Topic: Basics

360 degree feedback

360 degree feedback is an essential way to show supervisors and employees the difference between self-assessment and external assessment. The results help supervisors or employees to develop their personal and professional skills.

We will show you how to perform 360, 270 or 180 degree feedback with easyfeedback to get useful results. The structure is the same in all of these versions, just the amount of perspectives added will differ. 

What does 360 degree feedback mean?
360 degrees feedback is completely represented by four perspectives, the individual feedback is obtained from each one (90 degrees per perspective). If one perspective is left out, it is called 270 degree feedback, or 180 degree feddback in case of only two perspectives.

The perspectives of a 360 degree feedback:
Perspective 1: Self-assessment of supervisor or employee
Perspective 2: external assessment from a manager's perspective
Perspective 3: external assessment from an employee's perspective
Perspective 4: external assessment from customers' or suppliers' perspectives

The successfull implementation of 360 degree feedback with easyfeedback consists of three components: questionnaire, invitation management and presentation of results.


The questionnaire setup

If you don't already have one, please create an account at easyfeedback. With an active acoount you can immediately start to build your previously defined and agreed questionnaire in easyfeedback.

We recommend to insert all questions into the questionnaire editor first and sort them afterwards. With the right order, you can arrange them to different pages. 

If you have not developed any questionnaire yet, and do not know how it should look, you can use one of our templates for your inspiration.

Summary: 'Create a new survey > enter all questions > arrange the questions on several pages > check the questionnaire with colleagues using the preview link.'

Each participant in the 360 degree feedback process will see the same text (questions, answers, etc.). It is possible that people participate in this 360 degree feedback several times from diffrent perspectives. The main reason to place the assessed person's name in the e-mail invitation and the questionnaire is to avoid misunderstandings. With the evaluated person visible all the time, you can ensure everyone will evaluate the right person at the right time (in the right questionnaire). 

The placement of the individual's name is performed by using placeholders, which are filled by the corresponding information from the participant list. In this example, it is [custom2]. A question might therefore look like this:

360 degree feedback questionnaire

Placeholders can be used throughout the whole survey for text elements, questions or answers. You can decide to use only one placeholder per page or even apply it to every question / answer option. 

Please consider that the placeholders are not filled in the survey preview, because the system did not assign any participant data at that stage. There is another way to perform your tests, you will get to know that later on.


Invitation Management - setup of the participant list

This stage of the development is the crucial one for the success of the 360 ​​degree feedback process: The need for a correct structure of the participant list.

We need to assign the final results of the individual perspectives to the corresponding supervisor for reasonable evaluations. You could simply start the questionnaire by asking for the perspective and for whom the feedback was given, but this approach can easily cause participants' mistakes. Implementation of a participant list reduces errors and offers further advantages.

After creating the questionnaire, choose the menu 'Participant list' and create a new participant list. Then add the new participants manually or through the import function. We prefer to import the participants. This is how it is done. First you should download our template (all templates include the same content, but in different file formats).

You will see these 10 labeled columns:
email  Obligation to send the invitations
title Optional for personal addressing in invitation
firstname Optional for personal addressing in invitation
lastname Optional for personal addressing in invitation
referencetext Optional for personalizing the results
custom1 Optional value to filter the results
custom2 Optional value to filter the results
custom3 Optional value to filter the results
custom4 Optional value to filter the results
custom5 Optional value to filter the results

You can fill the columns with the corresponding information, but it will not be necessary to fill in eveything. Whenever you do not need one or more columns, just leave the blanks.

Usage of the column 'referencetext'
If you enter a value into the column 'referencetext' e.g. name, number or similar, this value will be displayed within the single results next to each text response. Furthermore we need to assign the data, who gave which kind of feedback from which perspective of the 360 degree feedback. If we do this, we can not receive anonymous results.
Therefore, it is recommended to leave this column blank.

An example structure for our 360 degree feedback is shown in the following image:

360 degree feedback participant list

The first column contains email, second has the title, first name is blank (because we only address by lastname), column 4 has last name, and the 5th column for the referencetext is left blank as well.

Columns 'custom 1-5' are important to evaluate the result by the perspectives and prepare the presentation. Like mentioned, we need to know who has been given feedback from which perspective.

