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Andrew Arkley|February 28, 2024

Best 360 Feedback Questions For A Peer Review

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360 feedback questions are a great way to support your colleagues’ professional development.

This approach to performance reviews is nothing new though – so what is 360 feedback? It’s a methodology which involves gathering inputs from a wide range of sources – including colleagues, managers and sometimes even customers.

It provides a holistic view of an individual’s performance, behaviour and interactions within an organisation. A traditional manager and employee review is typically more task or project focused, in contrast.

Making use of these broader inputs is particularly useful when seeking to understand someone’s competencies.

Of course, having multiple people inputting to the review reduces the impact of subjectivity or unconscious bias on conclusions and outcomes.

However, the success of this holistic, 360 approach relies heavily on the quality and relevance of the questions asked. 

Below we’ve detailed some 360 feedback questions that are effective in teasing out constructive answers that genuinely benefit the individual being reviewed.

Identifying strengths

What strengths does X bring to the team?

Focusing on strengths is crucial in a 360 degree feedback session.

This question, a staple in any 360 feedback template, encourages respondents to recognise and articulate the positive attributes and skills of their colleague. 

These include soft skills like communication, or even contribution to company culture.

Examples might highlight a person’s ability to solve problems or their delegation skills.

Acknowledging strengths not only boosts confidence but also clarifies each individual’s unique contributions to the team.

It’s also interesting to consider how different colleagues might benefit from different skills or traits that the individual displays. This information might be teased out with a question such as:

What is X’s most unique strength (knowledge or skill-related) that you’ve noticed while you have been working together?

Highlighting areas for improvement

In which areas can X demonstrate growth or improvement?

Glowing peer reviews are great – but if areas for development aren’t identified, the actual utility of the process is undermined. 

Effective 360 assessment questions should guide respondents to offer constructive feedback examples for a colleague, pinpointing areas where improvements can be made.

This approach transforms potentially negative criticism into actionable insights, encouraging personal and professional development. The question below provides a great example of how this might be framed:

What is one skill or area of knowledge, whether related to personal growth or professional development, that you believe would be advantageous for X to explore?

Note, the focus is on advantage, as opposed to suggesting the individual is lacking in some way.

Assessing teamwork and collaboration

How does X contribute to creating a collaborative team environment?

This question delves into the individual’s effectiveness in teamwork and collaboration – essential components in today’s workplace, and an obvious area of focus when it comes to 360 degree feedback questions.

It seeks feedback examples illustrating how the person supports their colleagues, shares information and contributes to team goals, offering a basis for both recognition and guidance on enhancing team dynamics.

Another approach to this focus area would be to hone in on a single trait important to working well in a team.

For example, a question around listening skills, empathy, or patience can lead to some interesting and very specific insights and examples of an individual’s suitability and impact in a team environment.

Sometimes, assessing teamwork and collaboration also involves studying how staff handle conflict in the workplace. Here is our guide to conflict resolution models and how to use them at work.

Evaluating leadership qualities

Can you provide an example of X displaying leadership, regardless of their role in the company?

When discussing leadership, let’s avoid confining it to titles or roles. 

In a peer review setting, questions that uncover instances where the individual has taken initiative, motivated others, or navigated challenges effectively, provide a foundation for identifying and nurturing potential leadership skills – as well as better understanding a colleague’s personality.

As with teamwork, there are a range of facets that make an individual a good leader. It can be effective to focus on one of these in particular, for example:

How does X contribute to problem-solving discussions?

For more junior employees, managing upwards is a great way to show early signs of leadership potential. We’ve written recently about what managing upwards means and how to do it.

Handling feedback and criticism

How effectively does X receive and act upon feedback?

A key component of professional growth is the ability to process and apply feedback constructively. 

This question aims to gather examples of how the individual responds to feedback, highlighting their openness to learning and adaptability. This is indeed particularly useful in any 360 degree feedback template, as the manager can better understand in what format or manner to deliver the review learnings.

Constructive feedback examples might include instances where the individual sought out feedback, responded positively to criticism, or made tangible improvements based on suggestions received.

Recalling positive interactions

Describe a memorable positive interaction you have had with X.

Asking for examples of positive interactions not only sheds light on the individual’s interpersonal skills but also reinforces the value of positive behaviours within a company. 

This question encourages respondents to share specific moments that exemplify effective communication, kindness, or support – offering insights into the individual’s impact on their colleagues.

While questions such as this naturally link to teamwork and communication, by asking for a specific example, you can gain revealing insights into an employee’s character.

Observing growth and development

How has X demonstrated personal or professional growth over the past year?

By asking for specific examples of growth, this question acknowledges efforts made towards learning and self-improvement. 

What can be particularly effective is to then pivot focus back on to the manager or organisation:

What steps can we as a business take to support X’s career aspirations and development?

This additional question invites suggestions for training, mentoring, or new opportunities that align with the individual’s career goals, and emphasises the mutual benefit of personal growth among colleagues.

Getting the opinion of a wide range of sources may open up potential avenues for development the manager or employee may not have seen in their day-to-day working routine. It’s a question of perspective, of having the time and space to take a step back.

Summary: What is 360 degree feedback?

Crafting an effective 360 feedback form is an art that requires careful consideration and a deep understanding of the process plus its goals. 

There is a need to have consistency when reviewing staff across an organisation. However, it may be that some questions can be tailored to an individual’s specific circumstances. That can yield the most useful and detailed feedback.

A successful peer review exercise can really boost an employee’s career, fueling their drive for a promotion or pay rise. Here’s how to ask for a promotion – and then add the promotion to LinkedIn!

We hope you found this guide useful. Recently we’ve written a guide on how to be a good line manager and help employees thrive in the workplace.

We are CV writing experts and know how to make your experiences as a team or line manager stand out. If you’d be interested to learn more about PurpleCV and our services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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