Three Reasons Companies Increasingly Rely on 360-Degree Feedback

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By now, just about everyone that works in a corporate or organizational setting is familiar with 360-degree feedback. After all, its roots date back to assessment of naval officers following World War II. But if you ask WHY 360-degree feedback is considered such an important part of our professional lives now, many are unaware of its benefits. Here are three top reasons that modern companies rely on 360-degree feedback as part of their employee development programs.

  1. Structured feedback compliments flexible work. Many of us are now well accustomed to working in less structured environments. Even prior to 2020, thousands of employers were experimenting with or implementing decentralized work policies and procedures. That flexibility, however, has increased the need for additional structure in other areas to ensure productivity and employee development. Structured employed feedback, such as 360-degree surveys have become an increasingly important part of the flexible work environment. By regularly soliciting feedback from those that work around us, employees get the input they need to change or improve their professional behaviors. Additionally, by centralizing the feedback system on a tool like EchoSpan, companies have a single dashboard view of how employees are performing currently against a standard set of success-defining competencies. Even though an employee might live and work hundreds of miles from the home office, by tracking observations of work behaviors using a structured feedback tool, a clear view of performance and developmental need is possible.

  2. They offer a more complete picture of professional behaviors. Because 360-degree feedback surveys collect data from those that work with an individual on a regular basis, they provide a more complete view of professional behaviors. On average, between seven and ten people provide feedback to each survey recipient and include not only managers, but peers, direct reports and others, too. Compare this to the traditional manager-to-employee performance review, which takes into account at most the observations of a couple of people. Feedback from more people is more useful because it incorporates the multiple points of view. Many companies now even solicit feedback from customers and vendors with whom an individual has regular contact. These additional data points are simply unavailable in a traditional review process, or are limited to second-hand observations.

  3. Changes can be seen and acted upon in real-time. Using a centralized feedback system like EchoSpan, employee behaviors can be monitored an acted upon in real-time. Our tool provides up-to-the-minute administrative reports and dashboards that makes identifying top performers, high potentials and developmental needs easy. Additionally, our Coaching Opportunity analyzer can automatically alert a customer's human resources team when it detects individuals or teams might benefit from developmental assistance. Employees can then track their development activities using our Development Planning module so that improvements can be made.

These are just a few of the most common and impactful reasons so many companies are complimenting or replacing their traditional performance management processes with one that incorporates 360-degree feedback. There are many others. If you have others you'd like to share with us, send them to us at We'd love to hear from you.

Last updated: Wednesday, November 10, 2021
reasons for 360-degree feedback, blog
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