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How to successfully implement a 360° assessment in 5 concrete steps

eye 1037 Published on 17 Jan. 2023
tag #HR advice

Making a person aware of their potential and leading them to develop it is the main objective of a 360 assessment.

The 360° assessment is a different assessment method from the traditional method because it uses a multi-source assessment to evaluate an individual’s behavioural and professional competencies via the feedback of their professional entourage.

The 360° feedback assessment no longer needs to convince anyone of its usefulness as its advantages are numerous. Some benefits include ease of use, complete and objective evaluation, rich palette of competencies and evolutionary potential of competencies, concrete report leading to an action plan, human and constructive philosophy of the tool, and restitution mode leading to a positive understanding of the results.

Find out how to set up an effective 360° feedback assessment, along with our advice on how to make the most of it.

The 5 stages of the 360° evaluation approach
1. The establishment of the process 

Clearly communicate the purpose and benefits of a 360° assessment to all individuals involved in the process. 

It is essential to ensure that all stakeholders understand the objectives, the process and the expected results. Therefore, communicating the purpose can help remove some doubts and fears and ensure that everyone is fully committed to participating voluntarily. Forcing someone to participate obviously does not bring the desired results, and the involvement in skills development is likely to be compromised. 

On the reviewee side, in order to be relevant, they need to have a certain seniority in the company. This is because, on the one hand, they will have the experience to know on what aspects to base their answers on and also so that the evaluators' feedback is consistent and provides value. 

It is then necessary to involve the evaluators and explain the process to them, emphasising the anonymity of the answers and reminding them to answer frankly and kindly, and asking them to bear in mind that this is a constructive process for the individual being evaluated.

The point is to avoid settling scores or painting an ideal picture of the individua being reviewed. It is important to be objective and to answer authentically since the answers will provide the reviewee with food for thought so that they can improve.  

2. The evaluation

First, choose the assessment that best fits your organisation's needs and culture.
Central Test's 360° Feedback assesses 63 competencies selected for an individual’s development potential. It is also important to ensure that the tools are reliable and valid, and are administered consistently and fairly.

By completing a 360° assessment, the individual begins to reflect on their competencies through the eyes of others. The questionnaire is fully automated, and the individual self-assesses by assigning a score to each of the competencies measured. 

The assessors, who are the members of the professional entourage of the reviewee being assessed (manager, subordinates, colleagues, former employees, clients, etc.), also complete the assessment anonymously without knowing the scores assigned by the reviewee being assessed.

These assessors evaluate the reviewee based on their role, the context in which they observed the reviewee and their interactions with them, offering a unique view of these competencies. Like a panoramic view, the multiplicity of these views encompasses the person, allowing them to be seen from different angles.

3. The feedback on results obtained

The feedback is a pivotal moment for the reviewee, where strong awareness is created to challenge and improve.

When all evaluations are completed, a report is generated, and a meeting is scheduled for the presentation and discussion of results, focusing on any differences in perception to better target skills for further development.   

This movement that is being set in motion must continue in the implementation of development actions; otherwise, the effects of these awarenesses will be short-lived.
To ensure optimal deployment, the quality of the feedback is crucial. The interview is generally highly emotional and should be conducted by an experienced facilitator, who embraces the benevolent and constructive philosophy of 360° feedback and knows how to capitalise on the striking moments of awareness to engage the reviewee in action. 
At each stage, the reviewee is led to reflect on these elements, try to interpret them, and give examples to support these points to find meaning.

Thanks to the quality of their feelings and the finesse of their discourse, the facilitator will be able to progress at the individual’s pace, provoke relevant reflections, put the results into perspective and open up possibilities for evolution.

4. The development plan

For such development initiatives to be successful, individuals must be involved in the decision-making and rolling-out stages. Involving the individuals makes them more accountable. It ensures that individuals are comfortable with the selected actions and motivated to commit themselves entirely to the process.  

Different measures of development can be taken depending on the skills to be enhanced. Generally, these steps include but are not limited to short-term and long-term training courses, group or personal development workshops, personalised coaching sessions, mentoring programs, and team-building activities. With their strong development potential, these actions can be supplemented by conferences, seminars, and lectures on the topic. 
Throughout this process, individuals must be able to call upon a resource person not only to support them in moments of demotivation but also to help them regularly take stock of their progress to guarantee continued skills development. With the help of their predefined success milestones, individuals will have a clear vision of their objectives and path to follow. 

5 - Performance evaluation

Depending on the skills to be developed and the desired development margin, it is advisable to set apart some time after the process to evaluate and assess the progress made by the person.

Knowing the ins and outs of the evaluation, the individual understands that it is not just a simple assessment, though a rich and complete one, but that they will have to invest in developing the less mastered skills essential to their functions. 

The positive repercussions of the 360° assessment are such that it affects the organisation’s competitiveness, image, attractiveness and overall performance. The 360° feedback pulls off this impressive effect by simply investing in people. It’s easy to figure out that having faith in your employees and offering them the chance to fulfil their potential, means respecting them as human beings and acknowledging their value. The result? You foster an organic sense of loyalty since employees feel good, they feel seen, are more motivated, feel confident, and take pride in doing a better job, thanks to their newly honed skills. 

It’s a win-win for companies since the skills gained by employees strengthen their competitiveness and boost the business’s overall level of performance. Companies that can boast of having a pool of highly qualified talent will present a positive and compassionate corporate image, and will be sought after as a place where people want to come and grow as professionals. 

The 360° assessment may be the answer that companies need to get through the crisis with peace of mind and settle into a new rhythm that calls for greater agility. Versatile, easy to use, effective and engaging, the 360° feedback assessment is destined to become a reference tool for tomorrow's evaluations.

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