360-Degree Feedback FAQs

Here are a few 360-degree feedback FAQs (frequently asked questions) we have received over the years. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us!

Frequently Asked Questions about 360s

What are 360-degree feedback assessments and why do them?

A 360 degree (or multi-rater) assessment allows for a performance evaluation of a person, team or organization by many of the people who work with a person or team or in that organization.

When employees receive feedback only from their managers, they act on limited information. If employees receive feedback from other co-workers — 360 degree feedback — they gain a more complete picture of performance.

Since the 360 performance evaluation reporting is generally broken down into specified relationships, the leaders (people being rated) can understand the viewpoints from different types of co-workers.

Adding open-ended comments supports the quantitative analysis. Overall an organization can use a 360 degree process to move both individuals and groups closer to achieving sustained performance excellence.

What are some of the items I need to think about in the 360 degree assessment process?

  • Who will design the assessment(s)?
  • How many questions will the assessment(s) have?
  • Will all participants be rated on the same assessment, or do you require different assessments based on the participant?
  • When are you planning to deploy your 360 degree Assessment?
  • Would you like to deploy all participants at the same time, or stagger them in some way?
  • How many raters will each participant have?
  • Will the participants self-rate?
  • What language(s) does the deployment require?

How much does the administration of an online 360-degree feedback assessment cost?

The price for the implementation of your 360 degree feedback with ActiveView 360 is based on the number of participants (people being rated) going through the assessment process. There are volume discounts that accrue over time. We will be glad to provide you with a quote for your leadership assessment. Please contact us, or call us at 800.945.0040 for details and pricing or fill out our online form to get a quote!

Why and how do I determine an objective for my 360-degree multi-rater feedback project?

It is important to identify the assessment objective before beginning the assessment process, large or small, because the objective is the reference point that guides the assessment. The objective influences the number and types of questions and helps shape content and administration. When making decisions in other areas of the assessment process, you can return to the objective statement to ensure that what is being asked will achieve the desired result.

What will the results of 360 feedback reports be used for? Will this be a system focused on leadership, coaching, management development, or performance? Most organizations use 360s as a development or coaching tool only. They link leaders’ development plans to their feedback results. Some organizations use the results as both a development tool and as a factor in determining pay and/or promotions.

Is this process anonymous?

Yes, the feedback report will not mention any names. It will categorize the quantitative information into groups of respondents: self, manager, peers and direct reports, but it will not identify raters to rankings or comments (the manager’s ratings and comments will not be anonymous since typically there is only one person in this category). Comments will be provided verbatim, but will not be assigned to the person who made them.

What advice can I give a participant or someone who is sharing the results with a participant?

Areas for thought/discussion should include:

  • Topic scores with high ratings to understand what the participant is doing well.
  • Topic scores with low ratings to understand opportunities for improvement.
  • Gap analysis between the self-scores and the other scores. If both the participant and other raters score a question at the low end of the scale with a small gap, there is agreement that the participant needs help in this area.
  • The larger the gap, the more inconsistent the view of a behavior between the participant and other raters.
  • If scores are mostly high or low, look for relative highs and lows.
  • Understanding the message(s) conveyed in the report is generally more useful than just looking at the scores alone.
  • Review raters’ comments to see if the they support the scores.
  • Look for balanced feedback. Balance is imperative; it is just as important to identify the things one does well as it is to point out areas for improvement. You might want to focus on the lower scores, but this might not in your best interest.
  • Assume that raters take their role very seriously, read each question, and give credit where they believe is due.