Micarli Salomon
By Micarli Salomon on September 28, 2022

360 Degree Feedback: Definition and Benefits

In today's new flexible work environments, it is essential that leaders and employees understand their strengths and weaknesses. It is about building and empowering stronger teams and ensuring that the right people are in leadership and positions of responsibility. 

To do this, it is necessary to know the strengths and weaknesses of our employees and make data-driven decisions. For this reason, in order to perform a business-oriented 360-degree Feedback, we will need to have an HR Software. 

Tablet of content

  1. What is a 360 degree evaluation?
  2. What is a 360 degree assessment for?
  3. Advantages and disadvantages
  4. How to implement a 360 degree evaluation
  5. Aspects to take into account when implementing a 360-degree evaluation
  6. Examples of companies using a 360 degree assessment
  7. Other evaluations with which to obtain feedback: 90º, 180º, 270º.
  8. Software to perform a performance appraisal

What is the 360 degree evaluation?

Measuring the job performance of employees is one of the fundamental tasks of the human resources department. In this regard, one of the techniques that can be most effective is the 360-degree appraisal. A type of performance appraisal. 

The 360-degree evaluation format (also called 360 feedback) is, without a doubt, one of the most complete, as the data collected is based on the opinions and feedback offered by all those professionals related to the employee; from clients or managers, to bosses, to co-workers with a lower role. 

In short, the 360-degree evaluation is nothing more than the pooling of all the points of view by which an employee is evaluated (some of which we will talk about later), and provides a great deal of information about the employee.

Performance Evaluation Software

What is a 360° evaluation for?

Before making any kind of evaluation, it is a priority to first know the objective that has led us to carry it out. As in any other order in life, if we are not clear about what we want to do, it will be impossible to draw up an adequate plan to achieve that goal. Without a clear idea of what we want (and can) achieve with a 360-degree evaluation, there will be no point in carrying it out and it will be better to discard it. 

First of all, the 360 degree assessment is a useful tool to measure competencies, attitudes and behaviors  to measure the "how" of the employee. In other words, the assessment of the skills needed to perform the job well. Here we find questions related to their interpersonal skills, creativity, affectivity and respect, leadership, ethics, organisation, etc...

On the other hand, it measures not only the employee's ability to perform any task, but also the work he/she has done in terms of quantity and time invested. 

With 360-degree evaluation you can (if done well):

  • Evaluate the performance of employees and their work.
  • Analyse the key competencies of an employee. 
  • Design training plans.
  • Implement career and succession plans.
  • Know if we should open a new selection process.
  • Enhance the Employee Experience.
  • Strengthen group cohesion and internal communication.

OpenHR Perfomance Software

The pros and cons of a 360-degree assessment

Getting 360-degree feedback from the different people who are in relationship with the employee helps employees and managers to identify their strengths and weaknesses. But, above all, it will enable them to be able to overcome any obstacles they may be facing in achieving their professional goals.

Among the various advantages that can be gained from the 360° assessment are the following: 

  1. Many sources are involved, thus reducing the bias that is generated when one person assesses another. 
  2. It generates a lot of information that will have to be analyzed by those in charge.
  3. Encourages participation and generates motivation among group members. Employees see that they are needed and appreciated. 
  4. It promotes group cohesion, interdepartmental communication and organisational culture, as employees will have to get to know each other and give constructive criticism to their colleagues. In case the criticism is not fair, there are many other points of feedback.
  5. It will increase the perception of fairness, transparency and justice among employees within the appraisal process.
  6. We will make internal selection and promotion processes more objective and fairer. 
  7. As with any other type of appraisal, it is designed to identify problems and obstacles to be solved. 
  8. The 360° performance appraisal provides more complete information on employees' needs, which helps to plan and execute training plans appropriately.

How to deploy a 360-degree evaluation

When carrying out a 360 degree assessment using a tool, it is essential to follow certain steps to ensure that it is effective and adds value to the organisation. 

  • Prepare the assessment: To begin with, the first thing we should know is the objective that has led us to carry out the assessment. 

We should also focus on analyzing the professional and personal competences that are fundamental for the achievement of these objectives. Some of these competences have already been mentioned in previous points (leadership, ethics, creativity, affectivity, communication, teamwork, organisation, ....). 

  • Select the audience to be evaluated (from administrative to operational staff). It is really complicated to implement it at the same time in the whole organisation, so it is important to define up to which level of the organisation we want to evaluate, and if we will do it in a staggered way. 

  • Once the segment to be evaluated has been chosen, the next step is to create the network of evaluators in charge of giving feedback on these employees. This should include direct bosses, colleagues, managers and customers. We cannot forget the self-assessment either, which will give us a real measure to compare with the rest of the analysis.  

  • Next, we must choose the tool through which we will develop and carry out the evaluation. We can create scales, answers and associate a weight to each one of them and associate the question to the aforementioned segment. The evaluators can simply and anonymously answer what they think is most convenient. 

  • Communicate the evaluation. It is time to announce the launch of a new performance evaluation to our employees. We can post the news on our employee portal, use a notification system to explain this and help employees and managers understand the objectives of the appraisal and how to conduct it.


  • Follow-up. At this point, managers can monitor the process by checking which surveys are completed and which are missing.

  • Give feedback by analyzing the results. After finishing the evaluation process, we still have to analyse the results through our software with the reports that will give us the necessary information to make decisions. Through these reports we will be able to know which skills or competences our employees are not developing, or if the objectives are being met as we initially set them.

  • Act accordingly. Once the results have been analyzed , it will be time to make decisions based on them. Thus, we will be able to know objectively if it is necessary to develop career or training plans for certain employees, or if we should develop internal promotion plans to reward others.

