“It’s performance review season!” No matter how much enthusiasm you use when delivering that line, you’ll most likely get a collective groan from HR professionals.
But here’s the thing – performance reviews don’t really deserve their bad rap… if you do them right. We’re talking about 360 reviews, where you collect feedback from multiple people at various levels. This practice helps ensure performance reviews result in meaningful conversations to help your employees grow.
If you’re new to 360 reviews, you’re in the right place. Below are 40 essential questions for 360 feedback, plus three performance management templates, you can use to gain valuable insights into the performance of your people.
And if you’re not new to 360 performance reviews but need inspiration when it comes to building out questions and 360 review templates, you’re also in the right place.
No matter your role, the following questions and templates for 360 feedback and performance management can be tailored to meet your individual needs.
360 reviews are an invaluable tool for gaining a more holistic view of employee performance. By collecting responses from an employee’s manager, peers, and other colleagues (hence, the 360 degree aspect), you see a balanced picture of how your people are doing. Done correctly, multi-rater reviews are an excellent way to provide employees with the feedback they need to improve their performance and grow within the organization.
However, when improperly implemented, 360 reviews can do more harm than good (cue the ominous music). In all seriousness, without evidence-based design and careful consideration of best practices, you run the risk of seeing no performance improvement – or worse, even a decline in performance. It’s therefore important to make sure that your questions for 360 feedback are tailored to the needs of your company and people.
Ultimately, the goal of any 360 review is to help your employees develop and grow, and this requires carefully designed questions and processes to ensure accuracy and objectivity. A successful review should always be actionable, meaning that any issues or opportunities identified in the process can be addressed by the employee. By taking an evidence-based approach to designing and conducting 360 reviews at least once a year, you can make sure you (and your people) are getting the most out of this valuable process.
When you house your 360 reviews in a single platform, you can quickly collect and view all your feedback in one spot. Informed decision making? Check.
We know that gathering feedback helps you make decisions when it comes to performance reviews, promotions, and goal-setting. However, just asking for general feedback isn’t enough; you need to ask the right 360 review questions to glean the best insights. We’ve therefore compiled a list of 40 feedback questions below to help guide your people through your 360 review process.
Downward reviews, or feedback from managers to direct reports, is a vital component of a successful 360 performance review process. If your organization implements a continuous performance management strategy, your managers meet regularly with their team. The benefits are numerous, but most notable is that there’s no surprises come performance review time, as conversations and support have happened throughout the designated time frame.
When asking managers for feedback on their direct reports, it’s important to create questions that draw out well-rounded insights, such as:
It’s equally important for employees to provide feedback on their manager’s performance, as managers most often make or break an employee’s experience at your organization.
Note: To collect honest and constructive upward feedback, companies should have a system in place to ensure all feedback, when presented to the individual, remains anonymous.
Here are 10 questions for 360 feedback to help employees accurately assess their manager’s performance:
It can feel awkward leaving reviews for your peers, especially those you work with on a daily basis. But when it comes to 360 feedback, peers play a vital role in providing honest and thoughtful responses that help colleagues grow and improve. Specifically, consider how employees can provide insight into areas of improvement, offer encouragement for a job well done, and even encourage further discussion about career advancement.
By asking these 10 questions, peers can provide valuable feedback and insight into how they can best improve their performance:
Ah, the dreaded self-evaluation. They’re tricky for a few reasons: you don’t want to toot your own horn, yet don’t want to downplay your efforts. And heck, you may not even remember all the great things you accomplished over the past few quarters (tip: keep a running log of your achievements).
To get your juices flowing, consider how you would answer the following 10 questions:
Organizations often use 360 review templates to help ensure feedback is comprehensive and unbiased. You can create robust templates, made of the above questions, to guide employees as they review their colleagues.
With the right platform, you can quickly edit 360 review templates and send them to your people, all in one space.
Alternatively, consider deploying simple forms – like the 360 review templates below – that ask what people should start, stop, and continue doing in their role to be effective. You can still use the 40 questions above, but instead of making them mandatory to answer, send them out as “thought starters.” Ultimately, equipping your people with the above questions will help generate deeper thinking and more comprehensive answers, no matter how you use them.
The upward review template, also called 360 Manager Review Template, is intended to provide guiding questions for managers to reflect on their direct reports’ performance and consider whether employees are living company values. Suggested topics to cover are knowledge, problem solving, creative thinking, and teamwork.
Example: Tim brings a strategic eye to what we need to publish and when to deliver impressive results time and again. This happens in close collaboration with teammates, both within the communications team and thought leaders across the organization.
The downward review template, also called a 360 Manager Feedback Template, is used for direct reports to provide candid opinions on how managers can better support individuals and their team. This template provides space for employees to discuss communication, trust, collaboration, work environment, and overall managerial effectiveness.
Example: I feel comfortable going to Victoria whenever an issue arises. She provides the right amount of support, and even asks if I need her to just listen or help fix it. I know she has my best interests at heart and I truly enjoy being on her team!
Finally, the 360 Self-Evaluation Template encourages employees to do a deep dive into their own performance and advocate for themselves. With this template, people can focus on areas like job skills, self-awareness, productivity, and work ethics.
Example: Over the past quarter I’ve learned the ins and outs of our new product, as well as recorded demos for various sales needs. I’m incredibly proud of this work! For next quarter, I want to work on a better scheduling process and time management, as I felt the crunch when it came to deadlines.
360 reviews are an excellent way to ensure holistic, unbiased, and meaningful feedback from multiple sources. And you’re not only identifying areas of growth and development for your people – you’re also giving them a voice to reflect on both their own and their peers’ efforts.
Furthermore, by asking guiding questions and using 360 review templates, you can ensure you’re gathering all the necessary information to make meaningful decisions about employee performance. Ultimately, both employees and employers alike can benefit from this more informed and effective approach to performance management.
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