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The revolutionary nuances of the 360-degree survey at work are relevant and more necessary than ever before. As companies experiment with a flexible work environment in the COVID-19 era, the holistic approach of 360-degree templates can strengthen teams, leadership and performance management processes across industries and organizations. This handbook offers objective insights into these templates and how you can employ them for the most in-demand job roles this year.
A 360 survey is the process of eliciting effective feedback on employee performance from various sources, such as managerial opinion, peer reviews, performance reports, etc. 360-degree surveys are likely more useful in creating future-focused development plans than in developing metrics for a unidirectional performance review.
Using a relevant and comprehensive 360 feedback template is ideal for upgrading employee assessment and appraisal processes. Organizations must set clear instructions, timelines and follow-up reminders to complete a 360 feedback survey. Additionally, confidentiality should be considered because the survey is usually more effective in identifying blind spots without straining professional relationships – when undertaken anonymously. You may also need subject matter experts’ intervention to smoothen the process by aligning your vision and goals with the survey’s objectives.
When implemented efficiently, the survey adds immense value to your people decisions:
You can incorporate the following best practices into your feedback implementation checklist to simplify things when rolling out a 360 survey in your organization:
While there cannot be a ‘one-size-fits-all’ formula for 360 feedback, organizations can use an existing framework with pre-defined competencies/values as a starting point. You must have an unambiguous understanding of what you wish to achieve through a 360 survey. Key skills, behaviors and traits you wish to measure for appraisals or other HR initiatives should form the base for the type of questions you would ask in the survey. The following chapter outlines some commonly used 360-degree review templates that you can customize for your requirements.
Most 360 surveys utilize varying combinations of the same competencies that employers seek in professionals across industries. This chapter covers an overview of such combinations relevant to various job roles when measuring employees through an efficient 360-degree survey.
These competencies include employee skills, behaviors and attributes necessary for employees’ success in an organization. Basing your 360 feedback template on a set of well-defined competencies is crucial for its success. We have listed and elaborated on some key competencies that you will find useful when formulating a 360 survey.
It refers to an employee’s ability to take responsibility for his/her actions and decisions. It also includes following through on the commitments without passing on the blame to others in case of failures.
It is about taking initiatives to resolve issues, being persistent in overcoming challenges and accomplishing goals by utilizing available resources.
This competency is characterized by effective team coordination to accomplish common goals, being inclusive and helpful to others.
It encompasses a professional’s ability to receive, comprehend and convey untampered information in a timely, brief and clear manner. Behavioral indicators of this competency include accurate communication of organizational level decisions and active management of communication processes by ensuring that information is successfully delivered, received and understood.
Probing and gaining insights into the customers’ obvious and unstated needs to provide them with the most optimal solution, timely and efficiently, is essential to an array of job roles. A competent professional who understands customer needs can ensure customer delight and further opportunities to grow the relationship.
Devising new ideas and different methods when faced with challenging situations is another significant professional skill. It also includes the ability to apply novel means or repurposing established means to solve complex problems.
This competency is about improving performance, supporting and encouraging individuals and teams to ensure they give their best. Behavioral indicators of this competency include motivating the teams, offering opportunities and mentorship, building efficient workgroups, promoting inter-team collaborations, etc.
One must challenge oneself and others to surpass set standards and achieve exemplary results. It also includes excellent observational skills, ensuring quality and consistency in work and attention to detail.
It is mostly required for senior levels and leadership roles. The ability to develop organizational vision, set the strategy, and foster self-sufficiency in employees is crucial for ensuring a positive and engaged workforce focused on shared goals.
It is also essential to gauge whether employees behave honestly, fairly and ethically. They should consistently align their actions with words while maintaining high ethical ground, fairness and transparency.
It involves the ability and urge to continuously learn new skills and apply them to new and changing contexts to achieve the desired results.
Convincing others of one’s viewpoint and effectively arriving at a common ground to accomplish goals and objectives is a critical competency in high-performing individuals.
It refers to building, maintaining and leveraging professional networks and personal relationships within and outside the organization to gather information and resources to ensure individual and organizational success.
Measuring this competency allows you to gauge a candidate’s cultural sensitivity, empathy and willingness to help others.
The ability to prioritize tasks and shuffle between various roles to maximize efficiency is another core competency to measure using a 360 survey. Behavioral indicators of this competency include employees’ ability to allocate optimum resources at work, detailing the steps required to accomplish their objectives and effective contingency planning.
It is the ability to build an explicit plan, delineating both long and short-term goals clearly. Creating an effective and efficient plan of action to achieve the goals and a supportive environment to accomplish them is a vital behavioral indicator of this competency.
We have enlisted a few sample questions below to help better understand what to ask in a 360 survey.
