360 Performance Reviews: What Questions Should HR Managers Be Asking?

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Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Asking the right questions is key to the success of 360 performance reviews, so make sure you strike the right balance of closed-ended and open-ended inquiries.

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360 Performance Reviews: What Questions Should HR Managers Be Asking?
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HR managers who are keen to provide a more comprehensive assessment of job performance to employees than traditional reviews should think about using the 360-degree method. This framework for conducting performance reviews takes feedback from a wide range of sources into account to give a fuller picture of how staff are carrying out their roles.

The result is a more accurate view of an employee from different perspectives and actionable insights that lead to improvements going forward. The method relies on well-structured 360 review questions that elicit appropriate responses from all team members involved. That means thinking very carefully about what to include in your survey and what to leave out.

360 feedback questions to include

A good mix of closed and open-ended questions should result in a selection of quantitative and qualitative data to present to the employee at the heart of the review. They will help to guide peers towards the types of answers that are useful to everyone involved, as well as offering the chance to add any insights that could otherwise be overlooked.

Closed-ended questions

These 360 evaluation questions should be presented in a way that allows the respondents to answer via a selection of options. Usually they will be:

  • ‘Strongly disagree’
  • 'Disagree'
  • ‘Neither disagree nor agree’
  • 'Agree'
  • ‘Strongly agree’

Offering standard responses enables you to gather the data into a quantifiable insight.

Examples of this type of statement include:

  • This individual manages their workload effectively and meets deadlines
  • This employee communicates clearly with colleagues
  • This person exhibits strong leadership skills
  • This member of staff has strong interpersonal skills
  • This individual provides feedback in a timely fashion
  • This person prioritizes teamwork
  • This employee takes a creative approach to problem-solving
  • This staff member is open to positive and negative feedback
  • This individual embodies our company values
  • This person takes diverse opinions into consideration

Open-ended questions

Including open-ended questions in 360 reviews will help to provide a fuller picture of the individual’s performance. They should give colleagues the chance to comment on specific areas that stand out, as well as offering examples that are seen to be pertinent. Implementing a structure to these questions will mean everything from leadership and communication to motivation and efficiency is included in the feedback.

Example questions to ask:

Opening questions

  • What are this team member’s biggest strengths?
  • Which three words would you use to describe this individual?
  • Can you name an area where you believe this colleague could show improvement?

Communication

  • How does this employee communicate with colleagues, managers and customers?
  • Does this individual ask for more information if they don’t understand something?
  • How does this person facilitate discussions?

Interpersonal skills

  • How does this member of staff work with others?
  • How does this employee deal with stressful situations?
  • Do other team members turn to this individual for advice?

Problem-solving

  • Does this person offer useful solutions to problems?
  • Is the individual able to fix issues on their own?
  • How does this employee communicate problems to colleagues?

Organizational alignment

  • Does this member of staff apply the company’s values to their day-to-day role?
  • Is this colleague good at recommending the business to potential customers?
  • Does this person offer feedback on organizational ideas or activities?

Motivation

  • Does this individual seem motivated by their job?
  • What level of motivation does this employee demonstrate?
  • How does this member of staff motivate others within the organization?

Learn more: Is Self-Evaluation the Answer to Your Employee Assessment Challenges?

Efficiency

  • Does this colleague complete their day-to-day tasks effectively?
  • Does this individual meet the level required for their work each time?
  • How does this staff member work to improve processes?

Leadership

  • Do other workers look to this individual for help?
  • Can this team member offer solutions to customers experiencing problems?
  • Does this employee supervise high-quality work?

Additional questions

  • Is there anything else you’d like to add to your answer?
  • Are there any other things you’d like to share about this employee?
  • What other attributes that have not been covered would you associate with this individual?

Learn more: 6 Excellent Performance Review Questions Managers Need to Ask

360 survey questions to avoid

The purpose of 360 performance reviews is to be constructive, therefore it’s important not to focus too heavily on the negatives. Questions should be worded to encourage analysis of competencies, not seemingly random opinions. Clear and simple language should help to avoid vague responses or the need for any guesswork on behalf of the person filling it in.

How to present 360 feedback to staff

Once you have collected all of the data, it needs to be organized into an appropriate format to deliver to the member of staff. A number of approaches can be used, depending on the industry you’re working in and the company culture. They include manager-assessed feedback, digitally-assessed scores and direct employee-to-employee feedback.

Further reading

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