The Pros and Cons of 360 Feedback

360 feedback is a process where employees receive feedback from their peers, subordinates, and supervisors. This feedback is then used to improve their performance. 360 feedback can be a helpful tool for employees, but it also has its drawbacks.
In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of 360 feedback. We will also provide some tips on how to make the most out of this process.

What is 360 feedback?

360 feedback, or 360-degree feedback, is a process where an employee receives comments from their peers, subordinates, and supervisors. This feedback typically focuses on how the employee behaves and works in the workplace.
In the process, participants are provided with a form that asks them to rate the employee on several criteria. These criteria can vary depending on the goals of 360 feedback, but may include customer satisfaction, teamwork, leadership, and problem-solving.
The feedback is used to help the employee improve their performance and better understand their strengths and weaknesses. It can also serve as a way to measure the success of a company’s training. Moreover, it can be used as a form of motivation, where an employee can improve their skillset and competencies in order to meet the performance standards of their team.

The pros of 360 feedback

The Pros of 360 feedback are numerous:
Firstly, it provides more objective feedback than single source feedback; supervisors are able to get a fuller picture of an employee’s performance since it comes from customers, peers and subordinates, as well as supervisors.
Secondly, it allows employees to assess their own performance. Hearing feedback from multiple sources can help them gain insight into their performance from an outside perspective.
Thirdly, feedback from multiple sources offers a better perspective of the employee’s skills and behaviour, giving management more tangible data to make decisions about promotions and rewards.
Fourthly, 360-degree feedback can provide an invaluable tool for career development, enabling employees to identify areas for improvement and work on them.
Finally, when used appropriately, 360 feedback can provide a safe environment for open, honest feedback from all levels of the company, which in turn can lead to more productive and engaged employees.

The cons of 360 feedback

In spite of the many advantages of 360 feedback, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider.
First, flaws in the system can lead to inaccurate ratings. For example, if employees have negative opinions of a particular employee, or the evaluators don’t understand the criteria that are being used, they could select inappropriately low ratings.
Second, some employees may be reluctant or unwilling to take part in the process, either unwilling to provide critical feedback or afraid to hear it.
Third, the feedback process may be influenced by the culture of the organisation or individual supervisors. If those supervisors don’t encourage a constructive, positive approach to feedback, the employee may feel that the feedback isn’t valuable or accurate.
Finally, it’s important to consider how the feedback will be used and interpreted. Without a clear context and understanding of job performance standards, the results of the feedback can be misunderstood. If managers or supervisors aren’t trained to interpret the data correctly, then the accuracy and value of the feedback is questionable.

When is 360 feedback appropriate?

360 feedback is most effective when it is used to supplement more accurate and comprehensive assessments of job performance. It can be an excellent tool for businesses to gather employee information to better understand their strengths and weaknesses.
However, it’s important to consider the context in which the 360 feedback will be used. Is the feedback being used for development and growth, or is it being used to make decisions that directly affect an employee’s job security?
In general, 360 feedback should only be used in situations where employees feel secure and supported. For example, when a manager is considering promoting an employee, 360 feedback can be beneficial for providing greater insight into the employee’s overall performance.
When used appropriately, 360 feedback can be an invaluable tool for improving job performance and employee satisfaction. However, businesses should ensure they have systems in place to accurately interpret the 360 feedback and that all employees feel comfortable taking part in the process.

How to make 360 feedback work for you

Once you have decided that 360 feedback is the right choice for your business, you need to set up your system. The process of setting up 360 feedback involves designing the questions, deciding who should be involved, and finding a platform to facilitate the feedback process.
1. Designing the Questions: Before beginning the feedback process, you need to decide which questions are necessary to get the most reliable results. You can include questions that measure a variety of job-related skills, abilities, preferences, or behaviors. Make sure to inquire about both positive and negative feedback, as this will give a holistic view of the employee.
2. Deciding Who Should Be Involved: This step involves deciding who should be involved in the 360 feedback process. You should start by selecting the evaluators who are in the best position to give feedback. You might include the employee’s colleagues, managers, and direct reports. It’s important that feedback is anonymous to ensure honest feedback.
3. Finding a Platform: The last step is to find a platform to facilitate the feedback process. There are many online platforms available that make it easy to manage the feedback process. Make sure the platform you select is secure and private to ensure anonymity.
By following these steps, you can ensure that your 360 feedback process is effective and reliable.


In conclusion, 360 feedback can be a powerful tool for improving employee performance and gathering data to again inform the development and progress of the organisation. Implementing the process should involve designing the questions, deciding who should be involved, and finding a secure platform to facilitate the feedback process. By taking the time to set up and regulate your 360 feedback process, you can get accurate, reliable data from a variety of different perspectives. The 360 feedback process can ultimately lead to greater job satisfaction, improved employee performance, and overall better outcomes for the organisation.