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Blog - The ultimate 360 review template

Hannah Price

Writer, Culture Amp

360° reviews can seem daunting at first, especially if you’re accustomed to traditional performance reviews. In this article, we clarify the differences between the two styles of review and the benefits of the 360° review. We’ve also included a simple 360° review template to help you get started. 

360° reviews and performance reviews

To be clear, this article is not going to condemn the performance review. There is space for both the 360° review and performance review in the workplace. However, it’s important to use them appropriately because their process, purpose, and results are different.

In practical terms, the difference between performance feedback and 360 feedback is the intention, audience, and consequences.

— Chloe HammanDirector of People Science at Culture Amp

Performance feedback is: 

  1. Intended to help a manager measure or assess how someone has done (looking back)
  2. The audience is the manager. The performance feedback goes directly to the manager and is often not shared in raw form with the employee. 
  3. This type of feedback has implications for how you are evaluated - which most likely lead to pay or comp decisions. 

360 feedback is: 

  1. Intended to help an individual understand what they should keep doing and where they can improve (looking forward). 
  2. 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. 
  3. This type of feedback might help inform learning opportunities and where to invest development budget. It also helps individuals learn more about opportunities for growth and development.

Simplifying the 360° review process

To a newcomer, the 360° approach can seem abstract or even a little chaotic. How are you supposed to keep track of all the information you receive, let alone consolidate it into effective and actionable feedback?

You simply need to have a clear structure and robust template before you start the 360° review. That way, you can keep track of all the data and feed it back to the reviewee effectively.

In the next section, we'll share the 360° review template we developed to simplify this process. It’s short and direct, so there won’t be hundreds of notes to collate. Moreover, a large section is multiple-choice, making it easy to see correlations in the feedback. 

360° Review Template

Introduction

Take the time to provide an introduction to the person providing feedback on a 360 review. Use the introduction below for inspiration.

This 360 is used to measure the personal development of [employee name] to enable them to grow. We would like you to answer the questions regarding [employee name] based on your own personal experience of working and interacting with him/her/them. 

Your feedback will be used to help [employee name] understand the key things they are doing well, and the key things they should focus on to make themselves, their team, and organization more successful.

Please take the time to answer honestly. Consider where he/she/they could improve and provide details where he/she/they excel. We would like a holistic review of [employee] name and genuine, contextual examples are of utmost importance. 

Rating Scale

Most of the questions in an easy-to-use 360° review are open-ended or multiple choice. Rating scales used in performance reviews must be chosen with care and are generally not needed in the context of a 360° review. 

Who is receiving feedback? Who is giving feedback?

Clarify the name and role of the person who is receiving feedback and the person who is giving feedback. The three sections that follow form the core of a 360° review. You'll notice that the review starts with open feedback focused on success, and then leads into multiple-choice based on strengths. This primes the reviewer and the receiver to focus on the positive.

Section 1: Open Feedback

What is the one way [employee name] supports you and your team to succeed?

This is an open-text question. Here, you would direct the reviewer to provide one character trait that [employee name] exemplifies that supports them. You would also ask them to provide at least one real-life example. 

Section 2: Strengths

What does [employee name] excel at and should continue to demonstrate?

Please select three answers. Please provide examples for each of your answers.*

  • Approachability. Easy to approach and talk openly to. 
  • Communication. Communicates information, ideas, and concepts clearly. 
  • Getting feedback. Actively seeks and responds positively to thoughtful feedback.
  • Learning. Eager to learn and committed to ongoing development. 
  • Productivity. Produces high-quality work (in the context of time constraints).

Section 3. Improvements

Where does [employee name] have the opportunity to improve to make real, impactful differences?

Please select three answers. Please provide examples for each of your answers.*

  • Approachability. Easy to approach and talk openly to. 
  • Communication. Communicates information, ideas, and concepts clearly. 
  • Getting feedback. Actively seeks and responds positively to thoughtful feedback.
  • Learning. Eager to learn and committed to ongoing development. 
  • Productivity. Produces high-quality work (in the context of time constraints).

*These are just five examples of the options that Culture Amp offers in our 360° review template.

Zooming out on 360° reviews

360° reviews are a valuable tool for tracking the growth of employees, as well as ensuring they continue to progress and better themselves.  However, to avoid data overload, it’s essential that you have a clear process and template in place before you get started. We hope our template has started you off on the right foot. 

Effectiveness - Results (Understand Strength Areas)

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