Framing The Right Questions To Ask In A 360 Feedback Review Form

by Kylee Stone Aug 3,2019

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

360 feedback reviews and performance reviews might seem like they are one and the same thing, but in reality, these two processes review two completely different things.

Performance reviews focus on an employee’s work performance. 360 feedback on the other hand focus on the person themselves. The review of performance, in this case, becomes secondary. The questions you ask on a 360 feedback form are instrumental in ensuring the success or failure of the form. If you confuse 360 feedback for performance when creating the form, then obviously the results that you are going to get will be skewed from the get-go. The success of a 360 feedback process lies in its questions.

Keep the following points in mind when creating a 360 review form. All you need to consider are these three points in order to create effective 360 feedback review forms.

Also read: Why Do 360 Feedback Programs Fail?

Choose structured over open-ended

Open-ended questions can generate a lot of information, but not all of them are going to give you the information you are looking for. On the other hand, structured questions will get you precise answers.

Here is an example of a good question: Do you think the employee is detail-oriented and organized when it comes to their work?

This question focuses on a behavioral characteristic that influences a person’s work.

Here is an example of a poorly thought-out question: Do you think the employee likes working with others?

While this question asks about an employee’s behavior, it’s too vague to answer properly. And some people might not want to answer the question at all because it is a purely subjective question.

Also read: Getting 360 Degree Reviews Right

Ask questions about qualities you would like employees to have

A big chunk of your form should focus on questions which essentially can be distilled down to this: does the employee exhibit this skill/quality/characteristics?

Some skills and qualities you can ask questions about are:

  • Leadership skills
  • Quality of work
  • Crisis management
  • Teamwork
  • Intrapersonal communication
  • Motivation & Engagement

Let us create an example question using the skill ‘ leadership qualities’. The question can be framed as so: Does the employee exhibit good leadership skills when it comes to managing their team? If so, cite examples that highlight this skill.

This question gives you concrete answers because it contains examples, which makes it easier to get more relevant and accurate data.

Customize questions according to job roles

In addition to asking questions about skills/qualities/characteristics, you want to ensure that employees answer questions based on the job roles they hold. A standard template for everyone might mean less work for the HR managers who are organizing the review cycle, but it will definitely make the process meaningless for many employees.

You want questions to be meaningful because then you will get valid answers. And the entire outcome will be positively affected as well.

When it comes to creating feedback forms for different designations, you can take the input of the managers, in order to create relevant templates.

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Kylee Stone

Kylee Stone supports the professional services team as a CX intern and psychology SME. She leverages her innate creativity with extensive background in psychology to support client experience and organizational functions. Kylee is completing her master’s degree in Industrial-Organizational psychology at the University of Missouri Science and Technology emphasizing in Applied workplace psychology and Statistical Methods.

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