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Choosing the Right 360-Degree Feedback Tool - Tips & Tricks

Learning and Development | 10 Min Read

Choosing the Right 360-Degree Feedback Tool – Tips & Tricks


Times have changed; the information era is here to stay. Employees are more aware than ever today. And to manage knowledgeable workers, organizations, too, must evolve. Performance management and employee development are no longer optional for organizations.

What Is a 360-Degree Feedback Tool?

A 360 feedback tool helps gather real-time feedback on job performance from peers, superiors, subordinates, etc., by upholding the respondents’ anonymity. A 360 feedback system comes with a rich, well-integrated dashboard that offers pie charts, reports, line graphs, and bar graphs to parse meaningful insights. The system also has the provision to automate surveys so that one can easily configure surveys just once and they recur at fixed intervals henceforth. The 360-degree feedback system offers various templates that aid in survey creation and provide a high level of confidentiality and personalization.

A 360 feedback tool is a digital platform that simplifies the process of acquiring 360-degree feedback. The 360 feedback system is extensively used in the workplace for gathering an employee’s performance feedback. The process has been instrumental in enabling individuals to identify their strengths and weaknesses. Moreover, it also helps employees delve deeper into their specific aspects of their work requiring professional development.


What Is the Difference Between a 360-Degree Review/Appraisal & a 360-Degree Feedback System?

Most professionals confuse a 360-degree review or appraisal with 360-degree feedback.


Difference Between a 360-Degree Review/Appraisal & a 360-Degree Feedback System


The mode of input for both cases can be either quantitative or qualitative, or both. Quantitative input takes into consideration ratings based on certain criteria, such as competency and behavior. For instance, Google assesses employees on various behavioral aspects and categorizes them on a scale of ‘exceeds expectations’ to ‘below expectations.’ While qualitative input includes forming a narrative that may or not be steered in a particular direction. Let’s take the example of Netflix, a leading media services provider and production company that follows a reliable feedback process model every six months where employees give useful feedback to one another on the ‘Stop, Start, Continue’ format.

A structured feedback system, where co-workers (subordinates, peers and managers) provide constructive feedback to employees, is known as a 360-degree feedback system.


How to Choose a 360 Feedback Tool

The 360-degree feedback system usually employs at least four to eight people to fill the feedback form, where the questions evaluate the employee by covering a landscape of competencies. The employee for whom the feedback is being filled must fill a self-assessment form with the same questions. Once the process is over, the 360-degree feedback software automatically presents the recipients with easily understandable reports with the next steps toward their areas of improvement.

One of the many challenges HRs face when choosing a 360-degree feedback tool is constantly running after people to ensure they’ve completed the feedback survey. However, the best 360 feedback tools can help maximize completion rates with an easy and seamless interface.

It is not an easy task to select a 360-degree feedback tool that suits your organization. You need a solution that integrates seamlessly with your workflow and efficiently manages your performance management process.

Though there are many benefits of 360-degree feedback that help not only your organization but also your workforce, here are some features to look for in a 360 feedback tool:

  • Exhaustive competency frameworks customized to each job level and role.
  • Subject matter experts who can choose from the existing comprehensive question bank or customize it to your organizational needs.
  • A hassle-free and intuitive platform which requires no training.
  • Analytical dashboards to track the success of the project.
  • Bulk upload of employee details in one go.
  • Pre-built email templates to expedite survey completion.
  • Auto-scheduling of ad-hoc reminders.
  • One-click data downloads and reports distribution.
  • Mobile-friendly interface to fill out the survey anytime, anywhere.
  • Autosave option to ensure no one loses any data.
  • A consolidated email with all the required information to fill the survey.
  • Insightful reports with actionable insights and a personal development plan.


features to look for in a 360 feedback tool


The Essence of The 360 Feedback Tool


  • It offers a perspective to the employee on how others view his/her effectiveness in the organization.
  • It provides knowledge of the abilities and practices wanted in the company to achieve the mission, vision and objectives.
  • It equips organizations to create individual development plans by providing inputs.

Strictly speaking, the 360-degree feedback tool does justice to its name by measuring the employee’s feedback from a 360-degree angle, including all the people connected with him/her.


benefits of 360-degree feedback tool


What to Expect


  • The 360 feedback tool is a part of the performance management system and not the system itself. Sometimes people begin over-expecting, and that’s where things can go haywire. The 360 evaluation tool is a part and needs to be well integrated into the system to perform.
  • It is not about focusing on a person’s shortcomings and negatives. The system is about promoting good performance and making improvements wherever needed. Solely focusing on the downsides and disregarding the good aspects of the reviewee’s feedback is the mistake that many companies make in the feedback process. The positives are what got the employees where they are – that’s what needs to be remembered.
  • The 360 evaluation tool does not focus on job-specific skills or technical expertise. It is not the tool to check whether the person is meeting the job requirements.
  • The 360 feedback tool is not a standard questionnaire that can be used in all companies in the same manner. Each company has different requirements, and the questions need to be adjusted according to the requirements.
  • Whenever you want to look for a developmental tool for your employees, a tool that assesses the behavior and competencies of the employee, go for the 360 assessment tool. It focuses on subjective areas such as teamwork, attitude, leadership and management.
  • The program is bound to fail without superiors’ involvement. Bosses are the believers- without them, the programs may not succeed.


where companies go wrong?


