7 Common Mistakes With 360 Multi-rater Feedback

Colin Newbold, 30th September 2019 in Development, Feedback, Hiring, Human Resources, People Management, Testing

360-degree multi-rater feedback or appraisal is a process which is used to evaluate an individual (typically a leader or a manager, or someone that aspires to those positions) against a group of behavioural statements, depending on your organisation’s competency framework and values.

The purpose of this process is to highlight the difference between the individual’s self-perception and how others see them so that they can build their capability. The 360 process can tell you a lot about your staff which in turn impacts the organisation. You can use 360 to understand more about your company and then make changes that will hugely improve leadership and management capability, ultimately leading to greater staff engagement and increased results. After the survey is completed, you will be provided with a gap analysis and development planning and coaching sessions. At click-360, we endeavour to do most of the work for you but there are still common mistakes that you can avoid in order to get the most out of the process.  


What Behaviour Are You Looking For?


It might seem fairly self-explanatory but a common mistake made with 360 Multi-rater feedback is not targeting the right information in the questionnaire. Without the right questions, you can’t get the right answers. Devising questions that relate to your organisation, have clarity and relevance and are free from ambiguity often produce more useful data.


Evidence suggests that respondents will often not respond at all and prioritise other work. This can be easily avoided by choosing the right supplier, which will in turn, minimise the risk of your 360 feedback having a low response rate. The key to 360 multi-rater feedback is to create an emphasis on patterns of behaviour rather than personality traits. 


Too Much Management Jargon 


It might be tempting to veer into management jargon rather than common sense, concise and clear English. Words that are excessively long, complicated or have multiple meanings leave space for miscommunication. Secondly, poorly worded questions are another way in which companies prevent themselves from achieving their maximum response rate during the process of 360 degree feedback. The questions should be direct, simple and clear. A helpful rule to prevent overly complex questions (asking about more than one thing) is to break down big ideas into multiple, more tangible questions where possible. 


Failing To Create Trust


In order for 360 multi rater feedback to work its magic, there must be a healthy feedback climate. This means that an environment of trust must be built so respondents believe that the information will be used fairly, honestly, for the purposes of individual development and that confidentiality will be maintained. 


It is important to ensure that respondents know who will have access to their data and for what purpose. click-360 will help clients in the preparation and briefing process to ensure that an effective feedback project is implemented every time. 


Offering 20-Point Scales


Mistakes can be made not only when creating the questions, but when creating the response options. Typically, your 360 multi rater feedback questions will feature a sliding point scale that will allow respondents to choose where their perception sits from one end of the scale to the other. 


Scales of four-points or less can be too small to provide a clear delineation between core strengths and behavioural challenges. Although the click-360 sliding scales are set against a likert scale that typically has five points, the fact that we score in percentages effectively gives raters a 100-point scale. This provides for an even greater spread of responses and therefore increased accuracy – especially when combined with simultaneous rating, which is where a rater can complete feedback on several colleagues simultaneously.


Timing Is Everything 


Although, you may just want to get on with the process of 360 degree feedback, timing is everything. The climate, environment and timing you choose to deploy the feedback process can drastically affect the results. For instance, in a period of change like downsizing, merging, expanding or restructuring then the objectives of the project could easily be misconstrued. The uncertainty and apprehensiveness that surrounds these major change programmes can lead to a bias in answers and leave the data flawed and thus, less useful. 


 Recurring Process Or One Off Event?


Once common mistake that is often overlooked is the frequency of 360 feedback. Organisations often ask “Should I set up 360 feedback as a recurring process?” or “Should I deliver 360 feedback as a one off event? The answer is simple - and game changing. 


Given that people need time to implement changes following a 360 review and that it takes a little while before others perceive that change has taken place, you can’t just simply disregard the process or the results. 


We recommend carrying out the 360 feedback process at twelve to eighteen-month intervals. However, some organisations choose to conduct surveys before and then some time after a leadership, management or team development programme.




At click-360, our first priority is getting you the results that you want.Taking time to choose your questions and consider your goals before embarking on the process of the 360 Degree Feedback process will certainly mean your questionnaire is more streamlined and effective in achieving the results that you need. Once the process begins, we save organisations money, time and resources whilst simultaneously granting you more knowledge about your organisation -  the working behaviours that keep it going and the working behaviours that slow progress. Educating yourself on what actually goes into the 360 Multi-rater feedback not only allows you to gain more from it but as the system is completely customisable, you can raise any issues or discuss any preferences. 


What Is The Feedback Process?


The process is as follows: 

    1. Project set up 

    2. Respondent selection 

    3. Subject briefing 

    4. Observer briefing 

    5. Survey goes live 

    6. Reminders sent to non-respondents

    7. Official survey close 

    8. Publication and distribution of reports


The process ends with a comprehensive report containing feedback data, designed to be easily interpreted and which leads to development planning actions.  We offer ongoing coaching which will dramatically improve leadership and management capability, or we can train your own internal people to do this. . Our feedback services are simple to implement and we dominate at delivering results. 


We understand the importance of gaining invaluable insight into the behaviours, capabilities and perceptions of your leaders and managers and helping them develop to deliver your future strategies and vision. After taking in all of this information, if you’re interested or have any questions contact us today and we’ll be happy to help and accelerate your journey to success. 

We use cookies to personalise your experience and to analyse our traffic. Do you want to allow all cookies or view and change settings?