We will be able to assign correctly, since we have specified the perspective in column 'custom1': self-assessment, manager, peers or customer. In column 'custom2' we will set the assessed person, for whom the feedback will be given: Max Magic, Doreen Super, John Doe

All other columns stay blank. You could include additional values for filtering the results, for example: custom3 = department; custom4 = location; …

Once you have completed your setup in the file, you can import and check your entries. If entries got mixed up with other columns, simply delete the whole participant list, correct your structure in Excel and import it again, into a new participant list.

As soon as you have finished your questionnaire and prepared your participant list, you can import the list into your survey. This is done by navigating to 'Invite participants > Email invitation' and importing your list there.

This is, where you can enter and save your invitation text and sender's information.


Test run
A test will help you to get familiar with your new setup. You should start a test run and look up if everything is working.

For this test you should create a second participant list with test participants. Deposit approximately 3 to 4 participants from different perspectives, to test the evaluation:

Steps: 'Create new list > insert 3 to 4 colleagues > import the participant list into the survey > set invitation text and sender details > send invitations > start test run'

When you include yourself in the list, you can check how the placeholders will be filled with information from the list. If the placeholders would not be filled like desired, something has gone wrong with the assignment of the data you have imported. Please check your entries into the columns and the correct spelling of all placeholders.

After all test participants have given feedback, you should check the evaluation and have a look at the results. In that tab you can create an example report to test this feature, too. This step is really important. If you just check after the survey, and something went wrong, you can only correct it manually. You will learn how to test the evaluation by reading the next section.

The test run is just like the final survey, just with fewer test participants. In order to send the invitations, you need an active survey package, otherwise you cannot send the invitations.

Once the test is complete, you can delete the test results from the evaluation to get a start with a clear evaluation page.


Evaluation and preparation of results

While the survey is running you can already take a look at the results and statistics, just like anytime afterwards. Without filtering you will always get the total of all results.

In case of a 360 degree feedback we need the results arranged with the corresponding different perspectives; self-assessment and external-assessment. To get there, we have to create several filters. The provided information from the participant list will help us.

We can stay with our example. First we would like to get the self-assessment of Max Magic. Click on the dropdown 'Total results' and select the button below: 'New filter >'

Enter the filter description into the filter menu, which just opened: 'Self: Max Magic'. After that click on the 'Participant list' menu. Select your participant list. Then choose 'custom1' and 'self-assessment'. That would get us all results of the participants who have made a self-assessment. Since we only want to get the self-assessment of Max Magic, we need to click on '+ filter'. Now we will get a second line with an 'and'-relationship to the chosen one, plus the same options again. Select your participant list again, the second field gets 'custom2' and in the third coloumn 'Max Magic'

If you now 'save' your settings, we will get the results of Max Magic self-assessment.

360 degree feedback filter settings

Now repeat the process and create a filter for the perspective 'Manager' and 'Peers'.

360 degree feedback filter settings 2360 degree feedback filter settings 3

With the three created filters, we got all the feedback perspectives for the assessment of Max Magic. Depending on the chosen survey package, the following options for preparing the results are available:
If you have chosen the Starter oder Standard package, you have to download the multi-filtered perspectives as .xls or .pdf and prepare your compounded presentation all by yourself.

If you have selected the Business or Company package, you can directly create a comparison in easyfeedback and download it without additional manual work.

Please proceed as follows: Open the results, click two times on '+ Comparison' next to the 'Total results' dropdown. Two additional dropdown menus will be added this way. In the first one, you should select 'Self: Max Magic', in the middle 'Manager: Max Magic' and on the right 'Peers: Max Magic'. Click on 'apply' and you will get a comparison view of the three selected perspectives. Choose your favorite charts and export them as .pdf. Or click on .xls to get the summary of all questions in one file.

360 degree feedback report

For each supervisor you need to repeat the creation of filters and prepare the results to create individual reports.

If it is too much for work for your company's size, to create all these filters for each supervisor and perspective, and your employees should get insights to the given feedback automatically, please contact us. In addition to easyfeedback, we provide a second tool, which is strongly focused on employee assessment and automatization.