Using 360- Degree Feedback to Enhance Your Performance Management Process


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Feel like your reviews are missing something? 360- degree feedback could be what’s missing. 

More Videos:  After the Grid – Now What?Leverage the Power of the Performance-Values Matrix, Developing a Coaching Culture with Check-InsConducting An Effective Performance Review Part I – AlignConducting An Effective Performance Review Part II – CoachConducting An Effective Performance Review Part III – Lead, The Basics of Effective Meetings


Melissa Phillippi, President of Performance Culture, introduces us to the system’s 360-Degree Feedback tool, and Best Practices with it that will enhance your performance management process.

Performance Culture has both an internal, and an external component. As with other components of the Performance Culture System, the use of 360-Degree Feedback can be highly customized, adapting the forms and your use of it to match the needs of your organization. Watch our video to learn some best practices.


Few things warrant as extreme the opinions I hear with regards to performance management as 360-Degree Feedback does. Some people love it and use it as a critical component of their performance management process.  Others have “PTSD” from a bad 360-Degree feedback so they stay as far away from it as possible. Others still don’t understand it or have never learned best practices with it, so they are fearful of it. But feedback from various perspectives can be incredibly helpful, not only for the feedback recipient but also for the Manager or Leader charged with coaching and helping to develop the feedback recipient.

Leadership Succession also is greatly augmented with the use of 360-degree feedback. One of our recommended readings at Performance Culture is Thanks for the Feedback:  The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well, even if it is off-base, unfair, poorly delivered, and frankly, you’re not in the mood. We love this book because through research it explains how the effectiveness of feedback is so much more about the receiver than it is the giver.

Our individual biases and assumptions, coming from the stories we tell ourselves in the absence of information, does affect how we view, and with regards to performance reviews, rate others. As Managers, we should strive to reduce our biases and put our assumptions under a microscope so that the rating and coaching is as objective and helpful as possible.

It is our goal in this video to introduce you to Performance Culture’s 360-Degree Feedback tool, and Best Practices with it that will enhance your performance management process. Some of the best learning comes from sharing experiences, and lessons learned from those experiences, so we’ve inserted topics for group discussion throughout this video. If you are watching this in a group training format, consider pausing the video when we reach these topics and discuss your experiences with the group.  You may even develop additional standards to your performance management process based on your collective learning. Let’s get started.

If you need help locating and using 360-Degree Feedback within the Performance Culture System, watch PCS Training Video M 302: Manager – 360 Degree Feedback for help.  Note that your System Administrator has to have this feature enabled on your account for it to be available.

Our 360-Degree Feedback tool has both an internal, and an external component.  Internal feedback is for giving and requesting feedback from internal employees.  External is for requesting feedback from anyone outside of your organization, such as a VIP customer, supplier, vendor, or other partner. As with other components of the Performance Culture System, the use of 360-Degree Feedback can be highly customized, adapting the forms and your use of it to match the needs of your organization. Let’s review some best practices that should help.

Best Practices #1:  Requesting Feedback

As a Manager, you can request feedback on anyone that you are assigned to within the Performance Culture System.  Recall multiple managers may be assigned to any individual. Prior to evaluating your employee on a performance review, or prior to providing any type of coaching and development help, solicit feedback from your employee’s peers, and any direct reports if the employee is a manager herself.  This is where the term 360 comes from. Gaining insight from individuals surrounding – up, down, and across.

The request feedback form allows for customized questions to be asked and answered by the feedback givers. Your organization may choose to adopt a standard set of questions for everyone to use, or may allow you to choose or ask any customized questions you prefer.  Keep watching for sample questions. Still, others may allow for a combination of the two, with a standard set for consistency purposes, and the ability to ask timely and relevant questions based on current situations. The request feedback form is pre-populated with a standard set of questions to get you started, but you can remove these and add your own, or ask none at all, only allowing for feedback on the individual’s performance and/or behaviors.

