Best 360 degree feedback tools The best 360-degree feedback tools to use in 2022 for people-first businesses

At AdviceSheet we believe that 360 reviews are an invaluable tool for an employee’s personal development. 360-degree feedback gives you a rounded view of how you’re doing, with real insight from the people you work with: managers, colleagues and direct reports, and potentially - if you choose to include them - from suppliers and customers.

When done right a 360-feedback review can really help you and your colleagues grow, and ultimately perform better.  

But running a 360 review can be a time consuming process. From working out the right questions, collating and sharing feedback, and having the follow up conversations, they take a lot of organising.

And there are some issues with the way some 360s are set up that can sabotage useful feedback, the very thing they’re trying to elicit.

In this guide we dig into current best 360 degree feedback software to help you decide on which one to use for a people-first business, alongside the benefits and challenges. 

Buying software can be a painful process, and you may not find out that it doesn’t quite do what you want until months into using it. So our goal is to save you time and assist you in choosing a 360 software provider that supports the development of your people.


What to look for when buying 360-degree feedback software for people-first businesses:

There are a few basic things everyone needs from 360 degree feedback software, and some extra things that can make it an integral part of a people-first culture, where employees feel empowered to take charge of their own development.


These are the basic things to look out for in the software:

  • Ease of use
  • Automated admin and reminders 
  • Transparent pricing


These are the people-first things to look out:

  • Is it based on metrics or qualitative feedback?
    People-first 360 software should be able to gather rich qualitative feedback in order to support development conversations (rather than generating metrics, which treats people as if they are robots and can be hard to make sense of.)
  • Can feedback be given anonymously?
    People-first software should offer anonymity, so that it is safe for people to give honest feedback.
  • Is the final report confidential or not and is it designed to be used as part of a performance review?
    A people-first 360-feedback report should be confidential, and not used as part of a performance review, appraisal or viewed by a manager without the employee’s permission.
  • Who owns the process?
    In a people-first culture, employees should own the feedback process (rather than their manager who has the needs of the organisation as their priority.) 


By way of contrast, 360-degree software that’s not people-first:

  • Prices are hidden
  • Metrics based
  • Doesn’t empower people
  • Used as part of performance reviews by default
  • Organisation-first
  • Not confidential
  • Goes to a manager first and they decide what to do with it (not you)


Why these things are important: 

Hidden prices
When prices are hidden and they want you to book a demo, you know it’ll be expensive!

Metrics are disempowering
Many 360 tools generate rafts of scores and bar charts that make no real sense, they leave people scratching their heads as to what they mean and what actions to take. Numbers treat people like machines and can hijack development conversations. People need rich feedback and stories to really understand how they are experienced.

It’s development not appraisal
When 360s are used by managers as part of appraisals and performance measuring - as the basis for a bonus or promotion - not your people’s development, they put organisations first. When that happens, ‘friend’ teammates may hold back from being honest, whilst competitive colleagues may be biased. And the subject of the review will undoubtedly feel defensive, limiting the opportunity to learn and develop. 

We dig deeper into more of these people-first factors for 360 reviews here:

When building AdviceSheet, we looked at other 360 feedback tools and decided to make AdviceSheet both transparent and people-first.
  • There’s no demo needed - you get instant access
  • Transparent pricing
  • It’s not linked to performance reviews
  • It is anonymous and confidential
  • It’s based on gathering qualitative feedback, not generating metrics, because it’s designed to be really useful and for individual development, not a way for managers to (arbitrarily) measure team member performance.


Which 360 degree feedback software in 2022: a buyer’s guide

When comparing 360 tools we broke them down into:
  • Specific 360 tools
  • General purpose survey tools / forms
  • Employee engagement tools
  • General purpose HR software
These were our people-first criteria for comparison


Specific 360 Tools

These tools are designed to run 360 degree feedback reviews only, with varying levels of support and customisation:


AdviceSheet

AdviceSheet was built out of a frustration with metrics-based 360 software.
AdviceSheet offers a no-strings free trial, transparent pricing and instant access so you can use it out of the box.
It is UK-based so if you’re in the UK, you know you’ll be able to get hold of support in your time zone.
AdviceSheet features:
  • Generates qualitative feedback in order to drive meaningful coaching conversations, there are no metrics.
  • Offers anonymity for respondents, and confidentiality so that the ‘subject’ gets to see the report first.
  • Supports personal development, so is not linked to performance reviews.
  • Customer review: “totally different from your average employee survey tool. We found its questions to be searching and demand thoughtful answers. If you want a simple 1-10 survey then go elsewhere, but if you want to get under the surface and understand what is going on for your team and why they feel the way they do, then AdviceSheet is a great tool."


