7 Primary Reasons to Use 360-Degree Feedback Assessments

August 17, 2016 by Sandra Mashihi


“The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.” -Socrates

Multi-rater or 360-degree feedback is the process in which managers, direct reports, peers, team members, and/or customers provide anonymous feedback to others. Despite being around for decades, it continues to grow in popularity.

Some companies bring 360-degree feedback into their organization for the wrong reasons, such as not wanting to be left behind or wanting to stay up on the latest leadership development trends. While implementing 360-degree feedback program for the wrong reasons could result in doing more harm than good, there are plenty of reasons why you should introduce 360-degree feedback to your organization. Here are 7 primary reasons:

  1. Increases self-awareness. It takes more than a single perspective to paint a picture of how a leader is seen by others. By surveying many people, 360-degree feedback provides a fairly accurate snapshot of perceptions from various stakeholders.
  2. Encourages self-development. By becoming aware of how their behavior impacts others, leaders can understand what they need to do more, less, or differently in order to reach their maximum potential.
  3. Increases organizational effectiveness. 360-degree feedback highlights specific skills and competencies associated with job performance. When this information is used to drive goals that are aligned with the organization’s overall vision, magical things happen.
  4. Can foster a culture of trust. When used only for development purposes – not hiring, firing or promotion — 360-degree feedback can increase trust and open the door to further performance discussions.
  5. Increases communication within an organization. 360-degree feedback is unique in that it can effectively measure soft-skills. One of the most important softskill there is communication. Leaders often fail to effectively communicate with the people they work with. By becoming aware of specific interpersonal behaviors, feedback results help leaders understand what they need to do to be a better communicator.
  6. Clarifies supervisory and/or managerial expectations. Based on the results of the 360-degree assessment, leaders often will collaborate with their supervisors to define expectations, develop goals and set up accountability systems.
  7. Initiates individual and team change. People cannot change without first understanding what it is they should be doing differently. A 360-degree assessment is the first step to identifying and understanding what needs to change.

Coach’s Critique:

While there are mixed opinions about the effectiveness of 360-degree feedback, I believe that if it’s conducted correctly, the value can be tremendous.

Many of my clients are reluctant to participate because they believe they will lose credibility in the eyes of the people they work with. I can understand why many of these clients prefer to shy away from wanting to understand the perceptions of others, but doesn’t it seem necessary in an environment that requires them to work with these other people?

Besides, the need to work with others, how are employees ultimately supposed to learn about how they are doing? Often times, my clients are surprised to learn the positive and effects they have had on their organization and on the people that they work with. For example, some learn they need to communicate in a different way to their teams. Others learn that they are doing better than they thought.

All in all, and IF used appropriately, 360-degree feedback assessments are great tools to increase development and behavioral change initiatives in organizations.


Dr. Sandra Mashihi is a senior consultant with Envisia Learning, Inc. She has extensive experience in sales training, behavioral assessments and executive coaching. Prior to working at Envisia Learning, Inc., She was an internal Organizational Development Consultant at Marcus & Millichap where she was responsible for initiatives within training & development and recruiting.. Sandra received her Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from University of California, Los Angeles and received her Master of Science and Doctorate in Organizational Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology.

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  • A survey is an important tool for any type of business. It helps determine areas that needs some fine tuning. The results may be utilized to create several specific measures in order to constantly enhance the company’s overall performance.

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