  • A 360-degree feedback system is a method of gathering feedback and thus depends on several stakeholders and factors. The right questions, the right raters, the right tool and the right metrics play an important role in its success.
  • Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, you cannot undergo change overnight; it’s a gradual process. Once the feedback has been given and provided to the respective person, the work doesn’t end there. A significant effort is required to shed old patterns. You must ensure to take the process all the way to garner any ROI. The 360 feedback system gives you an actionable development plan. The employees of your organization should be given the time and an enabling environment to act on them.


How Mercer | Mettl Can Help

Mercer | Mettl’s 360View is one of the best 360 feedback tools currently available on the market. 

It is a one-stop solution for all your 360-degree feedback needs. It includes:

Training Needs Identification

The assessment tool helps identify the skill gaps of an employee as perceived by other stakeholders.

It is Divided Into 3 Pillars:

Why Train?

Mercer | Mettl identifies and develops key competencies in employees to achieve business goals.

Who to Train?

It helps identify the skill gap for each employee based on the competency levels.

What to Train for?

It helps design a customized training plan based on individual skill gaps and training needs.

Besides, Mercer | Mettl helps you curate the right training program for your organization. It is divided into three parts:

Skill-based: It helps identify employees’ unique skill sets required to succeed in every job role and function.

Behavior-based: It identifies behavioral gaps that need to be worked upon by employees. They are the dominant predictor for most roles.

Future-proofing: It augments the learning agility within the organization by identifying upcoming skills to be developed in the workforce.

Performance Appraisals

The evaluation tool provides you overall employees’ perspectives through a seamless platform, intuitive reports and customizable surveys.

  • Seamless Platform: Eliminates operational hassles from the 360-degree evaluation and appraisal process with quick setup, effortless administration and automated reminders.
  • Intuitive Reports: Mercer | Mettl helps prepare engaging reports and dashboards with clear and actionable information. It consists of comprehensive feedback reports, group reports and easy-to-understand dashboards.
  • Customizable Survey: It helps you customize questions, competencies and reports. Mercer | Mettl will help you build custom questionnaires, an exhaustive competency library and multiple question types.

Organization Planning: High-Potential Identification, Succession Planning, & Leadership Development

This tool understands behavioral dynamics observed on-the-job and assists in the developmental steps.

Mercer | Mettl can help you plan for your organization’s future in the following ways:

  • Identify: It defines vital competencies required to succeed in critical roles and nominate candidates.
  • Assess: Valid and reliable tools such as psychometric and aptitude assessments, assessment and development centers and the 360-degree feedback system are used to assess candidate readiness on critical competencies.
  • Plan: Customized reports are used to shortlist suitable candidates for advanced roles.
  • Act: There is a check on the growth of selected candidates.

Implementing a 360-degree feedback system in organizations is a smart investment and a great business decision.



Does 360-degree feedback work?

360-degree feedback works by offering employees the opportunity to view themselves from the perspective of their colleagues and managers. A 360-degree feedback system makes an employee self-aware of their strengths and weaknesses. It allows employees and organizations to plan development interventions. The right 360 feedback tool is important for the success of the exercise.


What is a 360 assessment tool?

A 360 assessment tool is used for easy implementation of 360-degree feedback in any organization. A 360 assessment tool is designed to make the 360 feedback process seamless for all stakeholders involved. An ideal 360 assessment tool provides both the platform and content, is mobile-friendly, customizable to an organization’s requirements, guarantees high survey completion rates, and offers insightful and actionable information and reports.


How do you conduct a 360-degree assessment?

To conduct a 360-degree assessment, you must: 

  • Select a panel of raters, consisting of the employee’s manager, peers and reportees, who will rate the employee. 
  • Create a survey questionnaire and ask everyone, including the employee, to fill it to the best of their knowledge. A scoring system can be used, and raters can be asked to give remarks wherever appropriate.
  • After everyone has completed the 360-degree assessment, the 360 feedback tool combines the scores and results and provides a report for the employee, which indicates the areas in which they are appreciated and the areas in which they need to improve. A development plan is created for the employee based on it.

The Definitive Guide to 360-Degree Feedback

A comprehensive guide to 360-degree feedback that covers the elementary ‘what’ and ‘why’ of 360-degree feedback, along with answering some of the frequently asked and practical questions about the process.

Originally published June 24 2018, Updated February 8 2021

Divyeshwari Singh

Written by

About This Topic

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.

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