Successful 360-degree feedback: tips, do’s & don’ts

Oct 19, 2023

360-degree feedback is a powerful employee evaluation method that goes far beyond traditional manager-employee feedback. Read here how to use 360-degree feedback effectively, what best practices there are and what mistakes should be avoided.

What is 360 degree feedback?

In today’s business world, feedback is a crucial part of people development and performance improvement. A particularly effective method for obtaining a comprehensive picture of an employee’s skills and performance is so-called “360-degree feedback”. But what exactly does this term mean?

360-degree feedback, also known as multi-rater feedback, is an evaluation method in which not only the direct supervisor, but also colleagues, employees and external stakeholders such as customers or business partners provide an evaluation of an employee. The name “360 degrees” refers to the 360-degree view achieved by incorporating multiple perspectives on a person’s performance.

At its core, 360-degree feedback is about getting a comprehensive overview of an employee’s strengths, weaknesses and development needs. This is usually done through online surveys or questionnaires in which participants openly report on the skills, collaboration and behavior of the employee being evaluated. The result is feedback that comes from different perspectives and offers the employee valuable insights into their performance.

An important aspect of 360-degree feedback is that it not only serves to uncover performance deficiencies, but also promotes individual development. It enables employees to work specifically on their skills and manage their professional development. This feedback method can be used effectively in both large companies and small teams and can help increase employee satisfaction and productivity

Carrying out 360 degree feedback

360-degree feedback is a powerful method for performance assessment and personal development. But how exactly is it carried out? We recommend the following steps for successfully implementing the 360-degree feedback process.

1. Clear objective:
Before you begin 360-degree feedback, set clear goals and expectations. Do you want to evaluate individual performance, promote teamwork or identify development needs? The objective determines the focus of the feedback.

2. Selection of feedback providers:
Decide which people should participate in the feedback process. These can be superiors, colleagues, employees and external stakeholders. Depending on the goals of the feedback, you can adjust the participants.

3. Questions and evaluation criteria:
Create specific questions and evaluation criteria that cover the desired aspects. These questions should be clear and understandable to obtain accurate and useful information.

4. Ensure anonymity:
To encourage honest feedback, it often makes sense to conduct the survey anonymously. This allows those giving feedback to express themselves more openly and unbiasedly. This may not be the case depending on the prevailing feedback culture and the size of the feedback giving group.

5. Feedback collection:
Use appropriate methods to collect feedback. Online surveys or special feedback platforms are common instruments for recording reviews. Make sure the process is easy and accessible for participants.

6. Feedback evaluation:
Analyze the feedback you collect to identify trends and patterns. This step requires a thorough and objective look at the data.

7. Feedback conversations:
The results should be discussed with employees in individual feedback discussions. It is important to point out positive aspects and make constructive suggestions for improvement.

8. Development of Action Plans:
Help employees plan concrete steps to improve their performance. Sets clear goals and creates action plans to address identified areas for development.

9. Follow-up and Monitoring:
Keep an eye on employees’ progress and regularly check whether the defined goals are being achieved. 360 degree feedback is a continuous process that takes place over a longer period of time.

Successfully conducting 360-degree feedback requires planning, communication, and commitment. However, if implemented correctly, it can be an effective method for improving performance and promoting professional development.

After the 360 degree feedback

After 360-degree feedback, there are several important steps and considerations that are important for both the feedback recipient and the feedback giver. Here are some things to consider after receiving 360 feedback:

For the feedback recipient:

  • Self-reflection: After receiving your 360-degree feedback, take time for thorough self-reflection. Look at the feedback you receive objectively and openly. Think about how they illuminate your strengths and weaknesses and how you can grow.
  • Prioritization: Identify the key points from the feedback that you want to address. Set clear goals and priorities for your personal development. Note that you don’t have to tackle everything at once, but you can proceed step by step.
  • Feedback Conversations: Conduct feedback conversations with those who completed the survey when appropriate. This allows you to gain further insight into the feedback you receive and clarify any open questions.
  • Create an action plan: Develop an action plan that includes concrete steps to improve your performance and skills. Your goals should be measurable and achievable, and you should determine what actions you will take to achieve them.
  • Implementation: Start implementing your action plan. This requires discipline and commitment. Track your progress and adjust your actions if necessary.

For those giving feedback:

  • Be open to questions: If the feedback recipient approaches you to discuss the feedback or seek clarification, be open and willing to respond constructively.
  • Ongoing support: If you are in a position to support the feedback recipient in their development, be continually responsive and offer support when it is needed.
  • Future feedback: 360 degree feedback is an ongoing process. Be prepared to provide feedback again in the future to support the feedback recipient’s progress.


  • Maintain confidentiality: Make sure that the information from the 360-degree feedback is kept confidential to promote open and honest communication.
  • Continuous self-development: Both the feedback recipient and the feedback giver should see the process as an opportunity for their own development. Feedback is an important resource for personal and professional improvement.
  • Consider context: Remember that feedback should be seen in context. It is important to understand that perceptions of performance and behavior can vary depending on the situation and environment.


360-degree feedback can be a powerful tool when used correctly. By following the tips above, following the do’s and avoiding the don’ts, companies and employees can benefit from this powerful tool and bring about positive change.

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