360 FAQS

What is a 360-degree Feedback Survey?

360-Degree Feedback Surveys enable personal and professional development by giving the participant feedback on their capability and competency from the people who work all around them. They can then use this to help build on key strengths and set goals for development.

What if I am asked to complete a 360-Degree Feedback Survey?

As a rater/responder, it is best to set aside a few minutes in your day so you can focus on answering completely and honestly. Generally, surveys should only take 10 minutes or so. Other tips include:

  • Base your feedback only on the behaviors you have directly observed.
  • Try to think of examples of the behaviors being referenced to check your responses.
  • Don’t overthink: Trust your gut reaction. Your immediate response is likely to be most reliable.
  • Be open and honest. The participant WANTS your input.

Common pitfalls when responding to a survey

One common pitfall is to allow an overall opinion or relationship with the participant to influence you. Try to avoid this so you share meaningful and actionable feedback. Here are some other common pitfalls to be aware of:

  • ‘Halo effect’ is when the feedback provider allows an overall impression of the recipient’s behavior to influence them, either positively or negatively, on all other aspects they rate them on. Please answer each question based on the behavior it describes, not on the likeability of the person overall.


  • Over or under rating: Check to see if you are answering most questions at one end of the scale. Over or under rating occurs when a feedback provider gives answers that are much higher or lower than the actual level of what’s been observed.


  • ‘Recency’ happens when responses are influenced by a recent instance or event that may have had a positive or negative impact. Feedback providers should instead consider what they’ve observed over a longer period (i.e. the last year).


Consider your ‘open comments’

A typical 360-degree feedback survey will often include one or more ‘open response’ questions. Keep in mind that what you write is reported word-for-word. With this in mind, make sure that you:

  • Share comments with an intent to help the individual improve behavior
  • Provide relevant, actionable feedback – for example, stop doing, start doing, keep doing
  • Make comments constructive and supportive and keep feedback concise and clear


How is data reported?

  • The 360 process is managed by LifeWorks Coaching & Training, an external vendor. All results are compiled by LifeWorks using Survey Monkey before sharing data with the leader. This allows for anonymity and confidentiality.
  • Only the leader’s direct manager is identifiable to the feedback receiver in the final report.
  • Feedback from others will only be reported in composite reports made up of at least 4 responses or more. Feedback categories include direct reports, colleagues, key stakeholders.


LifeWorks stands with all of those working toward racial justice and equity.

We vow to listen and learn in order to be agents of change both through the work we do and how we live.

We stand in solidarity with the BIPOC communities in Milwaukee and across the country.