360° Survey Frequently Asked Questions
What is a 360° survey?
A 360° survey is a feedback tool designed to promote self-awareness and continuous learning by providing an individual with valuable insights about how others perceive their strengths and improvement opportunities. Each 360° solicits feedback from a single individual’s manager or managers, their colleagues, their direct reports, sometimes “others,” and from the individual themself about competencies that are important to their success. The end result is a report that the individual can review with a coach or facilitator to make decisions about how to further their professional training and development.
Is the 360° a performance review tool?
No, it is NOT a performance review tool. It is a personal development tool.
How long does the survey take? Does it have to be completed in one sitting?
It takes about 10-15 minutes to complete a survey. It does not need to be completed in one sitting.
Is the survey anonymous?
No. Instead, it is confidential. MOR Associates tracks who responds for the purposes of sending reminders and preparing reports, but we do not share the raw data with anyone.
If someone invites me to their 360°, will I be able to tell how they classified me?
Yes. That information is shown in the first page of the survey before any answers are recorded.
If I respond to a 360°, will the person I rate be able to identify my responses?
That depends. The rules for text comments and ratings are as follows:
- All text comments are reported verbatim. No efforts are made to filter or edit them. If your writing style is unique, you should assume that your comments will be identifiable.
- Primary Manager comments are reported out separately and are therefore always identifiable.
- Comments from Other Managers, Direct Reports, Colleagues and “Others” are all pooled together and presented in alphabetical order.
- Primary Manager ratings are reported out separately and are therefore always identifiable.
- Other Manager ratings may be identifiable if only one manager responds.
- Direct Report ratings are pooled together. If only one or two Direct Reports are invited, their responses are pooled with Colleagues. If at least three Direct Reports are invited but only one responds that Direct Report’s ratings are pooled with Colleagues.
- “Other” ratings are pooled together. There are always at least five “others” invited. If only one responds, that “Other’s” ratings are pooled with Colleagues.
- Ratings from Colleagues are pooled together. There are always at least five Colleagues invited, and as noted above, the pool of Colleague responses may include Direct Reports and “Others.” If the end result is that there is only one Colleague response, Colleague ratings will not be reported out at all. This almost never happens.
Who gets to see the reports?
Only the individual being rated and their assigned coach or facilitator will see their report, unless the participant chooses to share it.
How else is the data used?
Sometimes summary reports are prepared that aggregate the results for all participants in a batch of 360°s to provide an overview of a group’s strengths and development areas, but these reports never feature individual results.
Why are individuals required to review their reports with a coach or facilitator?
Coaches and facilitators help individuals interpret the results through a constructive lens and ensure that the 360° fulfills its purpose as a personal development tool.
Who are the coaches and facilitators?
Almost always, coaches and facilitators are MOR Associates personnel, but on rare occasions they may be internal HR staff or external HR partners. Regardless of who is coaching or facilitating, the sole interest of these experienced professionals is to help individuals get the most from their 360°.
How are 360° respondents selected?
360° participants are typically responsible for identifying the people they would like to receive feedback from. On rare occasions, sponsoring organizations provide the list of possible respondents. Regardless of who provides the list, there are rules about who can or must appear on the list: Primary Manager – Required One or two “Other Managers” – Optional ALL Direct Reports – Required Five or seven to ten Peers/Colleagues – Required Five to ten “Others”, e.g., Customers – Optional *
* Though some 360°s feature “Others” as a possible respondent category, it is a rare event.
I need to provide a list of respondents for my 360°, and I’m new to my job; I’m worried that people don’t know me well enough yet to provide me with meaningful feedback. What should I do?
If you are relatively new to your current job, it is okay to name other managers, direct reports and/or peers/colleagues from your previous job, but you still need to name your current Primary Manager and Direct Reports.
I don’t work with lots of people, and I can’t think of enough Colleagues to name the required number. What should I do?
You should feel free to include Colleagues from any walk of life that you have worked with that can offer you meaningful feedback. That could include people from previous jobs, from different work organizations, and from volunteer work or other endeavors.
Besides the survey administrators, does anyone else get to see a participant’s respondent list?
If the survey has been configured to allow it, an individual’s respondent list is made visible to the individual’s Primary Manager who has the option of adding one or two Colleagues. Participants are notified up front if this is the case, and they are notified again if their Primary Manager adds any Colleagues.
Who can answer additional questions?
Write to email@example.com
If I wanted to send a letter beforehand to my raters to let them know about it, what would it say?
Here is sample text for such a letter. Modify it as needed for your situation.
Subject: I’m hoping you can provide me with feedback
I am participating in a professional development opportunity that involves a 360 survey about me. As part of that, I have been asked to provide the names of people I work with who can provide feedback on my capabilities. I have identified you as one of those people and I’m hoping you will be kind enough to respond to an invitation to an online survey that will be emailed to you within the next week by MOR Associates, an outside consulting firm. This survey is administered by MOR Associates and, unless you are my manager, I will not see individual responses. Please note that the invitation will be from firstname.lastname@example.org; please think about taking steps to ensure that your spam filters allow email from morassociates.com.
Thank you in advance for taking the time to help me. I value your candid feedback. If you don’t think you will be able to respond to the survey, it would be helpful for me to know so I can ask somebody else.