Why You Should Be Using 360-Degree Reviews

As businesses continue to navigate remote work environments, questions arise about how performance reviews will be conducted. Leaders need to find ways to view the performance of their teams without the oversight that an office brings. An emerging method for many HR leaders and managers is utilizing a 360-degree review to create a visual of all aspects of an employee’s work, not just what is visible to the manager. Below we break down 360-degree reviews and best practices for implementing this strategy in your organization.

What is a 360-Degree Review?

Just like with a 360-degree feedback program, 360-degree reviews approach performance reviews with a holistic approach. Managers and leaders contribute their thoughts on employee performance and combine this information with feedback from colleagues across the company as well. In a 360-degree review, the people who work alongside an employee are given a chance to discuss the daily occurrences, successes, and pitfalls of their coworkers, granting a more in-depth view into any given employee’s performance. With many organizations working remotely or moving to flex-work schedules, having added insights into the work of your employees will help you to better understand their needs.

How 360-Degree Reviews Differ From 360-Degree Feedback

360-degree reviews and 360-degree feedback might seem similar, but the difference lies in the intention behind the process. At a fundamental level, feedback is much more casual in nature and takes a neutral stance. Feedback is something that can be given on a consistent basis, and many employees prefer to receive feedback frequently. Leaders and employees alike enjoy giving and receiving feedback as it allows for immediate action for ongoing activities or projects.

On the other hand, 360-degree reviews are more formal in their nature. Reviews are tackled with the intention of discussing the performance of employees, both the areas of improvement and areas of strength. Reviews are typically tackled on an event basis, with discussions being retrospective. Oftentimes they are tied to rewards or bonuses in pay.

The feedback you collect in your 360-degree feedback programs directly ties into your 360-degree reviews.

360-Degree Review Best Practices

Limit the number of people you collect information from. When conducting 360-degree reviews, you can quickly become bogged down trying to collect information from everyone who interacts with any given employee. The amount of time spent consolidating and reviewing the information could be better spent focusing on specific feedback and action items. Consider restricting the number of people who contribute to the review to 5 employees. This will still allow you to collect a decent amount of feedback but won’t overwhelm your HR team.

Make contributions anonymous. Employees are more comfortable and more likely to speak in an honest manner when they are allowed to do so anonymously. The most efficient way to collect information for your 360-degree review is to send out surveys to employees. Surveys are an excellent way to gauge employee sentiment and provide the anonymous platform that many individuals desire when it comes to reviewing the work of colleagues.

Make it timely. Collect the information for your 360-degree review in a timely manner so that the action items can be discussed and implemented in real-time. Employees appreciate performance reviews that offer concrete and constructive feedback, so ensuring your information is applicable is crucial.

Follow up. The most crucial part of any performance review is following up on your discussions. The same mentality applies to 360-degree reviews. Once you near the end of your conversation, schedule a time to review with your employees. This will add accountability since employees and managers can track whether performance issues have been addressed. Additionally, following up after performance reviews allows you to see whether or not your strategies need more adjustment.

At ClearCompany, we know the importance of conducting thorough and actionable performance reviews. With a 360-degree review process, leaders can get the insights they need to accurately appraise the work of their employees. ClearCompany’s Performance Management System offers the support that businesses need to achieve organizational alignment and gain tangible insights into their workforce. To learn more about how a 360-degree review process can benefit your organization, reach out to one of our experts. Or, to see how our tools can help transform your review process today, sign up for our free demo now.

This blog was originally published on ClearCompany’s blog.



As a Digital Marketing and Events Manager for ClearCompany, Meredith coordinates best-practice content and brand-awareness events with HR practitioners.

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Meredith Wholley

As a Digital Marketing and Events Manager for ClearCompany, Meredith coordinates best-practice content and brand-awareness events with HR practitioners.