Spidergap

Spidergap is UK-based so you can trust it with your data, but the reports are metrics based.
Spidergap offer a free trial and you can use it out of the box.
They have transparent pricing - with cost on a sliding scale based on how many people starting from $12.50 per person (for very large teams.)
Spidergap features:
  • Fully customisable questions
  • Reports are metrics based with some free text
  • Spidergap have a range of partners to help with coaching and facilitation https://www.spidergap.com/partners
  • Spidergap say they have been used by over 18,000 users to create over 20,000 projects and assess over 100,000 employees
  • Customer review: “Easy to edit, and so is issuing emails with links to the questionnaire, assessment and reminders. Reports are clear and informative. The summary information at the front and the detailed scores later, is an excellent format as a report. Set up was easy and it takes minutes to get a questionnaire ready. I believe the templates need to be a bit more streamlined… there are alot of features on the interface which I don't use which I think is redundant”


Lumus 360

Lumus 360 say they are “UK's leading provider of 360 degree feedback tools and services for organisations, trainers and consultants” - they produced 1257 reports in 2021.
They offer a range of implementations and customisations for 360 reports, with a support option. Lumus 360 features:


Appraisal 360

Appraisal 360 offers instant access, self-serve or fully managed 360 surveys with questions designed for a range of industries and roles.
Appraisal 360 features:
  • Transparent pricing on sliding scale per no of users
  • Metrics based - mostly, with a very small free text section in the reports
  • Customisable reports
  • Options for bespoke reports, branded reports
  • Customer reviews: “No learning required for using this tool because their support time responds very timely. A cost effective solution” vs  “They take too long to complete process”


General Purpose Survey Tools / Forms

You may have already used one of these well-known and easy-to-use survey tools. Several of them include templates for 360 degree surveys, but running one through a survey tool like this could be a logistical nightmare (as we found out when we built an MVP for AdviceSheet using Typeform, Zapier and Google Sheets.)



Typeform

You may already know Typeform. They make stylish survey forms and we love it, but it’s a general purpose survey tool and it doesn’t email out invitations, and you won’t know if people have responded which makes running a 360 through Typeform an admin nightmare.
Typeform features:
  • Typeform does have a 360 review template and it has question examples.
  • Easily integrates with Google Sheets, Slack and Zapier
  • Transparent pricing - from £21/mth + free trial
  • No demo needed
  • Customer reviews:
    “The forms and surveys are super easy to set up, easy to integrate with other software”
    “Reporting is very basic and while you can see the number of people who started your survey you are not able to see partial responses”
https://www.typeform.com


Survey Monkey

You may also know Survey Monkey, which boasts that 20 million questions are answered daily through its platform. Survey Monkey has a 360 template with predefined templates and preset questions. It has been used 21,500 times apparently.
Survey Monkey features:
  • The template includes 52 multi choice and scale questions.
  • Transparent pricing - from £192/yr. The free plan only allows 10 questions.
  • No demo needed.
  • Can send reminders in the paid version. 
  • Customer reviews: “It's an easy and helpful tool but comes with many paid features that can be used only after purchase”
“The entire process is easy to do, intuitive, and very effective.”
https://www.surveymonkey.com/



Survey Sparrow

Survey Sparrow includes a “personalised and engaging 360 review survey experience to your employees, be it supervisors or peers.” The multi-UI platform offers both chat-like surveys and conversational forms:
  • Create a custom 360-degree feedback survey
  • Customise your Employee 360 reports & emails
Survey Sparrow features:
  • multiple share options
  • email reminders
  • Click-free dashboard
  • Integrations
  • Pricing: Starts at £99 per month.
  • Customer review: “​​I found it a bit expensive”



Employee Engagement tools

Many employee engagement tools such as Culture Amp and Lattice offer integrated engagement surveys to ascertain what employees think and feel on a range of issues within an organisation. Whilst they offer 360 reviews, many lead with continuous feedback options.