This way, we will also be able to know if there is a skill that we need in our organization and that an employee has not developed, so we can open an external selection process that will help us to meet those needs. With this data in hand, we will also be able to open internal selection processes that are much more objective and successful.

Things to consider when implementing a 360-degree evaluation

At this point, we should point out some aspects that will help us to take into account when implementing a 360 degree evaluation. 

Among them, we find the following: 

#Frequency. An important issue to consider when obtaining 360-degree feedback is to consider when to start the process again. This is important because it will allow us to know the differences and progress between one evaluation and another, which will give us certainty when it comes to knowing whether or not we have been right or wrong with the measures taken.  Our recommendation is that at least 6 months should pass between evaluations (without forgetting, of course, to monitor the measures taken).

#Confidentiality. The issue of confidentiality is one of the most important parts of the evaluation. In the first instance, careful thought should be given to which segment we want to provide anonymous feedback, with which we can only know the final results. 

#Crafting good questions. Without a doubt, the key to a good evaluation is to create the right questions. The idea is that they should not be complex and everyone should be able to answer them without hesitation. It is advisable to ask more than two questions to assess a given competency, which will give you more confidence when analyzing the results. 

#Provide results. The performance appraisal needs to produce results that we can use to provide feedback in a more objective way. A performance appraisal software will automatically generate the necessary graphs to know the status of the evaluations with which we can identify key competencies and skills.

#What to do with the results.  Once the questions have been sent to the group of evaluators and the results have been received, it is time to give the necessary feedback to those being evaluated. But we can also use these results to define policies in terms of selection, internal promotion, career plans or training. 

#Do we need an expert to help you? It is very likely that after the assessment, you will consider calling in an expert to help you improve all those skills that you have found to be lacking. Even before doing so, you may need the help of a consultancy firm to carry out a preliminary study to help you develop the necessary questions to locate all those hitherto unknown needs. You may even be able to call on experts in digital tools to help you set up the tool. 

# Give it continuity. As we said, an evaluation cannot last only as long as the survey itself. In fact, it goes beyond printing the results and handing them out. In order to carry out a 360 degree evaluation effectively, it is essential to follow up on all the actions that we have designed to improve certain shortcomings that have been detected. It is a process of constant feedback.

Examples of companies using 360° evaluation. The Nestlé case

Nestlé uses 360-degree appraisal as an employee career development tool, with a view to fostering constructive dialogue. 

As a 360-degree assessment, it consists of an employee self-assessment and an invitation to managers, subordinates, colleagues from other functional areas of the company and external partners. 

The aim of this 360-degree assessment is to improve the employee's self-awareness, and to identify and understand one's strengths and areas for improvement. In addition, it allows to know how others perceive him/her and to compare the differences between the points he/she detects about him/herself and what those around him/her perceive. It allows you to reflect on your successes and failures in order to learn from them. 

Nestlé assessments are conducted anonymously, except for the existence of an external coach who has access to the data. The development plan resulting from the appraisal is shared with the appraisee's manager and the HR Business Partner concerned, in order to work together towards a goal. 

Other assessments to obtain feedback: 90°, 180°, 270

Sometimes, due to culture or internal processes, organizations may use alternatives to obtaining 360º feedback. Among them, we have 3 options in particular: 90º, 180º, 270º evaluations. 

90° Performance evaluation 

In the 90° appraisal, the manager is responsible for giving feedback to the employee being appraised. In this type of evaluation, the manager's voice is the best (and only) considered to recognize the employee's strengths and weaknesses, and to structure a training plan, and any other mechanism within his or her reach, to guide the employee's path in the company.   

180º Evaluation

This evaluation also involves our colleagues, who will be able to give us a more objective view of the employee's day-to-day life, as it is with them that the employee will carry out his or her projects and achieve his or her objectives. As with the 360º evaluation, it runs the risk of obtaining unbiased feedback if there is a problem among the colleagues themselves. 

270° evaluation

Perhaps the most similar to 360-degree evaluation, but with a smaller volume of data to handle. This includes the voice of employees who are lower down the organisational chart than the person being evaluated.

We can also make the evaluation process anonymous, so that employees can carry it out in a secure manner. It is a system that can give us insight into the leadership style of our middle managers, and whether employees are aligned with that style.

Performance appraisal software

Performance evaluation software such as OpenHR is a cloud-based programme, so teams can access it remotely and conduct evaluations from anywhere. In addition, they incorporate tools to design and send questionnaires to create reports, compare results, or request feedback. Among the main functions that performance evaluation software has, we find some of the following:

  • Create evaluation systems adapted to each professional profile. 
  • Enable performance measurement through standardized methods or forms for employee evaluation: 90º, 180º, 270º, 360º performance evaluation methods, self-evaluation or evaluation by objectives. 
  • Designing talent matrices.
  • Customize key competencies to achieve objectives. Working conditions have modified the profile and competencies of employees in an organization, a contingency to which the performance measurement system we use must adapt.
  • Adapt evaluations with different response formats to allow for a greater plurality of voices. 
  • Weigh the different criteria and types of response. This will help us to place the employee's performance on the scale.
  • Receive regular feedback on each employee's performance to assess the status of employees. 
  • Monitor feedback processes for objectivity and clarity. 
  • Create objective and customisable questionnaires.
  • Generate periodic performance reports to monitor employee performance.
  • Receive key information to decide on human resource management issues (decide on dismissals and promotions, increase motivation, determine compensation, validate hiring, reduce underperformance, or identify areas of the company that need reinforcement and encourage performance).

OpenHR Demo