What to Look for in a 360-Degree Feedback Tool

May 28, 2020 | 360 Degree Feedback

A 360-degree feedback tool gives you a balanced understanding of how people throughout your organization view an employee. Rather than just hearing input from direct supervisors or senior leaders, employees will gain a more well-rounded perspective on how people view them and their work. 

Once you find a 360-degree feedback tool you love, use it regularly to solicit input about employees at all levels of your organization. Using this tool can help organizational managers and leaders make better decisions about how to encourage employees’ development and when to increase their responsibility while enhancing employees’ self-awareness of their strengths and needs for improvement.


Your tool should allow participants to stay anonymous so they don’t feel afraid to give honest feedback. Participants should know what type of feedback the recipient will actually see—for example, a summary of everyone’s responses. 

Adaptable Questions

A great 360 feedback tool gives you a high level of flexibility in choosing the questions featured on your surveys. Here are three design options that help you get the most from this tool.

The chance to create your own questions

Because every organization is unique, you should be able to create the questions that employees will answer on your 360 surveys. At the same time, the tool should offer a helpful library of questions that many other organizations have found useful so that you’re not starting from scratch. 

The option to customize questions

Plus, the tool should go a step further by letting you customize the questions to people in different types of roles. You should be able to tailor your survey questions to a broad range of people so that they are relevant to everyone, if need be. Different respondents could have different sets of questions based on their relationship with the person they’re giving feedback about. Managers could see a different set of questions from direct reports, tailored to their perspective. 

For example, the survey might ask a manager whether the employee is punctual about meeting deadlines while asking a direct report if the employee provides the support needed to help him complete his work on time.  

The opportunity to ask open-ended questions

Your 360 surveys should also give you the chance to ask employees open-ended questions. While the majority of your questions will probably have specific answers to choose from, open-ended questions allow people to elaborate where needed. This feedback can give you a deeper understanding of the data you gain from your 360-degree feedback tool.

Ability to Clearly Present Data

A good feedback tool will clearly present the data to make it easy for you to draw conclusions from the information it gains. Instead of just giving you a pile of responses, it helps you gain a clear picture of how people see an employee. Employees and their managers can then see at a glance how they’re doing in particular areas, rather than feeling overwhelmed by data. 

Details on Employee Performance

Ideally, the reports your tool generates then go a step further by sharing a more nuanced picture of how an employee is doing in each key area. For example, your report might show that some employees  communicate effectively with their manager but have room for improvement in communicating with their direct reports. These details will provide clear guidance on exactly what they need to focus on improving. Employees can then talk with their supervisor about which behaviors they need to adapt.

An Intuitive Interface

Your feedback tool should be simple—employees shouldn’t need to undergo special training just to use it! Choose a tool that walks you through the feedback process, with no guesswork involved. Taking the survey should be a breeze, which will encourage employees to promptly complete one the next time you request their participation. Likewise, viewing and analyzing the reports should be super easy, and implementation should feel effortless.

Outstanding Customer Support

Unrolling a new tool can feel a little daunting, no matter how user-friendly it is. Being able to speak to a real person who gives you solid guidance on how to use it effectively can make all the difference. Look for a 360 feedback tool with support staff who will be on hand to answer any questions that arise for you—and who are always delighted to help you get the most out of their product. 

Choose a tool with all of these features, and you’ll gain invaluable data on areas where your employees are excelling and where they need to improve. This detailed input will benefit your employee performance management tremendously, informing how you can guide your team to greater success.

Looking for a 360 degree feedback tool that meets all these criteria? Try Primalogik for free!

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