What is a 360 Survey?

Pin It

As the world of employee performance review has evolved and become more efficient in practice, we have seen the birth and rise of the 360 Survey. What exactly is this survey and how does it work? Read on to learn more about this popularized tool in employee performance analysis.

360 Surveying: The Basics

As so perfectly stated by the United States Office of Personnel Management, “In an effective organization, assignments and projects are monitored continually. Monitoring well means consistently measuring performance and providing ongoing feedback to employees and work groups on their progress toward reaching their goals.” Here, we have a statement that so clearly defines the need for accurate forms of performance assessment. If performance is poor, the company suffers and can ultimately go belly-up. Wherever performance is optimal, so too will be the company’s ability to procure its desired goals.

Enter the 360 Survey approach to performance assessment. This survey is an instrument designed to take a closer, more intimate look at individual employee performance, workplace behaviors and habits, and their relation to actual company standards and needs. This is done through on-the-job surveying of that employee’s coworkers, supervisors, and any others at the workplace that may be familiar with that worker’s daily endeavors.

Format and Method

As aforementioned, the methodology of this survey is based on the gathering of opinion data from those in closest vicinity to the worker in question. The format for this opinion-gathering can take many shapes. In most cases, a battery of questions is designed and provided to those being surveyed.

This selection of questions may be the same or may differ in design from one survey participant to the next. Open forum commentary is also welcomed in many cases, giving the surveyed an opportunity to express opinion, free of the parameters set by pre-designated questions. From management and coworkers, to outside vendors and customers, a great range of opinions is typically sought here in order to garner the clearest picture of the employee’s performance.

Results Put to Use

A detailed, employee performance summary is the goal of this survey. Once this has been obtained via the survey, the host company can then analyze and then react accordingly to the information held therein. Perhaps an employee does great working with coworkers yet displays some struggle when it comes to customer interaction. The survey will likely expose this area of difficulty, and management can then try to help this employee in the area of customer relations.

Another example might be seen in the survey’s discovery that despite amazing sales and coworker opinions, one employee is particularly difficult for management to reign-in at times. HR can then address this specific area of difficulty while not inhibiting the employee’s other, apparent strengths. In all cases though, the keenly targeted identification and addressing of performance problems is the key benefit of the 360 surveying method.

All well-managed businesses look for every way possible to assess the performance of their employees as well as overall efficacy in the satisfaction of company goals. Any tool that can provide this service will always then be a key factor in employee management technique. The 360 survey is that exact tool for HR departments and employee-focused businesses today.

Pin It