Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

How can leaders use 360-degree feedback to boost employee engagement?


Guest post by Steve Brown

One of the popular approaches to improving performance and employee engagement is to set up 360-degree reviews. With this process, a person gets feedback from their peers, as well as their manager. Management people also get feedback from the people who report to them. The fact that you receive performance feedback from many directions is why it’s termed 360-degree feedback. While many companies have achieved good results with this system, others have failed. Here are some steps for understanding and using 360-degree feedback effectively.


Photo courtesy of flickr.com

A better understanding of 360-degree feedback

Employees are used to receiving performance feedback from their managers, but not from peers or subordinates. It is important to prepare mentally, ensuring that you are open to input, and willing to accept it. There is normally some constructive criticism included. Don’t let that make you angry, and don’t immediately fall into a pattern of attack, denial, or defensiveness. Don’t make excuses, and don’t automatically discredit the feedback. Your ability to make good use of this feedback is only as great as your willingness to be open to it, so think about this in advance.

The purpose of the 360-degree review is to enable you to build on your strengths, and shore up your weaknesses. This can be a positive outcome, making you even better at your job than you are currently. Stay professional throughout the entire process, and think positively. Rather than letting negative thoughts undermine you, try to channel that energy towards achieving positive change.

Analyzing 360-degree feedback

Try to stay neutral as you review the feedback in detail. You may have charts of numerical ratings, as well as qualitative comments. Don’t get hung up on a specific comment, and don’t let yourself feel overwhelmed by the whole thing. Assess every answer and use it to improve the work environment. Leaders who want to achieve great things through the use of 360-degree feedback should be open to criticism because it’s the only way they can solve office issues and boost company productivity.

360-degree feedback is excellent for entrepreneurs who want to attain leadership accomplishment. Owning a business and keeping things running smoothly on a constant basis is tough. Great leaders should focus their attention on their employees. When employees are not feeling happy at the workplace, company productivity declines and your business is susceptible to being destroyed by the competition.

Survey format & results analysis

360-degree feedback can help leaders accomplish a lot of things. These surveys can be used to spot issues before they turn into something else. Have a format in mind and focus on questions that address leadership behaviors, team collaboration, communication, customer interaction, and delegation. Focus on multiple-choice questions with numeric or quantitative measure of responses. This will help employees’ gives straight answers.

If your company doesn’t have an HR department, you can have a third party analyst qualify and quantify your staff’s responses to the 360-degree feedback survey. Use the results wisely to boost productivity, and assess their demands, wishes and expectations. Start making small improvements, let employees see your devotion, and eventually you will reap great benefits.

Steve Brown is the writer to this article. He is a regular contributor at many sites and mainly focuses on business related topics. Also he recommends http://www.peopleinsight.co.uk/ for top quality Employee Engagement and Staff Survey Experts.

The Product Management Perspective: Whether your company does 360-degree feedback or some other format, take advantage of the opportunity to get feedback about yourself and your products. Don’t be afraid of what you might hear. Be open to change and seek to improve. Your products will benefit.

3 thoughts on “How can leaders use 360-degree feedback to boost employee engagement?

  1. 360 evaluations can be very powerful. However, I’ve learned that healthy trust must exist in the team in order to be truly effective.

  2. This is a strong argument for 360 feedback as a development tool and to raise levels of engagement. I think it’s also essential to have someone, either internal HR or an external specialist, to help coach someone through their feedback report.
    Without this support, our natural tendency to go to the negatives or improvement points, can seriously limit the value of the process.
    At best, individuals fail to absorb and appreciate all the strengths that their colleagues identify. At worst, they are bruised, upset and angry at negative comments.
    It’s also important to educate those giving feedback. What does helpful and unhelpful feedback look like?
    Lots to think about if you’re going to get the best from this great process.

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