FAQ: What Is 360 Degree Feedback? (With Advantages)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 20 September 2022

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Performance reviews are integral to professional growth and achieving organisational goals. One way to conduct these reviews is through 360-degree feedback, in which supervisors, peers and customers can submit feedback about an employee's job performance. Learning about this evaluation tool and how you may implement it in your place of work can help you gain many advantages this feedback provides, such as professional development, stronger collaboration and more accurate performance reviews.

In this article, we define 360-degree feedback and answer frequently asked questions about how to collect this feedback, use it and what the advantages and disadvantages of this tool are.

What Is 360-Degree Feedback?

360-degree feedback is a method by which to review an employee's performance using comments from their supervisors and peers. Where relevant, customers may also submit reviews of an employee's performance. This is common with customer-facing roles such as retail and food service.

The purpose of this type of review is to offer employees more perspectives on their performance. Through receiving feedback from managers, other employees and customers they interact with, a professional can learn more about their strengths and identify the areas where they can improve.

How Does It Work?

To use this feedback tool, organisations may create review cycles and choose specific times for performance evaluations. They can assign employees to review their team members so that everyone can submit feedback. By requesting team members and managers to review an employee the professional and their employers can get a detailed view of the employee's performance.

To introduce this type of feedback, it is useful to create a form with questions that prompt the reviewer to consider specific aspects of another's job performance. It is also beneficial to provide employees with ample time to complete their reviews so that they can observe their team members and provide a more thoughtful evaluation.

Related: A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Give Feedback (With Examples)

How Can You Collect This Type Of Feedback?

To collect 360-degree reviews you can use survey tools that enable you to assign surveys and collect responses. There are many platforms that enable you to create a survey and distribute it.

When collecting feedback, being informative is important. Be sure to notify team members about the feedback request and provide them with information about the expectations of the performance review. Organisations may consider having a meeting to share when they are starting a review cycle. In this meeting, leaders can share where to submit feedback and provide any important details about how to provide feedback on another's performance.

Related: Employee Engagement Tools (With Features And Examples)

How Can You Get Feedback From Customers?

Customers are a great resource for conducting employee performance reviews. You may collect feedback from customers about team members if your company is client or customer based. To get feedback from customers, you can create surveys that are easily accessible and available to them whenever they make a transaction with the company. For example, you can include a link to a survey on a receipt. This gives the customer a chance to provide feedback on the service they receive. If the employee takes phone calls, you can include a short survey at the end of customer support calls.

Requesting customer feedback provides a unique perspective for employees and can improve the customer experience. Employees can learn their customer service strengths and customers may feel that a company that invites constructive criticism values their opinions more.

Related: What Is Customer Service? Definition and Career Advice

What Can This Type Of Feedback Help Assess?

A 360-degree review offers feedback that assesses the skills of an employee. Most often, this type of feedback reveals strengths and weaknesses. You may also use this type of feedback to evaluate a professional's knowledge in certain areas.

Since these reviews access skills and knowledge, they can be useful in evaluating the success of an organisation's training programmes. By identifying weaknesses, employers can recognise where training programmes may lack instruction.

Related: How To Acquire New Skills (With Examples Of Skills To Learn)

What Are Its Advantages?

This form of feedback provides many advantages, including:

Shares multiple perspectives

A primary benefit of using this format for conducting performance reviews is that both employers and employees receive more perspective on an employee's performance. This type of feedback offers many more observations than a manager may have of a team member's performance. It is beneficial to employers because they can collect a more accurate review of an employee. It is also an advantage for employees who receive the feedback because they can learn more about their impact on team members and supervisors. Employees also gain a more comprehensive view of their performance by receiving feedback from many sources.

Increases accountability

It is useful to encourage team members, supervisors and customers to submit feedback because it increases engagement. For employees, increased engagement can increase accountability and job satisfaction because they feel more ownership of their work.

By reviewing their teammates, employees may become more accountable for their contributions. This is because a performance review can encourage self-reflection and while evaluating another's performance the employee can consider how they are performing. Increased accountability strengthens teams and often has a positive effect on production and quality.

Related: A Guide On How To Build A Team That Is Strong And Successful

Creates a process

It is helpful to an organisation to implement this feedback tool into their process for performance evaluations because it provides many observations about how an employee is successful in their job role. Using this type of review can help create a process and in doing so, leaders can develop a reliable method for evaluating and motivating employees.

If organisations use this feedback regularly, they can create a process that identifies where employees can improve and may also identify ways they can help their employees develop. Reviewing employees consistently also can ensure that they are aware of expectations in their job role.
Related: 10 Human Performance Tools You Can Use In The Workplace

Identifies areas for improvement

This feedback can supply employees with information about where they can improve, but it also provides an advantage to employers by revealing areas where they can invest more into training and career development. For example, if the surveys mention weaknesses in leadership, the organisation can implement training courses for leadership. Similarly, if the surveys mention skills that the team members lack such as communication or poor proficiency in a job task, then employers can ensure that they address this deficit and develop training to help employees improve.

It is important to use the feedback to make improvements in an organisation so that employees see their opinions are valuable and that the performance reviews can be impactful.

Related: Types Of Workplace Training: Definitions And Examples

Provides a fair assessment

By collecting feedback from multiple sources, you can reduce bias in performance evaluations. Different perspectives and additional observations can create a more accurate representation of how an employee is performing. This method of review ensures that an employee receives a fair evaluation. Sometimes reviews from supervisors may not be entirely accurate because they only oversee an employee's work. Evaluations from team members who work more closely with an employee may provide clear details about what an employee is doing well.

Improves employee performance

When employees receive feedback from multiple sources, they get more information about their performance. A comprehensive review can help easily identify strengths and what tasks they are good at, as well as identify weaknesses and aspects of their job where they can improve.

Being able to evaluate their team members can also improve an employee's performance because they see the questions and gain a sense of how their peers evaluate their performance. Including employees in performance evaluations, rather than only supervisors, also gives employees more responsibility and can increase their interest in performing well.

Related: Performance Improvement Plan: Benefits, Process And Examples

Are There Disadvantages To This Type Of Feedback?

If an organisation doesn't implement this feedback tool correctly there can be some disadvantages. For example, if employers introduce 360-degree reviews in a haste, then team members may not understand how to complete a peer evaluation or may not have enough time to prepare thoughtful observations.

This type of performance review also creates a lot of data that can be difficult to manage. You can mitigate this risk by planning how you may use the feedback and by providing specific questions that help evaluate performance.


If you collect feedback from multiple sources about one employee, it is an example of this type of feedback. This type of feedback may include answers to specific questions about the performance or may include a few comments about an employee's behaviours and performance. For example, a survey question may prompt you to provide information about a team member's ability to communicate, to which you can respond, “This team member responds quickly and provides clear communication about the tasks they complete for our projects.”

Related: 20 Examples Of Feedback In The Workplace (With Examples)

Why Might You Choose To Use This Evaluation Method Over Other ethods?

This method of collecting feedback about employee performance is useful in a variety of work settings. It is cost-effective and efficient because you and your team members can learn quickly about their strengths and weaknesses and a 360 review provides an accurate assessment of an employee's performance. Organisations can automate this type of review and experiment with ways to collect feedback, which is useful in customising this method to fit organisational needs.

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