Culture Amp

Culture Amp is full-suite performance software which includes 360 feedback plus performance reviews, goal tracking, and continuous development. 
It offers built-in 360 survey templates to ensure consistency, and most of the questions in their review are open-ended or multiple choice (not ratings based.)
Culture Amp understand that ‘The audience is the individual. 360 feedback is designed to go directly to the individual, perhaps via a coach, written for the individual and NOT the manager.’
Culture Amp features:
  • Hidden pricing
  • Have to book a demo
  • Intuitive reporting highlights strengths and areas for improvement.
  • Gives a unified view of 360° feedback, goals/OKRs, and 1‑on‑1s.
  • Customer reviews: “Once you get the hang of it the administrative side of the platform is pretty easy to navigate and the data you get from surveys is really incredible.”
    “The reports section summarises well huge information sets (if you made a large poll or 360 session) while still being able to drill down to the details (if allowed due to anonymity)”
    “The team also takes themselves *very* seriously when it comes to their "people science". We entertained using Culture Amp for performance management but the inflexible nature of their team was a huge turnoff.”


Lattice

Lattice is an all in one user-friendly talent management HR solution. It is a continuous feedback tool, with a combination of real-time feedback and employee-performance reviews. Lattice integrates one-to-ones, OKRs, goals and performance.
360 reviews are included as part of the platform. Softwarereview says “Survey questions can be your own or pulled from Lattice’s template bank with over 100 people science-backed queries. You can send bulk reminders and nudges to complete 360s, and once the results are in, you can drill down by theme or question.”
But if you want to use it for 360s, you have to buy all the other functionality that you don’t need. The interface is cluttered with a lot of features, which is confusing. 
Other notes:
  • Transparent pricing but note that there’s an annual agreement that starts at $3,000.
  • Lattice’s 360 reviews are controlled by a manager not by the subject - the manager sees the review before you do.
  • Customer reviews:
“Lattice simply is not as effective if users do not make it a point to use it for tracking their goal progress.”
“Interface can be difficult to learn for new users.”
“Lattice has been a game-changer for our company”
“had a hard time navigating the different tabs at first:”
https://lattice.com/


Leapsome

Leapsome describe themselves as a people enablement platform. Leapsome aims to support more collaboration between managers and employees, and more ownership for the employee; development-focused questions; and the use of a goal or OKR system to plan and execute change. They also take place within a wider growth-oriented culture, which supports the review process on an ongoing basis.

‘Flexible’ 360 reviews are offered as part of their comprehensive software, and includes best-practice templates and frameworks or customise everything — from questions to timelines and anonymity settings. You can roll out 360 reviews to all employees and, if you’d like, also gather one-off feedback for an individual or employee subset.
Leapsome features:
  • Pricing is modular and starts from $7/user per month but you have to request a demo.
  • Metrics based
  • Customer reviews: “It has reduced the time I spend on admin around reviews and surveys by at least 50% and offers a high-quality experience for both myself (as an admin user) and employees.” vs “the full feature set can be a bit overwhelming to start”
https://www.leapsome.com/



General purpose HR software

All singing, all dancing HR software that has 360’s included as an add on. Our view is because the software is trying to do everything, it won’t be done as well as 360 specific software.


Bob

Bob provides “a 360° view of your people by incorporating their complete career timelines, bob activity, goals and achievements into the performance review, giving you the tools for a fair and unbiased review.”
Bob does not show prices, you have to request it and a demo is required.
Bob’s 360 feedback features:
  • 360 feedback is integrated in the platform - but it is metrics based.
  • Anonymous feedback is an option
  • Best for organisations between 50 and 350 employees
  • Customer reviews: “implementation took longer than expected”, “flexible but also requires a lot of configuration”


Final advice on 360-Degree feedback software

Remember to take your time when planning and implementing your 360 programme. The most effective people-first solutions support your people’s development by giving them information they can use to realise their strengths, uncover their blindspots and grow. If you’re looking for good 360 degree review software that supports the growth of your employees and your organisation: have a look at tools like AdviceSheet.