too often the focus is on the tool and not on commitment to the process. Even the best-intentioned leadership team secretly believes that the 360 will "prove" that leadership is "right" and that everyone else just needs to do a better job of listening and understanding. The ground work needs to be laid well before the first survey is sent out. 

Remember, the only thing worse than not asking people what they think is asking and then ignoring their input when it doesn't agree with your perception of the world. 

Serge Jonnaert

February 14th, 2016

Definitely use an external resource, somebody who has experience with the process and who understands organizational development. Do not conduct a 360 following a major employee event or to troubleshoot team relations. 

Karim Nafati Certified Professional Coach (RNCP1)

February 14th, 2016

Hello, thank you for such an interesting question.

As a CPC I use to practice it and first thing I wanna be sure of when a 360fb is asked me to be practice is its relevant understanding by the decision maker.

First It must not be opposed at the organizational culture of the company and second at the social paradigm of the country.

It may be strange to tell it so I explain.

Here in Tunisia, for cultural purposes, 360fb is usually perceived as a judgment, as a negative aspect for people improving 360fb.
So, all customers I had were foreign companies using it for their expatriate executive makers.

360fb is a powerfull tool when correctly explained and integrated in the company strategy development.

Regarding of using software or a professional coach work, I have to say it depends of your aims.
Softwares are cheapers but cannot be as accurate as a CPC may be.
Moreover, following a 360fb an executive coaching usually occurs and should be done by the same contractor.

Feel free to contact me for any other questions.

Best regards.

Kelly Zafar ...

February 15th, 2016

As you evaluate whether this is right for your organization and/or your team, consider some of the following questions:

1.  What's your ultimate goal or objective for obtaining 360 feedback?  Is it leadership development? Performance management? Talent development? Team dynamics?  The answer to this question will be helpful in pointing you toward the right tools, processes, and experts.  Specifically, the types of questions you might as part of a 360 for leadership development differ from the types of questions most relevant to performance management.  There are at least eight very well validated 360 leadership assessments, and a myriad of 360 feedback platforms and apps for performance management.  Team assessments are another genre altogether.  Understanding your why will help you make better decisions about your who, what, when, and how.

2.  What are your goals and expectations for the frequency of 360 feedback?  Is this meant to be a one-time activity, part of a periodic review process, or the first step in establishing a real-time, 360 feedback performance culture?  Again, the answer to this question will help orient you toward the right tools.

3.  What is your plan for preparing the participants to both give and receive feedback?  Prior to starting any 360 process with a client, I spend at least one coaching session examining typical barriers to receiving feedback, and another one discussing models for effective feedback.  The Harvard business review has some very solid articles on this topic which I have used successfully with both groups and individuals.  The better prepared your employees are to both give and receive feedback, the more likely the feedback will have a positive impact on performance outcomes.

4.  What are your resources and constraints?  You can design a basic, yet effective, 360 survey and deploy it through a standard platform like Survey Monkey; or you can invest in third party assessments and software.  Calibrate your investment to your need, the size of your organization, available time and resources, and the overall importance of this initiative to achieving your strategic goals.  

Lastly, some quick thoughts on whether to use a third party or software to collect the feedback.  
  • If the goal is leadership development, work with an OD consultant or coach to choose and deploy an appropriate assessment.
  • If the goal is 360 review for performance management on a periodic basis, and your company is small, get your leadership team to weigh in on key questions, or or work with an OD consultant to design and deploy your own tool.
  • If the goal is 360 review for real-time performance management, look at software solutions as they will be able to handle the frequency and volume more effectively.

Feel free to reach out if you have additional questions, and best of luck with this initiative.


Peter Johnston Businesses are composed of pixels, bytes & atoms. All 3 change constantly. I make that change +ve.

February 15th, 2016

This post shouldn't be on a Startup group - if your communication is this bad you have already lost.

Possibly the biggest reason why a startup outperforms a large organisation is that the founders are all working together intuitively - they truly get what they are trying to achieve, get really enthusiastic and want to share their ideas for making it happen with eachother.

Compare it to the first week of a new relationship - it is like the world is in slow motion compared to what you are doing together. In comparison, 360 feedback is like going to marriage counselling. It is trying to fix a broken relationship, through forced communication. 

Techniques like this are a sticking plaster over an open wound. The problem is you have created an employee mindset, rather than a "cause" everyone is passionate about and working on together.