How to Write an Effective 360 Degree Performance

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The 360 degree performance appraisal involves all the stake-holders. Unlike the traditional supervisor report, which only presents one person’s observations, the 360 degree performance appraisal solicits feedback from subordinates and peers. In some instances the 360 degree can also include “customers” (which could be students or patients), suppliers and anyone else who comes in contact with the person being evaluated. The 360 – which may include named or anonymous people – presents a more rounded picture of the person being evaluated. The forms typically used in the 360 degree performance appraisal call for assessments of job skills, abilities, behavior and attitudes. Open, honest and anonymous assessments are not always flattering.

Review all the feedback at one time, as this will provide you with an overall image. If some of the data was collected by email, make a hard-copy so you can read it and add it to the 360 degree file of the person concerned.

Form a perception of how this person is viewed by others. Make a list of strengths and areas which need to be improved. If some of the date was rated on a scale of 1 to 5, do the calculations.

Start with the positive. Even if it is difficult, try to build the image that the person isn’t a total failure.

Temper the negative. Use phrases such as “Some of your colleagues feel that your mathematical skills could be improved,” rather than “Everyone thinks you are an incompetent accountant.” Think of how you would feel if you were in the other person's place and be empathetic.

Use easy-to-understand words and straightforward descriptors. Stick to the facts and avoid making personal comments. Write in a professional tone and try to sound as objective as possible.

Draft your 360 degree performance appraisal and then leave it for a day or two. Return to your report and read it aloud to yourself. Assess the tone and amend, if required.

Leave a space for the person being assessed to make comments on your 360 degree evaluation.


  • Make sure that sensitive and suitable counseling is available, if needed.