360 degree feedback has a long history and is a time-tested approach for performance appraisal, which captures and combines the views of others to help individuals build self-awareness. However, at DecisionWise, we have observed that some HR professionals still have a narrow view of how to use 360 degree feedback to improve organizational performance. To assist with this, we have compiled a list of twelve ways to leverage 360 feedback in your organization. While the list is not exhaustive, it includes some great ideas that you may not have considered.

If your organization has not yet taken advantage of the power of a 360 degree feedback tool, you can employ the following six strategies with a little understanding of the process and the right approach.

1 – Developing Senior Leaders

Investing in senior leadership development is likely the most common use of 360 feedback. Executives often welcome the opportunity to better understand how their leadership approach impacts others and identify areas for strategic adjustments.

2 – Team Building

Using 360 degree feedback to strengthen an intact team can build trust and improve cross-functional collaboration. This approach is especially productive for senior-level teams or any team where each member has their own span of control.

3 – Enhancing L&D Programs

Adding a feedback report to an existing L&D program enhances the learning experience for participants by providing personalized data that complements classroom teachings.

4 – Supporting Low Performers

Sometimes, under-performing leaders need additional support and attention. 360 degree feedback, especially when paired with a one-on-one debrief, can provide feedback and momentum to help them turn things around.

5 – Investing in High-Potentials

Many organizations identify their high-potential talent but struggle to provide effective support for their development. 360 feedback can be a valuable investment in the future of your most promising workforce.

6 – Developing New Leaders

Shifting from an individual contributor to a first-time manager is challenging. New leaders require new skills and an understanding of how their actions impact their team’s performance. 360 degree feedback can help new leaders adjust to their role and comprehend the influence they have on others.

Going Further with Feedback

The following six strategies are suitable for organizations familiar with the 360 degree feedback process who wish to leverage it further.

7 – Follow-up to an Engagement Survey

When a company-wide engagement survey reveals struggling teams, taking their leaders through a multi-rater feedback experience can drive behavior change and employee engagement and overall performance.

8 – Reinforcing Leadership Competencies & Company Values

If your organization has defined company values and/or a leadership competency model, creating a custom 360 assessment can be beneficial. We can assist in developing a tailored assessment based on our competency library and expertise.

9 – Succession Planning

Replacing a senior leader is a challenge, but a 360 review can help evaluate internal candidates. Conducting a 360 degree feedback process well in advance allows the organization to develop potential successors with the necessary skills for the role.

10 – Self-Driven Development

Many organizations are seeking to provide resources for self or manager-driven development. Adding 360 feedback to your menu of self or manager-initiated L&D options empowers employees to take ownership of their performance and personal development plans.

11 – Reinforcing Strategy 

If your organization’s strategy requires new leadership behaviors, such as innovation/creativity or systems thinking, 360 feedback can support and align the specific behaviors necessary for executing the company’s strategy.

12 – Working with a Board of Directors

Boards of directors often struggle to find appropriate feedback tools for CEOs or to understand the perceptions of those around the CEO. The 360 feedback process caters to board members’ busy schedules and enables powerful communication, understanding, and honest feedback.

Get Started/Do More with 360s

When done right, 360 degree feedback is a powerful tool to review and improve the employee experience. Whether you are just starting with 360 feedback or aiming to leverage it more effectively in your organization, consider incorporating the twelve suggestions above to enhance your performance evaluation process.

Looking for a 360 feedback platform? Try out Spectiv, our new easy-to-use tool.