Included in this Learning Topic is a complete list of sample questions that should help you get started.  Many are specific to what you may be trying to accomplish, for example, if you are preparing an individual for Leadership Succession. Standard questions that you may choose to ask on a regular basis are:

  1.  On a scale of 0 to 5, how likely are you to ask this person for help when you need extraordinary results?
  2.  What should this person keep doing, or do more of?
  3.  What is one thing this person should stop doing immediately?

The third question is worded specifically to help force critique.  We are not very comfortable with feedback, either receiving it or giving it, yet it can be vital to the individual’s success and the success of our organization. Allow me to pose a question to the Senior Leaders listening to this video.  Would you want information about anything – or anyone – that may be holding back the success of your organization? If so, lead the way by starting with yourself. Consider requesting feedback on yourself from a variety of individuals surrounding you, and ask the sample questions we provided earlier.  

You may become aware of blind spots you didn’t know you had.  Also, you should “feel” what it feels like to receive tough feedback so that you can empathize with your direct reports when they are encountering the same. If you do not have a manager connected to you in the Performance Culture System, you will have to access your own feedback if you are a Super User or Admin User, or you will need to request it from someone who is.

Group Discussion #1:

  1. If you were to incorporate 360-Degree Feedback into your performance management process, how would you design the request feedback form?  Would you ask custom questions or supply a standard set or a combination of the two?
  2. What standard questions would you like to add to your library for use?  Again, reference the list included in this Learning Topic for help.
  3. For Senior Leaders, would you be willing to request feedback on yourself so you can be aware of your potential blind spots?  If so, pick a date to have this completed by.

Best Practices #2:  Giving Feedback

The Performance Culture System allows for any user to provide feedback on any other user/employee, at any time.  That’s right, feedback provided on an unsolicited basis. While this statement may have made some of your heart rates increase, hear me out. A healthy organization is one where trust, accountability, and a commitment to goals and core values exist. We should be looking for ways to celebrate and acknowledge team members that display healthy behaviors and who work to advance our organization’s mission.

One component of giving feedback is to do just this – allow for employees to recognize others.  Managers may not see all of the small or big acts that their direct reports do, so allowing others to ring the bell for them increases our awareness and creates a culture of high performance and lived out core values. Conversely, if there are behaviors that do not align with your core values, or there is a situation where someone does not feel safe to provide feedback directly, you need to be aware of this, and move swiftly to address it.  

Even the healthiest organizations can fall prey to one or more individuals that are not a good cultural fit. Just think about the countless stories over the years of organizations who met their demise due to a handful of rogue employees or leaders. As with requesting feedback, the feedback giver can choose to be anonymous.

Group Discussion #2:

  1. What do you think about allowing anyone in your organization to provide feedback on anyone else?  
  2. If you are weary to do so, why do you think that is?  Is this indicative of any unhealthy characteristics of your organization or leadership, such as a lack of trust or accountability?
  3. Are you ready to incorporate 360-Degree Feedback into your performance management process?  If not, what would need to happen before you would be comfortable with doing so?

Best Practice #3:  External Feedback

A unique feature of the Performance Culture System is the ability to solicit feedback from individuals outside of your organization. Do you have an Account Rep that works with a handful of VIP clients?  Or an employee that works onsite at a customer’s location often? Wouldn’t it be nice to know what these third parties think about your employee, and the impression they have, which is, therefore, the impression of your organization? You can easily gather this valuable data by requesting external feedback. Again, reference your PCS Training Video M 302 for help with how to do this.

The mechanics of requesting external feedback is very similar to requesting internal feedback.  However, you will want to change up your custom questions for third parties. Consider questions such as:

  1. On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague based on your experience with this employee?  Why is this?
  2. In what specific ways has this employee been helpful to you?
  3. What are some specific ways this employee could improve your experience?

Group Discussion #3:

  1. Would your organization benefit from gaining external feedback?
  2. If so, how could you start?  Which third parties would be helpful to start with?  Which employees should you request feedback on? What are you going to do with the feedback you receive?

When combining internal and external feedback, a more holistic assessment is provided, allowing the employee and Manager a way to identify strengths and weaknesses and create a clear roadmap for development. Thank you for watching and especially for being open to considering adding in 360-Degree feedback to your performance management process.http://