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The A-Z Guide to 360 Degree Feedback Survey Questions, Tools, & Templates

Kate William

9 min read

“I believe you can become world-class in any skill in 6 months or less”.- Tim Ferriss.

How much time does it take to become an expert at anything? Tim Ferriss told us it takes six months. In comparison, a famous study by Malcolm Gladwell suggests that it takes 10,000 hours to master something. Put differently: if you practice something for six months or 10,000 hours, you’ll become proficient. 

But, don’t you think mastering a skill is more than just a magic number? If you want to be good at something, you must learn to spot your errors first. You have to identify where you need improvement and what you’re doing right. In short, you need a constant feedback mechanism. 

In business, when you’re trying to master a new skill (leadership, time management, or communication), it’s hard to know your errors and achievements. You have to take opinions from others to identify your strengths and weaknesses. Unfortunately, most organizations don’t put much stress on providing regular feedback. As per a Gallup study, one-half of the workforce receives feedback only a few times a year. 

That’s why 360 degree feedback is so important. 

More than 33% of employees want regular feedback, as per the Joblist survey. This proves that when it comes to learning new business skills, employees still seek guidance. And that’s where 360 degree feedback comes into the picture. Managers can use 360 degree feedback surveys effectively to meet their employees’ expectations. But what exactly is 360 degree feedback? What questions should a manager or leader ask in this employee feedback survey? Answers to these 2 and much more are what lies ahead in this blog. So, ready with your coffee? We’re starting now.

What Is 360 Degree Feedback?

360 degree feedback is a system in which employees get constructive feedback from peers, managers, and customers. Most organizations create an online 360 degree feedback form that includes a wide range of questions to measure their employees’ competencies. This process can gather feedback securely and anonymously.

360 degree feedback is different from any other traditional performance review. Not just an employee’s overall performance, it focuses on every aspect of their behavior. Since 360 degree reviews are entirely anonymous, it helps to understand your employees better without stressing them.

Here’s an example of 360 degree feedback survey created using SurveySparrow:

Sign-up for a free trial and use the free templates to create such engaging 360 feedback surveys effortlessly

Organizations use 360 degree feedback survey to:

  • Measure employee strengths, performance, and blind spots
  • Improve their leadership skills
  • Align employees goal to the organization’s goal
  • Provide an excellent employee experience

A typical 360 degree survey includes multiple questions like rating style, yes or no, open-ended, etc. Once you gather all the answers, you can create a report based on that. This report evaluates the strengths of employees and areas where needs improvement. 

Why Use 360 Degree Feedback?

“A 360-feedback process, when done right, greatly increases the chances that change will occur.” – Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman, Harvard Business Review.

From GE, Facebook, Google to Netflix, examples are everywhere that organizations are valuing their employees like never before. Companies are focusing more on being agile, and real-time feedback is helping to achieve this efficiently. Several studies have reported that employees become disengaged when they receive no feedback from their managers. They seek appreciation for their work. Also, employees want to know what they can do to improve their skill set.

360 degree feedback survey allows you to understand your employee better. It will enable you to build a positive work relationship with them. A good work relationship, positive organizational culture, and constant feedback from supervisors motivate employees to perform their best. When you share the feedback results with them, it develops transparency between employees and the organization. This transparency makes it easier to provide reviews constructively. 

What To Ask In A 360 Degree Feedback Survey? 

Is it challenging to conduct a 360 degree feedback survey? If you had asked this question a couple of years ago, we’d reply it’s an expensive and complex process. Sometimes, organizations take help from professional consultants to save time while conducting surveys. 

But, the good news is- it’s 2021, and we live in a technologically advanced world. Technology has introduced us to online surveys and made it incredibly easy to conduct surveys effectively. 

However, when it comes to creating questions for online surveys, many organizations slip into a coma! Each organization has its dynamic personality, unique culture, and leadership needs. While crafting questions, it’s crucial to keep this unique brand persona in mind. Also, remember that every employee is different. Their strengths, weaknesses, and needs are different. For example, you can’t ask a manager of an employee: “How well does (employee’s name) handle conflicts effectively?” Because it’s a leadership assessment question. And, only the coworkers or team members of that employee can answer this accurately. 

