What is 360 feedback and why bother?

Don't go round in circles thinking about this one... 🟣.

Julian Cook avatar
Written by Julian Cook
Updated over a week ago

Most of us work in teams, so it makes sense to know where you stand with the whole team, right?


Actually, it's right, I just felt like being dramatic 🎭.

Of course it makes sense to have a team-wide feedback loop! Sure, your direct manager may have the final say on your promotion or pay rise, but if you're not working well with the whole team then your opportunities for growth and progression will have a ceiling on them.

If you work in a team, you need to work as a team. This is where 360 feedback comes in...

360 feedback happens when many people give you feedback at the same time on the same things.

E.g. Mary the Marketing Manager emails the Marketing Director and three Marketing Executives. She asks them to reply to her email and answer the question,

"What did I do really well this last quarter?"

This differs to 1:1 feedback, where Mary asks the Marketing Director this question face-to-face.

This short video says it differently... perhaps even better πŸ“Ό.

And this short video gives a walkthrough of 360 feedback, the Howamigoing way...

Who is 360-degree feedback for?

A lot of people think that 360 feedback is only for big businesses with complex reporting lines.

At Howamigoing we've seen 360 feedback have an enormous impact in startups with 15 staff.

It really just depends on the type of work you do.

If you don't work with others (e.g. as a tradesperson or solo Salesperson), then there's no need for 360 feedback. Client feedback or manager feedback is about all you need.

But if you work in a team - if you rely on others to get your work done and they rely on you - 360 feedback becomes very important.

Why bother with 360 feedback?

If you work in a team, you need to work as a team. That means adapting your work and communication style to suit people that might not be your boss.

360 feedback gives you the best picture of where you stand with your team. Your teammates will have valuable insights into your work style that your boss won't have.

The other advantages of 360 feedback vs in-person 1:1 feedback are:

1. Time to think

‍Giving feedback in a written format gives you time to choose the right words.

2. Anonymity

‍Aggregating written feedback means you can remove people's names from their comments. This allows people to be more open and honest. More honesty is not a bad thing - more honest means a clearer picture of what people actually think.


3. Compare responses

‍The feedback you receive comes in the same, consistent format. This allows you to compare and contrast different people's opinions.


4. There for later

‍Because it's all written down, you can come back and re-read comments at a later date. It's hard to make notes of 1:1 feedback when you're trying to be present in the conversation.

To be clear though, 1:1 conversations are very important. While 360 gives you richer data, it doesn't help you to build relationships.

More resources on 360 feedback

Here are a couple of longer-form articles with more insight and helpful tips:

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