Should you use 360 feedback for assessment or for development?

Use this playbook to know when and how to use 360 degree feedback for employee development along with case specific examples.

360-degree feedback consists of constructive inputs received from those who work most closely with the recipients to help employees understand their unique strengths and limitations.

As a general consensus, in most organizations, 360-degree feedback is used for employee development instead of performance assessment.

There are several lone-standing reasons for this. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this.

However, before proceeding further, if you want to quickly learn what is 360 feedback and how to conduct it effectively, check out our detailed article 360 degree feedback 101

If not, let’s dig in.

Why you should use 360-degree feedback system for development

  1. It creates a trusting, fair, and accountable culture in the organization.
  2. Since this form of feedback is anonymous, it creates a positive environment where the subordinates, peers, and managers all share their opinion freely.
  3. Not only the individual, but it also helps create transparency and accountability within teams.
  4. As 360 degree feedback is a wholesome process and comprises inputs from all stakeholders, it helps employees understand their unique opportunities for improvement or development.
  5. Organizations can identify potential leaders that showcase areas of developing into a higher functioning position.
  6. The improved and developed skills of the employees will help enhance the culture of the organization.

Examples of 360 degree feedback for employee development

Here are the different kinds of feedback categorized for performance and behavior within communication skills, collaborative skills, and leadership skills portrayed by the employee. You can use these examples while giving out feedback, according to their strengths and weaknesses.

Feedback for Communication skills:

  1. (Name) has great communication skills within a team as well as personally. I can discuss new ideas with them without hesitation or formality.
  2. (Name) is very transparent and succinct while relaying any information or giving a presentation.
  3. Their interpersonal and problem-solving skills have made them more approachable during various situations when we are facing any hurdles.
  4. We noticed (Name) rarely communicates during our team meetings, hence seeming less approachable during times of need.

Feedback for Collaborative skills:

  1. (Name) is a great team member. They are collaborative and extremely cooperative with every team member while working on projects together.
  2. They can bring a common ground between everyone on the team. Their inputs are also creative and easy to understand.
  3. (Name) usually prefers working alone and does not exactly build rapport with other team members. 
  4. They are introverted by nature and thus are not very outspoken about their ideas during team meetings.

Feedback for Leadership skills:

  1. I have seen (Name) make difficult decisions that would benefit the organization and the specific employee.
  2. (Name) tackles such issues with a strong understanding, empathy, and a clear head. 
  3. (Name) always motivates and empowers others to do better constantly.
  4. Their nature has always been kind and supportive towards the employees that are lacking behind.
  5. They do not like to stand out as problem-solvers or a captain.

Why to avoid 360-degree feedback for employee assessment? 

  1. Employee performance assessment is often linked with particular objectives or specific metrics being met or not and does not focus on improvement. As a result, the best performance assessment happens by measuring progress on goals and performance snapshots over time, not by taking subjective opinions from peers and supervisors.
  2. As 360 feedback is collected from all levels of employees, conducting employee assessment with 360 feedback could come out as criticism from everyone to the concerned employee. Thus, causing demotivation.


360 feedback has been considered a great way to conduct a holistic assessment of employees without caring about any biases related to the recipient. It also builds a healthier environment and better working relationships among peers and team members.

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