360-degree feedback as a competitive advantage How 360-Degree Feedback is Transforming Businesses into Market Leaders

360-degree feedback is a powerful tool that can be used to help staff and leaders identify strengths and weaknesses and provide valuable feedback on how they're doing so that your business can be the best that it can be, and be a market leader.

360-degree feedback is a workplace evaluation and review system where feedback is collected from a range of people you work with, including your managers, peers and reports.

In this blog post, we discuss what 360-degree feedback is, its benefits, the role it plays, how to use it to transform businesses, and case studies of businesses that have used it. We will also discuss common mistakes to avoid when implementing 360-degree feedback.
360-Degree Feedback is Transforming Businesses into Market Leaders. Photo by Rebrand Cities/Pexels

What is 360-degree feedback?

360-degree feedback is an evaluation process where feedback is collected from a range of people you work with, including your managers, peers and reports.

The feedback is compiled into an overall report that provides a comprehensive view of how you are doing. This report is used to help you identify areas for improvement and develop strategies to overcome any weaknesses or improve upon strengths.

Unlike traditional performance evaluations, 360-degree feedback provides a more rounded view of an employee’s strengths and weaknesses.

More than just an appraisal tool

At AdviceSheet, we believe 360-degree feedback is more than just a tool for assessing a leader’s or an employee's performance - it is a powerful tool that can be used by businesses in order to help people develop and grow. So it is extremely useful for businesses who want to improve their culture and implement better strategies.

However, a 360-degree review can only achieve this if, firstly, the feedback gathered enables leaders and staff to identify where they can improve and develop strategies and behaviours for success. 

This means collecting quality honest feedback - ideally anonymously - from multiple sources, rather than relying on number ratings, because numbers in this context are hard for a person to make sense of and act on.

And secondly that the 360 review is accompanied by coaching and supportive conversations from a trusted mentor or manager. Because digesting feedback by yourself is likely to end in tears: most of us tend to overplay the negatives and gloss over the positives, and it takes a skilled and supportive coach to help you shift your mindset.

If done right, 360-degree feedback can be used to help people develop in several areas such as leadership, communication, problem-solving, and time management. 

By gathering rich feedback on these areas from the people who work with them and who know them the most, 360-degree feedback helps them discover their blindspots and identify areas for improvement so that they can work better with others, progress in their careers and deliver better work for their business.

Benefits of 360-degree feedback

There are numerous ways that 360-degree feedback will give you a competitive advantage. Here are some of the key ones:
  1. Personal Development: gathering detailed and qualitative feedback from multiple sources provides the opportunity for a richer, more accurate and broader view of how you're doing than a performance review can do on its own. This helps people identify real areas for improvement and develop strategies for learning and growth - more than they'd get from their manager alone.
  2. Improved Communication: if the review is set up in the right way and the purpose is transparent, 360-degree feedback can encourage improved communication between peers, team members, managers and even across departments - and can become a channel of communication to identify and resolve conflict.
  3. Improved Employee Morale: if everyone in a team is participating in the review, it can lead to better relations between people because it can bring things out into the open that improve morale across the piece, (eg strengths that have not been acknowledged, or behaviour that's not been spoken about) creating a much better relationship between team members and managers. 
  4. Improved Employee Satisfaction: receiving feedback that appreciates your strengths and helps you learn from your weaknesses can help people feel valued and appreciated, and develop more trust and confidence, which in turn leads to higher job satisfaction.

Other Benefits of 360-degree feedback

Using 360-degree feedback has many other benefits for businesses and organisations including:
  • Identifying areas for development
  • Increasing employee engagement
  • Enhancing team dynamics
  • Improving confidence and highlighting additional strengths and areas of growth that people may not have been aware of 
  • Improving decision-making by providing more comprehensive feedback.

The Role of 360-degree Feedback in Business

The most productive teams in a business are those that are able to give and receive honest feedback. They understand that to become the best they can be, they need to work together and continuously grow and improve. 

Teams that work well and grow together are more motivated and engaged. They are able to work more independently, requiring less close attention, with less conflict and performance issues.

The first step to a growth mindset is awareness of your strengths and weaknesses - that’s one of the most important benefits of 360-degree feedback.

Another benefit is to provide an open and honest assessment of a colleague and their potential. It can help to identify areas in which the person could improve, as well as those in which they are excelling.

This allows for a comprehensive view of how someone is performing in different areas. It can also provide insights into how they interact with others and how they respond to feedback and constructive criticism.

Armed with this information, it helps people build stronger relationships with their team members by creating an environment of mutual respect and trust.

By implementing a 360-degree feedback review, businesses can identify potential training needs or areas where employees need additional support and resources to reach their full potential.

Businesses can also use 360-degree feedback to identify and develop potential leaders and high-potential employees. By assessing behaviours in areas such as leadership, communication, problem-solving, and time-management, organisations can identify employees who have the potential to become leaders and develop them accordingly.

Finally, a 360-degree review can provide valuable insights into the overall performance and culture of the business by highlighting areas that may need work.

By opening themselves to praise and constructive feedback from all directions and inviting others to do the same, the people in the business can guide their organisations to new capacities for continuous improvement.