5 Types of Questions To Include In 360 Degree Feedback Surveys

1. Leadership Assessment Questions

Leaders aren’t born or made; they are shaped. Leadership is a personality or a quality that lives inside. If you don’t have the leadership qualities inside, you won’t become a leader no matter how much one tries or trains you. That’s why it’s crucial to assess your employees’ leadership qualities. Does your employee fit to manage leadership roles? If yes, what are their qualities? Asking these questions is essential to shape the leadership qualities of your employees. 

You can use a 360 degree feedback survey to evaluate both the managers and employees. Evaluating managers and employees will help you to determine the future leaders of your organization. A great leader inspires every worker to perform their best. So, here are some questions you can ask your managers and employees to assess their leadership potential:

  • Rate your colleague’s (employee’s name) proficiency in inspiring growth and learning on others. 
  • On a scale of 0-10, please rate how well (employee’s name) handles conflicts within the organization?
  • How well (employee’s name) motivates others to achieve their goal?
  • Do you feel this manager (manager’s name) provides constructive feedback/criticism?
  • Does (employee’s name) treat everyone with respect?
  • Does this manager (manager’s name) reward employees for their excellent performance?

2. Motivation Assessment Questions

As per Gallup’s study, Employees who are disengaged cost their company the equivalent of 34% of their annual salary. Motivated employees drive success, productivity, and engagement within an organization. Without it, you’ll fall short of achieving business goals and profits. 

There are multiple ways you can apply to improve your employees’ motivations. First, you have to identify the motivators in your company and learn what you can do to improve motivation. A 360 degree feedback survey is one of the best ways to track and measure employee motivation. Here are few sample questions you can include in your following survey to get more responses:

  • Please rate how engaging and motivating your work is?
  • Does this employee (employee’s name) encourage their peers to reach goals?
  • Based on these emojis, how excited are you to work on Monday?
  • What motivates you at work?
  • Do you think our organization focuses on encouraging every employee?
  • What could we do to increase our employee motivation?
  • On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend our organization as a great place to work?

3. Performance Assessment Question

360 degree performance review is essential to gauge your employees’ overall performance. Are your employees working effectively? Do they efficiently solve their work problems? Are they constantly looking for ways to improve their performance? The answer to all these questions lies in a 360 degree feedback survey. 

While crafting your performance assessment questions, make sure to keep two things in mind:

  1. The survey questions build a communication bridge between you and your employees. 
  2. The survey questions should identify ways to enhance employee engagement and perfection.

Asking the right performance review question will help you get legit answers, discover solutions to improve employee performance, and help them do better in the future. Here are some questions you can use in your survey to expect higher response rates:

  • What accomplishments did the employee make this year? 
  • Is the employee’s work approach to complete the task efficiently?
  • What areas could the employee improve to be more productive at work?
  • Do the actions of this employee (employee’s name) show that they constantly seek improvement? 
  • Can you share an example of something this employee (employee’s name) does ideally?
  • Do you have any specific feedback about this employee’s strengths?

4. Problem-Solving Skills Assessment Questions

Let’s imagine a customer isn’t happy with a feature of your app. They want to talk to your customer support team. 

Now your employees must deal with your customer’s complaint positively. No matter how upset the customer sounds, it’s up to your employees to ensure they are attentive and respectful towards their problem. Your employees should have the skills to turn negative feedback into positive one. 

Be it a customer’s complaint about your product or assisting your development team in resolving a software error- problems will always occur at any workplace. Whatever issue your organization comes across will require problem-solving skills to overcome. But, what questions can evaluate your employees’ problem-solving skills? Well, here are the examples:

  • Does your employee react positively in any negative situation?
  • Do they respond inappropriately to unexpected problems?
  • When resolving any challenge, does this employee (employee’s name) listen to others’ opinions?
  • Can this employee confidently evaluate unforeseen issues?

5. Communication Assessment Questions

Natasha worked in a Saas company. She was part of a small team that worked remotely. 

The team used to meet each other once in a while, mainly through calls and emails. 

After a few months, she and a few of her colleagues noticed one of their team members, Chris, wasn’t showing any enthusiasm or engagement at work. After a few weeks, they learned he had left the job. 

Natasha and her team discussed this incident. What happened? Why did Chris leave the job? Wasn’t he happy with his role? Neither of them had an answer.

