360-Degree Assessment


A 360-Degree Assessment (aka 360 Review) is a system or process in which employees receive feedback on their performance from a group of coworkers including the employee’s manager, peers, and direct reports (Heathfield, 2016). The name comes from the fact that performance feedback is solicited from all angles- an employee’s subordinates, peers, and supervisor(s).

Differing from an employee appraisal in which managers assess the progress employees achieve on specific job goals, a 360-Degree Assessment provides a balanced view of how others view an employee’s performance and competence in various traits such as problem solving, technical expertise, collaboration, and interpersonal skills (Heathfield, 2016).

Our 360-Degree Assessment model follows these steps:

  1. Rate the competence level of your coworker across 12 core areas, including problem solving, technical expertise, collaboration, and interpersonal skills.
  2. Based on your observations/interactions with the employee, provide recommendations for areas of improvement.

We recommend that the employee also rates their own competence level and compares this against the group’s ratings to test their self-perceptions and reveal blind spots. 


The 360-Degree Assessment is to be initiated by managers and the model will be used by a group of coworkers of the employee to provide feedback.


“360-degree multi-rater assessments address important competencies and provide opportunities for managers, peers, and direct reports to provide important developmental feedback that they may not otherwise share” (Qualtrics, 2018). 360 Reviews help managers and employees understand the long-term path of an employee to become highly productive, by gaining the necessary competencies instead of focusing solely on how well they get the job done today.

“By providing a safe, confidential, and reliable way for colleagues to provide feedback, a company gains valuable insight into current leadership, teams, and overall health of the organization. 360 feedback surveys provide leaders with powerful knowledge and feedback into what is working and what isn’t. When using this feedback data correctly, organizations can quickly take action, by helping employees improve and become better leaders and contributors in the company” (Rogel, 2017).

These assessments improve self-awareness and pave the way for constructive criticism by focusing on all-around behavior instead of direct contributions. 


1) RATE the competence level of your coworker in the areas listed. Use comments to provide your rationale for your ratings and examples of incidents/interactions that you’d like them to be aware of.

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2) ACTION PLAN: Provide recommendations for improvement.

3) DISCUSS RESULTS: After the group provides their recommendations, the employee and their manager get together to analyze the feedback and work out a plan to increase the employee’s performance and identify a plan for personal development.


  • A clear measurement of behaviors and competencies
  • Understanding of coworkers’ perceptions related to employees’ strengths and weaknesses
  • A well-informed action plan to improve productivity and gain competencies
  • Understanding of areas to focus for personal development


This exercise will enable:
Quality   Anonymity fosters  candid and quality feedback, and helps create focused improvement plans.
Efficiency – Eliminate false positives that lead to skewed results by using a developmental scale instead of just “agree” or “disagree” (Zenger Folkman, 2016).
Engagement – Engage 8 to 10 coworkers synchronously or asynchronously for a holistic assessment (Edleson, 2012).
Agility  Use reports to quickly analyze feedback and identify patterns to develop informed improvement plans.


Edleson, H. (2012). Do 360 evaluations work? American Psychological Association. http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/11/360-evaluations.aspx

Heathfield, S. M. (2016). What Is a 360 Review? The Balance. https://www.thebalance.com/what-is-a-360-review-1917541

Rogel, C. (2017). 8 Benefits of 360 Degree Feedback. DecisionWise. https://www.decision-wise.com/benefits-of-360-degree-feedback/

Qualtrics. 360 Degree Employee Feedback | Assessments & Reviews. (2018). Qualtrics. https://www.qualtrics.com/qualtrics-360/360-degree-employee-assessments/

Zenger Folkman. 360-Degree Assessments. (2016). Zenger Folkman. http://zengerfolkman.com/360-degree-assessments/