Choose the option that best describes your opinion about the candidate’s innovative qualities.
(Candidate’s name) applies novel methods to improve work processes and enhance organizational capability.
a) Almost always
Choose the option that best describes your opinion about the candidate’s conflict management ability. (Candidate’s name) listens to the team members in an unbiased manner while resolving conflicts.
a) Almost always
Choose the option that best describes your opinion about the candidate’s ability to influence and negotiate. (Candidate’s name) effectively persuades others to take the desired action and reach win-win solutions for everyone involved.
a) Almost always
Choose the option that best describes your opinion about the candidate’s learning agility. (Candidate’s name) is not bogged down by mistakes and failures and takes the same as a learning opportunity to improve oneself.
a) Almost always
The evaluation parameters for employees at different levels will significantly overlap in some areas but vary considerably in others. Below are a few examples of 360 feedback survey templates detailing how the measured competencies vary according to the job role, level and industry.
Project managers are responsible for delivering a project successfully and acting as leaders who plan, organize and lead the team to achieve desired results. Hence a 360 survey template for project managers should include an assessment of competencies that indicate dependability, maturity, dedication and domain expertise.
Sales managers deal with retailers and distributors, run day-to-day operations for the sales team, generate revenue and maintain customer relationships in respective geographical areas. Therefore, they need to be business-savvy, effective communicators, emotionally intelligent and intensely customer-focused.
Senior managers plan, direct, coordinate and monitor the team’s progress. They maximize efficiency, productivity and performance by ensuring all operations run smoothly. Besides possessing strong leadership qualities, they also need to be creative and innovative.
IT team leads plan, execute and steer a project from start to finish as per respective business standards, methodologies and controls. They must encourage and lead team innovation and prepare training modules for subordinates and client interaction to deliver high-quality results.
Individual sales contributors assist existing accounts, reach out to new customers and resolve issues. Their primary goal is to achieve the designated sales target within the delegated time. Hence, the questionnaire for their 360 feedback should focus on the following competencies.
Individual IT contributors oversee technical operations, work with top executives to develop strategic plans for future improvements to ensure security and help maintain their organization’s competitiveness. They must be masters of domain skills and keep up with the continually evolving IT space.
HR managers manage the HR department, design and implement HR policies, evaluate employee relations and serve as a link between management and staff. Their assessment should focus on their ability to manage people, handle complex situations effectively and resolve conflicts smoothly.
Leaders set a clear vision, build morale and constantly lend support to the workforce. They analyze future trends when making decisions to solve immediate problems while also preparing for the future.
You can use our 360-degree feedback templates for crucial people decisions on appraisals, high-potential identification, training needs identification and succession planning.
Before undertaking an appraisal exercise, a 360-degree appraisal template offers you a holistic perspective on employee strengths and development areas.
The assessment tool helps identify gaps in an employee’s skills and personality traits as perceived by other stakeholders. You can use the survey findings to answer three pertinent questions:
The goal is to design a customized training plan based on individual skill gaps and training needs.
This tool understands the dynamics observed on the job and helps improve the high-potential identification and succession planning process at every step.
Implementing a 360-degree feedback system in organizations is a smart investment and futuristic business decision as it promotes self-awareness among employees and creates transparency in communication. The feedback tool brings clarity toward expected behaviors and goals. A well-crafted 360-degree review template and process can boost overall team performance.
A 360 feedback tool allows you to take into account inputs from a variety of sources including supervisors, subordinates, peers, and external rates like client and customer reviews. Together, they serve the purpose of a holistic, all-round, and unbiased performance review.
The holistic approach of a 360 degree performance appraisal questionnaire help get a balanced overview of an employee’s strengths and potential. It also uncovers blind spots and makes room for efficient skill learning and development.
Yes. Their multi-rater feature coupled with anonymity make 360 reviews a highly advanced and effective feedback tool that can revolutionize how companies look at their people decisions.
Mercer Mettl has a range of pre-built 360 review templates. If they don’t entirely match your requirements, you can connect with us and our in-house psychometric consultants will work with you to curate the right survey statements as per your needs.
Yes. Mercer Mettl’s 360 View is a completely anonymous 360 feedback tool. The survey reports do not mention any personal information of the feedback providers.
Originally published January 10 2020, Updated August 6 2021
D’ipanjenah is a writer and marketing professional associated with Mercer Mettl since 2020. Her working style thrives on a balanced approach towards standard insights and novel trends. She utilizes creative content and digital strategies to help brands start important conversations. When not reading/writing, she enjoys art and parents a calico.
360 degree feedback is a method of collecting anonymous feedback about an employee from multiple sources - manager, peers, subordinates - for appraisals and organizational planning. 360 degree feedback empowers organizations to make better people decisions.