Wednesday, 24 March 2010

360 Degree Feedback

360 Degree Feedback.

According to research from Affinity Health at Work and the Health and Safety Executive employees that feel free to speak their minds about their managers abilities are more likely to feel happy, healthy and stress free at work. The study which was presented at the British Psychological Society's conference in January, found that the most commonly reported cause of stress in the workplace is the relationship between an employee and their line manager. In companies where staff are involved in rating and giving feedback on their line manager's performance, stress is reduced.

No matter how open we are as managers most of our people will  find providing face to face feedback difficult. One mechanism that provides a safer environment is 360 degree feedback which has the benefit of providing wider feedback. This is a process that is structured and can be run by an external organisation which collates responses.  As a  manager you provide details of  the person you report to, people who are your peers in your organisation and people who report to you. This covers your working relationships up, down and sideways, hence the 360 degree term. Typically this also results in feedback from 8-12 people and so is reasonably comprehensive.  The collated results can give a manager a real insight into how their colleagues perceive them and provide very useful feedback without damaging relationships.   Some specialist organisations  provide these as web based questionnaires which reduces the administration and speeds up the process.

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  1. Hi Joe
    Just to add to your comments: because it's structured, and everyone who responds gives feedback on the same observed skills and behaviours, 360 Degree Feedback avoids the danger of a manager (or another colleague) giving feedback only on the things they have noticed themselves, or just the things they remember from the past week. It also avoids generalisations and comments like 'I think John has an outgoing personality' which don't help the person getting the feedback. A typical 360 Degree Feedback statement would be 'Praises colleagues in public', with the scores being Always, Often, Sometimes and Never. This makes the 360 very specific and easy to observe and score.
    There are more 360 Degree Feedback resources at

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