360 Feedback Questions
360 feedback questions are designed to measure behaviours that are observable by colleagues, direct reports, line managers and others. They must measure what’s important for the success of the individual participant and the organisation. Therefore, they’re an extremely important part of effective 360 degree feedback.
We’ve developed, tested and refined our 360 questionnaires over the years to bring you one’s that work. So, they measure the right things, are unambiguous and are easy for respondents to understand.
That’s why almost all our clients ask us to write bespoke 360 feedback questions for them.
What are good 360 Feedback Questions?
There are important principles when designing 360 feedback questions. These must include:
- Being about behaviour or skills that can be observed easily by a range of people
- Clearly aligning with the organisations competency frameworks, leadership behaviours and/or values
- Being at the right level i.e. don’t measure strategic thinking for supervisors
- Not covering more than one aspect of behaviour in a question, so guard against using the word “and” too often
- Being framed in a way that matches the response options, so as to make sense to the respondent
- It sounds obvious, but they must be well written questions – easy to understand and answer
- Ensuring that the number of questions are manageable for respondents and therefore avoiding questionnaire fatigue
Examples of 360 Feedback Questions
Typically, 360 feedback questions are clustered under competencies or capabilities such as leadership, collaboration, decision making etc. Under each of these will be a set of indicators or behaviours that form the questions. Here are a couple of examples of how this might look.
- Creates opportunities for areas to work together
- Develops a wide network of productive relationships
- Demonstrates awareness of how decisions impact other people or departments
- Adapts communication style to ensure productive discussions
- Involves the right people in making decisions
- Challenges assumptions appropriately
- Takes tough decisions when necessary
- Takes ownership for mistakes or poor decisions
- Makes considered decisions quickly when necessary
Narrative Text Questions
The other important part of the 360 questionnaire is the free text or narrative text questions. These can be the most valuable part of the questionnaire because they help participants understand what’s behind scores. They also get clear, practical suggestions for improvement.
However, equally valuable is the information that helps people understand what they’re good at and what people value about them. Let’s face it, it’s much easier and enjoyable to do more of what you’re already good at. And, developing even further in these skills is very valuable.
One of the simplest, but very effective ways to guide this part of the questionnaire is to use the Start, Stop, Continue model to create three questions.
Another option is to use this section to ask questions that really matter to the organisation. For example, if you are on a mission to embed a set of values, then a question that asks “To what degree does Fred role model our values” may be very useful.
Choosing a 360 feedback Questionnaire
Ready to Go Questionnaires
We have 360 feedback questionnaires for Directors, Senior Specialists (often without teams to lead), Middle Managers and Team Leaders or Supervisors.
Other Ready to Go questionnaires measure single capabilities that are critical to the success of individuals and organisations. They are excellent for focused development for leaders because they take a very in-depth look at one specific set of behaviours. These questionnaires look at Emotional Intelligence, Collaboration and Resilience.
Bespoke 360 Questionnaires
We write or adapt 360 questionnaires to ensure you can measure what’s important and to give your 360 feedback project greater validity and value. When 10 jor more reports are purchased, we offer free bespoke questionnaires based on your competency framework, leadership behaviours and/or values. If you don’t have one, we’ll help you think through what you need to measure and work with you to design an appropriate set of 360 feedback questions. Several clients have multiple questionnaires, focusing on the same competencies but with different indicators according to roles and level of leadership.
We’ll also brand your 360 questionnaires and reports with your logo and colours if required, here’s an example.
Data Analysis reports
Data Analysis reports enable you to maximise the value of your 360 feedback project. The aggregate data from all participants or participant groups are combined and a report is created showing collective strengths and development areas. This is an invaluable report that can help steer investment in future development and flag organisation strengths and areas of potential risk.
Where 360 has been used widely across the organisation, these reports can be cut in multiple ways to give the most useful data.
“When we were developing a new programme for our middle managers we wanted to use a 360 assessment tool that was user friendly, flexible and tailored to our needs but at the same time, comprehensive, robust and detailed in what was assessed at a reasonable price. Talent for Growth delivered against all of these requirements. In addition, the administration of the tool has been excellent as queries and issues have been responded to in a friendly and professional manner as well as making sure all stages of the process were kept on track to meet deadlines.”
OD Leader, Serco