You see, this is an example of poor communication between team members. Good communication isn’t just good for your professional career. It also helps to build trustworthy relationships with team members. In business, each employee should understand the other. This will allow your team to work in harmony. Here are a few questions you can add to measure your employees’ communication skills to understand them better:

  • Do you think your colleague is an active listener?
  • Does this employee (employee’s name) communicate well with every colleague?
  • When this employee delivers a work or presentation, do they appear confident?
  • Does this employee respect the value and opinions of others?
  • Does this employee present his/her view clearly and appropriately?

4 Tips To Create Practical 360 Degree Feedback Survey Questions

We have covered some essential questions you can ask to learn your employees better. We are also sharing some actionable tips with you for creating practical 360 Degree feedback Survey questions. So, have some patience and read on. It’s worth it!  

Tip#1: Set A Goal

Before creating any survey, set a goal first. Strategic planning and goal-setting help to achieve success in any business venture. Why do you want to measure your employees’ performance? What results are you expecting from the feedback? Maybe you want to improve employee productivity, or you wish to enhance their communication skills. Whatever the reason, make sure to answer these questions to establish your goal. 

Tip#2: Decide The Participants First

Be it your employees or managers, you can evaluate anyone with 360 degree feedback. If you want to assess your employees, decide who should participate in the feedback-taking process (peers, supervisors, subordinates). 

Tip#3: Establish Clear Communication

Before conducting the feedback process, have clear communication with your employees. Tell them why you’re surveying them and how the results will be used for their improvement. Clear communication builds trust and transparency between employees and the organization.

Tip#4: Make The Questions Short & Crisp

The survey questions should be active, clear, and concise. Make sure the questions are engaging and avoid corporate jargon. Customize the survey with your employee’s name, brand’s color, fonts to build brand authority. 

When writing 360 degree feedback questions, keep these tips in mind. You can also invest in feedback software to simplify the process and save your time. However, we understand that it’s not so easy to find the best software. That’s why we have created a list of five key factors you should consider before choosing a 360 degree tool. 

5 Factors To Look For In 360 Degree Feedback Tools

As per CEB, only 5% of managers agreed that they receive meaningful feedback. And, we can’t blame them because even in this digital era, nearly 80% of businesses are still using some kind of traditional performance reviews. Not just conventional survey methods, they often include irrelevant questions to track their employees. As a result, they tend to lose interest and leave the survey halfway. 

That’s why you need 360 degree performance review tools to improve the quality of employee assessment. Feedback software helps you create engaging branded surveys and gather data in real-time. But, before blindly choosing a software, make sure to look for these mandatory features on them:

A Rich Dashboard

A 360 degree feedback survey tool should be an insightful dashboard that secures data in real-time. The moment your employees hit the submit button, it will capture all the data efficiently. You can track your employees’ performance later through reports, line graphs, pie charts, bar graphs, etc. 

Recurring Survey

A perfect 360 degree feedback tool should allow you to automate the survey easily. Ensure the 360 degree feedback software lets you set the survey at different frequencies like daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly. 

Security

Another essential thing to consider is security. The best software will protect all your survey data. 360 degree feedback includes valuable insights about an employee from their peers, managers, and other staff. This data is very confidential and sensitive. Leaked data can cause a lot of trouble if it goes into the wrong hand. Custom SSL, IP whitelisting, domain customization, single sign-on are some inevitable features you must look at while choosing software.

Conversational Forms

As we mentioned earlier, 360 degree feedback surveys should be engaging and personalized. Make sure to craft the questions the way you talk to your friends. A software with a sleek design is definitely an excellent choice to conduct surveys. For example, with SurveySparrow’s 360 degree feedback software, you can add images, videos, and gifs in the background to add more attractiveness. Also, you can take inspiration from our 360 review template to design survey questions for the first time. 

Mobile-first Survey

More than 70% of participants like to take surveys from their mobile devices. So, make sure the 360 degree feedback tool is multi-device compatible. Mobile-friendly UI and multi-device compatibility can transform any boring survey into an interesting one. 

Wrapping Up…

You can learn everything, but not everything is easy to understand! Especially when you need to know some vital life skills like leadership, teamwork, communication, efficiency, we often fall short. Harnessing these skills requires constant feedback. Feedback from the managers, review from the customers, every input is essential. 

As we are already going through uncertain times and experiencing a remote working environment, it’s high-time leaders notice the importance of regular feedback. 360 degree feedback helps you identify strengths and weaknesses and allows you to build a positive work culture. So, are you ready to review your employees? Let us know in the comments! 

 

Kate William

Content Marketer at SurveySparrow

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