360° feedback assessments

Skill level: Basic


Traditional performance feedback within organizations occurs downward as part of a manager to subordinate review process. In some cases, this process is augmented by collecting upward feedback if there are individuals who report to the person being reviewed.

The unique feature of a 360 degree assessment is that it not only captures upward and downward feedback but it also considers input from peers, the person being reviewed, and sometimes external sources such as customers.

The true strength of this method is its ability to measure directly the effectiveness of an individual in terms of how he or she has translated organizational objectives into tangible, value-adding services to all parties.

On the negative side, collecting meaningful objective data from all different parties with appropriate weighting can be difficult.


  • Measures value for each interaction
  • Shows different perspectives on an individual’s performance
  • Flexible and can be customized to the organization’s goals

How to Use

  • Step 1. Develop individual performance objectives.
  • Step 2. Agree on objectives.
  • Step 3. Select “consumers” of the individual’s services.
  • Step 4. Select measures and weights for each objective.
  • Step 5. Collect feedback.
  • Step 6. Quantify and assign weightings to feedback.
  • Step 7. Review feedback and ratings.

Relevant Definitions

Consumer: Anyone receiving a good or a service from the individual being evaluated, including, but not limited to, management, self, peers, suppliers, and customers.


Books and More is a publishing company that works with beginning authors and specializes in small-run book printing. The primary servicing agent is a person who works with authors, walking them through the process by setting expectations, reviewing submissions, and moving manuscripts through the publishing process. The primary objectives of the company are to ensure that authors understand and advance smoothly through the submission and publication processes without having to be publishing experts.

  • Step 1. The overall corporate goal is broken down to three primary objectives:
    • Outlining the process for the author
    • Passing a completed package of work to the editor for review and publishing
    • Minimizing the time from initiation to publication
  • Step 2. The manager meets with the servicing agent and reviews the objectives as outlined to ensure they are understood and measurable.
  • Step 3. Consumers are identified. The goals are:
    • Directed toward the author (external customer)
    • Directed toward peers within the company
    • Directed toward management
  • Step 4. The following metrics are applied and weighted:
    • After publication, each author receives a survey to rate the agent’s performance. The rating is weighted 40 percent.
    • Each package is reviewed by the editor and rated for completeness. The average of this score is weighted 30 percent.
    • The timeline for each publication is measured from start to finish and the average time is compared to a standard objective. This score is weighted 30 percent.
  • Steps 5 and 6. Each quarter the overall rating is calculated on a scale of 1 to 5.
  • Step 7. The overall score and the individual ratings are shared with the agent to show areas for improvement and areas of proficiency. This becomes the basis for continued improvement.


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