Periodic employee assessment is necessary to measure the effects of their work, development, and career path in the organization. Discover how to conduct an employee assessment using the 360-degree method and download a free form template from Calamari!

Measuring an employee's progress and planning their future isn't easy, but it's necessary for employee development and the proper functioning of the organization. In addition, it allows for detecting problems early and discovering people's potential.

There are many ways to evaluate employees depending on the employer's needs. The 360-degree method is multifaceted and one of the basic HR tools. Discover what it consists of, how to conduct it, and

Find out what it is, what it consists of, and its advantages and disadvantages.


What is a 360-degree review

The 360-degree model is an innovative, multifaceted employee assessment technique that allows accurate feedback about employee performance in the organization. The model name comes from the 360 degrees of a circle - an association with the employee environment that answers the questions about a given person.

This method allows collecting data about the skills, knowledge, and behavior in the company of the assessed employee. Of course, you can collect various types of data depending on circumstances and the company's needs. The kind of information is also different due to the employee position.

The 360-degree review may be attended by several to several dozen people. Therefore, the proximity of respondents' contacts with the assessed employee should be considered when selecting the respondents. To get the most meaningful answers, respondents need to know the employee in question so they can provide helpful information.

As a result of the 360-degree review, there are 4 categories of obtained information: strengths, development areas, discrepancies, and hidden strengths of the employee.

The purpose of the employee 360-degree review is to determine the employee's strengths and the critical areas of their professional development. In the context of the whole organization, this data increases the effectiveness of individuals and entire teams.

Information sources in the 360-degree method

In a 360-degree review, the source of information is the respondents chosen to assess the given employee. All the data that can be collected depends on their answers. You must remember that the responders should be those who came into contact with the assessed person often enough to be reliable sources.

People who can be responders of the assessment:

  • immediate superiors,
  • team members,
  • subordinates,
  • HR specialists,
  • the assessed employee,
  • Employees in equal positions,
  • external and internal clients.

Who can use 360-degree review

Despite the possibility of reviewing an employee from a broad perspective provided by the 360-degree assessment model, it's not the solution for every type of organization. In addition, the method requires a high level of security and trust in the company to be genuinely insightful.

Numerous studies conducted by psychologists (Craig, S. Bi Hannum, K, 2006) allowed identifying the features of the organization in which this model functioned properly. There are an organization that:

  • introducing changes and learning is considered a path to success,
  • there is an open flow of information,
  • open communication is perceived by senior management as a condition for the success of the organization,
  • senior employees are open to changes that enable personal development and the company's success,
  • managers discuss business results with employees.

When planning the appraisal, you should inform workers about the chosen methods and familiarize them with the way and purpose of gathering information and how to use it. The anonymity of the responders should be ensured to obtain the most accurate information.


How to conduct a 360-degree employee appraisal

The 360-degree method ​​is an anonymous survey. It is carried out using a form containing various questions about the examined person, which allows gathering the necessary information.

The test process consists of several stages:

  1. Selecting the skills to be measured you should consider which information is the most important in the context of the employee and his functioning in the organization. You need to focus on a few selected areas in terms of the effects you want to achieve using the 360-degree assessment. You cannot research everything at once.
  2. Making employees aware Before conducting the 360-degree assessment, explain to employees the purpose for which it is carried out, why it's essential, and how it can improve the organization's functioning.
  3. Ensuring the anonymity of the survey anonymity impacts the honesty of information provided. Subordinates are reluctant to assess their superiors negatively for fear of the consequences. Therefore, an anonymous survey works best to give them a sense of security and willingness to share their opinion.
  4. Create a 360-degree evaluation form - questions should be created based on previously selected areas that you want to investigate. Filling out the questionnaire should not take more than 15-20 minutes so that the respondent does not get tired and start responding inconsistently. At the beginning of the survey, you should put instructions on how to fill it in.
  5. Sharing the survey - you can do it using a paper form and an electronic form. The second method allows for an easier way to compare the results and to reach all people taking part in the study faster.

360-degree review pros

The 360-degree method comes with many pros. First, it allows to define the areas that need changes and improve the organization's efficiency.

Secondly, insightful answers are a great way to define the problems and give the solution for them.

If adequately conducted with complete anonymity, information collected with a 360-degree method from multiple sources makes the results more objective. Moreover, people are more open to sharing their honest opinions when they're not afraid of the consequences.

The 360-degree review method helps identify problems inside teams and behavior patterns that positively impact work efficiency.

360-degree review cons

Despite its numerous advantages, the 360-degree rating also has its disadvantages. The main one is the time-consuming research and the effort of many people in conducting the assessment. It's also an expensive method that often requires hiring an additional person to complete the process.

There's a risk that the assessed managers won't be optimistic about the assessment. They may even be reluctant because they fear unfair judgment focused on pointing out their mistakes.

Additionally, suppose employees won't understand the reason for the review and how it can help improve the company's workflow. In that case, they may not see a point in conducting the assessment. That's why it's essential to make sure people know the idea standing behind the review.


The 360-degree review method is a great way to gather a wide range of information that helps to define the employee's problems, strengths, and work development path. But, despite all its pros, it's not a method for every company.

If you want to know more about people management and improving company efficiency, check out our HR blog. And if you want to know how Calamari can help your business, contact us now!


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