5 Tips for Carrying Out A Comprehensive 360 Performance Review

by Srikant Chellappa Apr 29,2015

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

A 360 performance review when done well can render insightful results and improve the overall employee engagement as it allows for comprehensive feedback and not just managers’ feedback. But, more often than not managers and HR administrators who attempt to administer it get bogged down by its various aspects and tend to complicate the approach rendering it useless.

So what is a 360-degree performance review? It is a type of performance review wherein employees receive performance feedback not only from their managers but also from colleagues, vendors customers, etc. It is a fairly intensive type of assessment because it involves collating a lot of data, which in turn is also subjective because that is the very nature of feedback.

If you’ve been shying away from doing 360 performance reviews because you’ve heard stories about mangled performance reviews, then we’ve got a few tips on how to make a 360-degree performance review work for you!

1. Don’t Just Evaluate The Job, Evaluate How It Is Done

Evaluate your employees based on how they do their job and not based on the outcome. Outcomes do not always reflect the amount of work that goes into getting a job done. You need to identify the core skills and competencies that you want your employees to possess and assess them accordingly.

Also Read: The Importance Of 360-degree feedback for healthcare

2. Constructive Criticism Is The Key

The purpose of a performance review is to help your employee grow as a professional. And criticisms are definitely an important part of performance reviews. But criticism is one of the places where performance reviews tend to go horribly wrong. An Employee is entitled to their opinion but before you begin a performance review, you might want to lay down the ground rules for what counts as fair criticism and what does not.


Good criticism: John is not very punctual at work. However, I have noticed that he completes all of his assigned tasks on time.

Bad criticism: John is not punctual and spends a lot of time in the office doing nothing.

If you look at the first example, you will see that while the reviewer in question is not pleased by John’s tardiness, he/she does note that John is dedicated. The criticism has some value to offer.

The second example offers no information except for what seems to be a malicious observation. What can John learn from it? Nothing!

Criticism is only of use when it is constructive. That is one of the most important things you need to keep in mind when carrying out performance reviews.

3. Review On A Regular Basis

If you do not review your staff’s work on a regular basis, then using 360-degree performance reviews doesn’t count. Reviewing your employee less frequently makes them think that their work doesn’t need any improvement and the organization is happy with their current working style.

When a 360-degree performance review finally happens, your employees might be astonished to find that everything is not alright. And this only leads to disengagement. If you decide that you are going to have a performance review yearly/quarterly etc, then do make sure that you have been having frequent reviews until then.

Also Read: Was Your 360 Degree Feedback Program A Failure?

4. Give Supportive End Review

A performance review is a great way to achieve the company’s goals but it also has a few potential dangers. One of those potential dangers is disengagement in employees. Whatever the end result of a performance review, it is the duty of the manager to be supportive and helpful. If an employee’s end review displays less than good results, then the manager and the employee need to come together and hash out a plan or an agreement that helps that employee get better or maybe even find a career more suited to them. The end result of a performance review should motivate an employee to do better, not make them feel demoralized and hurt.

5. Don’t Exempt The Managers From The Review

This is obvious, nobody should be exempt from feedback and review but we often, we are really talking about reviews from the reporting employees and peers. At the end of the day, a higher-level executive, a manager, and a CEO, all are a part of an organization. They too provide input and work towards the betterment of the organization. If the higher-ups of an organization do not get proper 360-degree performance feedback, then how will they know how to lead better?

In conclusion, though it has some potential risks when used appropriately, a 360-degree performance review can help your employees engage themselves in work, and accomplish the company goals.

Have you used the 360 performance review in your organization? Share your experiences with us in the comments section below!

Did you know that Engagedly can help you carry out comprehensive performance reviews?

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Srikant Chellappa
CEO & Co-Founder of Engagedly

Srikant Chellappa is the Co-Founder and CEO at Engagedly and is a passionate entrepreneur and people leader. He is an author, producer/director of 6 feature films, a music album with his band Manchester Underground, and is the host of The People Strategy Leaders Podcast. He is currently working on his next book, Ikigai at the Workplace, which is slated for release in the fall of 2024.

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