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Asking the Difficult Question: How to Review Your 360 Survey


360 feedbackCongratulations! You’ve completed your 360 survey. The hard part is over. Now it’s time to kick back, relax and bask in the glory of another job well done. Or at least it would be if there wasn’t still some work left to do. When a 360 survey is completed, it’s time to start your 360 review. This involves de-briefing people on the results of the 360 survey, what was said, was it positive or negative and how do you use that information as a development tool. Tackling some of these points can be tricky, so it’s best to reflect upon how to properly handle a 360 review process. We don’t want to teach Grandma how to suck eggs but sometimes reminding ourselves of a few good basics is no bad thing:

Behavioural Blind Spots

After a 360 survey is completed, a de-briefing process with each employee should be a priority, allowing you to go through the results of the feedback with them. A 360 review can occasionally highlight areas in which an employee is particularly weak. The employee may not know about it, so it’s important that this weakness is discussed in a proper de-briefing process. Even if the majority of an employee’s feedback is positive, one or two poorly handled negative comments could cause upset and all of the positive remarks will be forgotten.

Accentuate the Positive

When carrying out a de-briefing process, it is best to focus on the person’s strengths at first. Beginning with negative comments can colour a person’s interpretation of the entire review. If they feel that the negative comments were unjust or upsetting, they won’t take the positive feedback that they hear after it on board.

Ask the Difficult Question

When going through the de-briefing process with an employee, there may be a particular negative point that stands out. It could be something that would be difficult to discuss, that they should already be aware of anyway. If the employee doesn’t mention it, you have to bring it up. Asking the difficult question could provide the breakthrough you’re looking for in your 360 review.


SurveyShack provides a flexible and cost-effective 360 degree feedback solution. To learn more, download our free white paper on the benefits of 360 degree feedback.

How to Get the Most Out of Your 360 Survey


360 survey processYou’ve decided to run a 360 survey. You want to comprehensively evaluate the performance of your employees and your management team. You’ve found the survey option that suits you. All you have to do now is set it up and send it out, right? Not quite. There’s more to a 360 survey than that, especially if you want to get the most out of it.


Having a clear plan before you begin your 360 survey process is vital. What do you want to get out of the process? What are you trying to learn? If you don’t know why you’re doing it, you won’t get anything out of it and your employees will be oblivious to the purpose of the survey.

Don’t Use it to Defer

A 360 survey isn’t a magical cure-all; it won’t make a bad employee into a good one. If you have an employee that is not pulling their weight, you will have to tell them. Don’t use the 360 survey as a way of getting out of telling an employee how it is.

Communication Breakdown

Tell your employees why you’re doing the 360 survey and what it is. Clear communication with your employees means they’re more likely to understand and accept the 360 process.

360 Confidential    

Guaranteeing absolute anonymity means your employees are more likely to provide you with open and honest 360 survey results. When you inform your employees of the 360 survey, you need to be able to guarantee them anonymity. Let them know what parts of the survey will be anonymous and how the data will be presented, so they can be sure the information they provide is confidential.

Make the Commitment

Once you’ve chosen to conduct a 360 survey don’t back out of it at the first sign of trouble. If there’s a complaint about one aspect of the process this doesn’t mean the whole thing is compromised. Communicate with your employees and form a clear plan so you can create a 360 survey that you can get the most out of.


Do you help designing your 360 survey? Download our FREE whitepaper which outlines 'How to Design 360 Questionnaires'

How to Manage Negative 360 Survey Results


360 survey resultsOur perception of ourselves can be completely different to how other people see us. You might see yourself as a hard worker, while someone else might perceive you as a slacker. The funniest person in your office might be the person you consider to be the most annoying. Just like in life, the perceptions people express in 360 surveys might not be what we expect. At times like this it is important to know the best way to react so you can gain some experience from the process. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to handle negative 360 survey results.

Think Before Reacting

If you receive negative feedback from a 360 survey, your instant reaction may be to disagree, ignore the advice and carry on as normal. This benefits no one. Take some time to think about the feedback you’ve received; a day, a week, a fortnight. Whatever length of time it takes to wrap your head around the feedback you’ve heard so you can react to it in an appropriate manner.

Don’t Hold Grudges

After the 360 process is complete, it’s natural to wonder who said what about you. “Who didn’t think I was a good communicator? Who thought I didn’t have a clear vision for that project?” The important thing is to not worry who said what. Take the advice on board and use it to grow and become a better team player.

Have an Open Mind

Expect the unexpected in a 360 survey. You never know what some people are going to say, so have an open-minded approach to criticism. Even if you completely disagree with the overall findings, that doesn’t mean they’re wrong.


When you receive feedback from your peers and managers, you’ve chosen to take it on board and try to improve your performance the next step is to actually implement these changes. Receiving feedback is all well and good, but if you don’t act on it then no one benefits and the whole process will have been in vain.

Receiving a negative review is not the end of the world. If you see it as a chance to grow, as opposed to a setback, you’ll be able to use the process as valuable experience and move forward.


Need help designing your 360 project? Download our free white paper how to design 360 degree feedback reports

The Benefits of a Self-Managed 360 Review Service


 reviewStarting a 360 review process might seem like a daunting task. You’ve got to coordinate sending questionnaires to staff members, make sure they complete them fully and assess the results. If you have to do this with a few hundred people, the process can potentially get out of hand. An online survey service cuts out the issue of managing the entire 360 review process, while allowing you to remain hands-on. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of using a self-managed 360 review service.


People are pretty tech-savvy; every day we use laptops, smart phones and tablets. But occasionally we might need a bit of help when it comes to a new piece of software. The benefit of a 360 review service is that you will receive assistance when it comes to creating questionnaires and reports, be able to seek advice if you are unsure about any aspect of the process and request back up assistance from real people if you are under time pressure. You are also able to adapt and develop your system over time as internal processes change so that you are not stuck with a static system.


If you travel a lot for work, keeping track of your 360 review is not a problem. You can access your 360 survey over the internet and follow the progress of the entire process on the move. Providing the questionnaire to a staff member that may not have access to a computer is also possible. Reports can be turned into PDFs and printed out for their use as a coaching diagnostic tool.

Efficient Reporting

When carrying out a paper-based 360 review, collating data is very time-consuming. An online 360 review service saves time and money by collecting data and creating reports to specifications you’ve established. Also, if people fail to complete the survey fully, they can be automatically notified so you don’t have to chase people to finish the questionnaire. Not only that, but the accessibility of the online approach really motivates people to “drive” their own process and development.

A self-managed 360 review service allows you to be as engaged in the process as you want to be. If you want to micro-manage every detail of the survey, but still receive some guidance when it comes to making questionnaires or creating reports, you can. This blend of assistance when you need it and easy-to-use software means that you can complete a 360 review in good time and with minimum fuss.

Need help designing your 360 project? Download our free white paper how to design 360 degree feedback reports

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