How to use 360-degree feedback to transform your business

Here are some tips on how to use 360-degree feedback to transform your business:
  1. Create clear objectives: Before implementing a 360-degree feedback review, it is important to create clear objectives and expectations. This will help ensure that the feedback is effective and that participants are aware of what is expected of them.
  2. Involve the right stakeholders: Involving the right stakeholders in the process is essential for success. This might include customers, colleagues, peers, and managers. By involving all relevant and appropriate stakeholders, you can ensure that the feedback is comprehensive and accurate.
  3. Support people to act on the feedback: Once the feedback has been collected, it is important that people use it. The best way is to arrange development conversations with a coach or mentor to help people identify areas of improvement, and develop strategies for success, and enable them to embed key behaviours that support business culture and strategy.
  4. Follow up: Once feedback has been collected and digested, it is important to follow up. Check in with team members to ensure that they have the right training and support to meet their goals and that they are on track to reach their professional goals.

Case studies of businesses that have successfully used 360-degree feedback

360-degree feedback has been used by numerous businesses to develop employees and transform their businesses. It has been estimated that over a third of U.S. companies and 90% of Fortune 500 companies use 360-degree feedback and these figures show no signs of letting up

Here are some examples of businesses that have used 360-degree feedback to great success:
  1. Tesco
    In response to a changing retail landscape, supermarket chain Tesco needed to foster a warmer culture where colleagues felt listened to by their manager. They used 360-degree feedback to support this new culture, to highlight staff’s strengths and development needs especially in response to the requirement for new leadership skills. Results successfully helped shape personal development plans, development needs and inform career conversations. 
  2. Market-leading HR software provider
    This SME business grew rapidly and as they scaled up, leadership realised that if managers left, it was important that the next generation could step in. The 360-degree review was used to identify growth opportunities and give people confidence to step into them. What came through in the feedback reports was a hunger from staff for more responsibility. As a result leaders felt confident to devolve more and more responsibility, and it worked. 
  3. Apple
    Founder Steve Jobs created a system of 360-degree engagement. Apple used the feedback to identify areas of improvement, develop leadership skills, and improve communication.
  4. Google
    Google uses 360-degree feedback reviews to help employees reach their full potential. The reviews are used to eliminate the possibility of a biased performance review, and by separating performance evaluation, employees can focus on personal development.
  5. Phillips
    Philips introduced a 360-degree feedback programme to better enable development of its employees. The business impact was powerful in helping peoples’ development, which was seen as being invaluable as great leadership is critical to their continued success.
  6. Netflix
    Netflix employees are encouraged to submit feedback to anyone within the company, from interns up to chief executive. The 360s are separate from annual compensation reviews at Netflix. Feedback is taken seriously because it can impact your career at Netflix.
  7. Large metropolitan UK university
    The leadership team at a large UK university were implementing a reorganisation and needed support to pull together as a team, get organised and make time for the strategic work rather than just delivering business as usual. This involved strengthening their relationships, helping them manage conflict more effectively, and equipping them with skills for having difficult conversations. They ran a 360-degree review to build their confidence in being able to ask for feedback. As a result, people gained clarity in how their behaviour was creating stress for themselves and affecting the work they were delivering - enabling them to work in a different way.

Common mistakes to avoid when implementing 360-degree feedback

When implementing 360-degree feedback, it is important to avoid common mistakes such as these:
  1. Don’t impose it: if you want 360-degree feedback to be effective, it has to be welcomed. Spend time thinking about how you'll set it up, and how you’ll introduce the idea of it to your team. 
  2. Don’t do everyone at the same time: if everybody in your team is giving feedback on everybody else, that will lead to several hours of work for all concerned. So think about spreading them out and not doing 360’s on everyone all at once.
  3. Don't link a 360 to performance reviews: treat it as a separate exercise. Linking 360-degree feedback to an appraisal or a bonus means participants’ motivation will be an adverse factor: ‘friend’ teammates will hold back their comments or put in a good word, whilst competitive colleagues could be biased. We recommend treating a 360 as a separate exercise - for development not appraisal.
  4. Not being honest (with yourself) about why you’re doing it: are you doing it as a personal development opportunity for people in your team, or because you want to tackle a problem person?  If it’s the latter, having a difficult conversation with that person might be a shorter cut. 
  5. Not following up in the right way: after 360-degree feedback, team members may want to go on a training course, or contribute to meetings differently. Can you get them into a training course? Will you allow them to lead a presentation? When people see that something happens as a result and that there is support for them, you're much more likely to enable a feedback culture. If nothing happens as a result, people may treat feedback as a waste of time. 


In conclusion, 360-degree feedback is a powerful business tool that can be used to develop employees, identify areas of improvement, and develop strategies for success. By collecting feedback from multiple sources, it provides a more accurate and comprehensive view of behaviours, blindspots and strengths than a performance review.

Organisations who use 360-degree feedback can transform their businesses by building team morale, engagement and confidence. However, it is important to avoid common mistakes when implementing 360-degree feedback, such as not being honest (with yourself) about why you are doing it, and not following up.

If you’re looking for a good 360-degree review software tool that supports the growth of your people and your business, use a tool like AdviceSheet that is trusted by organisations large and small. With AdviceSheet, you’ll be able to manage and track employee participation, collect and analyse 360-degree feedback quickly and easily, and take your organisation to the next level.

AdviceSheet has:
  • Transparent pricing
  • Automates the process
  • Anonymous participants
  • Confidential reports
  • Free from meaningless metrics
  • Questions that stimulate insightful answers