Pros and Cons of 360 Degree Feedback Software

Colin Newbold, 23rd September 2019 in Development, Feedback, Hiring, Human Resources, People Management, Testing

360 degree feedback is a process used by organisations  in which leaders and managers evaluate themselves against a set of behavioural statements. At the same time , they will invite a selected number of colleagues to do the same. Some of these colleagues will be internal to the organisation, for example their line manager, their direct reports and peers and some will be external, such as customers and clients, people in partner organisations and suppliers. Development, planning and coaching sessions are also included in 360 degree feedback tool processes.


Through the use of 360 degree feedback, click-360 are on a mission to improve the quality of leadership and management capability within organisations right across the globe. Being an online company, our reach knows no boundaries. We are great believers that every employee should get the boss they deserve and who is best suited for their skill-set and requirements, to allow them to thrive for their organisation.

As with anything in life, there are positives and negatives that come with 360 degree feedback software compared to other feedback processes. We thoroughly believe that clients should be fully informed of these before making a decision as to what is right for their particular business and industry. Keep reading to discover what are the major pros and cons of 360 degree feedback software. 


Pro: Effective at Identifying and Filling Skill Gaps

Skill gaps are essentially any deficiencies in performance which arise due to an employee not having the skills needed to achieve their goals. These goals can be both personal and relevant to the overall objectives of the organisation they are working for. Behavioural skill gaps tend to be considered even more crucial for managers and leaders as they can impact the engagement levels of their staff.

Many industries and companies experience issues with skills gaps due to the fact that job roles and company objectives are constantly evolving. Due to various factors, such as a lack of training or job development, many employees are unable to adapt to these changes, which is why skill gaps develop. The same is true for behavioural skill gaps observed in managers / leaders.

There are some ways to solve skill gaps in the short term, such as implementing training days or restructuring your workforce. However, the most effective ways of getting to the root cause of behavioural skill gaps in leaders / managers and stopping them from inevitably developing in the future is 360 degree feedback. 

360 degree feedback is so effective in identifying and filling behavioural skill gaps because  it gathers an unmatchable level of authentic qualitative and quantitative data about your leaders / managers (participants in the 360 process). This service is the ultimate way to discover what is really happening within your organisation and where the biggest differences lie between participants’ behavioural skill sets, the perceptions of feedback providers and the organisation’s overall aims. 


Con: Does Not Guarantee A 100% Response Rate

Ultimately, you are not guaranteed a high response rate when using 360 degree feedback, as people can easily get bogged down with work and not prioritise filling out questionnaires. However, by working with the right company and carrying out the best practice, you can mitigate against the risk of people not responding to your 360 degree feedback. 

One common cause of getting a low response rate is not targeting the right information in the questionnaire. Ultimately, if respondents can’t relate to those questions or they don’t feel as though the questions are fair and relevant, or fail to be spurred on by them to produce useful data, then the 360 degree feedback process will not be successful.  It is vital to target information which focuses on behaviours, as opposed to personality traits, styles or tasks. Essentially you are wanting to concentrate on how, not what

Simply not wording questions in the right way is another way in which companies frequently fail to maximise their response rate when implementing 360 degree feedback. Vague, poorly worded or overly complex questions will not produce useful feedback. Concise and clear English will produce concise and clear results. 


Pro: Technology Friendly 

In recent years, 360 degree feedback has come on leaps and bounds in terms of evolving with businesses’ technological processes. This aids in creating a seamless feedback process within your organisation.

Thanks to these advances in technology, answers can be collated instantly with click-360’s online 360 feedback tool. The amount of administration required is also much more reduced with online feedback because respondents are given responsibility for managing their own feedback. 

Through moving the 360 feedback tool online, businesses have saved a lot of wasted time and effort having to distribute questionnaires and collate the answers. Digitalised, interactive questionnaires allow administrators to choose which competencies they wish to get feedback on. Questionnaires and reports can also now be encrypted and protected by passwords, boosting confidentiality and data security.

Your reports can either be reviewed on a standard PDF format or through our digital 360-degree feedback reports, which are integrated with an online workbook to help interpret the data and capture any reflections. These reports can also be viewed online and are optimised for mobile hand-held devices.


Con: Not Suitable for All Businesses

Not all businesses may be suitable to implement effective 360 degree feedback. The Chartered Institute of Personnel Development in the UK (CIPD) has found instances in which feedback has been questioned by individuals working for the company, most of which can be traced to inappropriate implementation. It is absolutely vital that practitioners do all they can to ensure the employees trust the 360 feedback process. 

Ensuring that issues of confidentiality are clearly communicated, detailing who will have access to the data and for what purpose, is one way in which trust can be ensured. click-360 will help clients in the preparation and briefing process to ensure that an effective feedback project is implemented every time. 

The organisation’s structure can play a big part in whether they are suitable for 360 feedback as well. For example, an organisation may not be suitable for 360 feedback if it is in the middle of a change programme which includes downsizing or restructuring. It would be inappropriate for such a firm to implement 360 feedback as it is more likely for the aims and objectives to be misinterpreted.  As well, there is often so much uncertainty (and doubtless anxiety) in the air that the distraction of a 360 degree feedback project would push people to twang. Any data thereby extracted would almost certainly be flawed.



Pro: Improves Leadership in the Workplace

Leaders are crucial to any business. Internally growing your own leaders instead of bringing them in externally brings with it a wide array of benefits. For example, through taking this organic approach to improving leadership in the workplace, organisations will save money, boost morale and go a long way to creating a cohesive culture of success throughout the company.

By implementing 360 degree feedback software, you will make invaluable discoveries regarding the behaviours, abilities and opinions of your managers and leaders. Augmenting effective performance and appraisal processes with a process focused purely on development is key to building a successful leadership and management team who are motivated to perform to the best of their abilities. 

Through working with click-360, you will ultimately take great strides in learning how to interpret and measure feedback data effectively in order to transform your workforce of today into the leaders of tomorrow.


The Wide-Reaching Benefits of click-360 

Now you are fully informed of the pros and cons of 360 degree feedback, why not learn more about how the process works? Watch our questionnaire video to see how this straightforward 360 degree feedback software can optimise results for your organisation.

We’d love to hear from you, get in contact today and we will get you on the way to unlocking your future leaders through expert 360 degree feedback.

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