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Factsheet:

Feedback - 360 degree

Resource summary

This factsheet was last updated in July 2016.

What is 360 degree feedback?

360 degree (or 3600) feedback, and sometimes simply called 360 feedback, is a performance appraisal method that gathers feedback on an individual from a number of sources. Its supporters claim that this gives managers and individuals better information about skills and performance, as well as working relationships, compared with more traditional appraisal arrangements based on line managers’ assessments.

The rationale for gathering 360 degree feedback is that, in complex organisations, managers will not fully understand the contribution of the people they manage, as they may be part of many different teams and engage in autonomous or semi-autonomous relationships with customers or colleagues.  There is therefore a strong argument for obtaining wide-ranging information to form an accurate picture of performance.

In 360 degree feedback, typically between 8 and 10 people complete questionnaires or give structured feedback describing the performance of the individual under review. The reviewers represent different types of work relationships with the individual: they could be peers, direct reports, more senior colleagues, or customers – hence the term ’360 degree’ feedback.

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