We’re big believers in 360 feedback’s ability to motivate teams and strengthen leaders. But because we’ve been doing this for a long time, we’re also aware of the possibility that it can sometimes do the opposite. The reality is, despite your best intentions, good feedback can go bad. People can get their feelings hurt. They can misunderstand their results. Teams might emerge from the process more frustrated and less motivated. How can you prevent this from happening?
Ensuring a smooth 360 feedback survey process requires a soup to nuts approach, starting with the questions you ask. Follow our lead with the following tips and examples of 360 feedback questions:
360 Feedback Examples
Closed-ended questions invite survey respondents to choose from a set of pre-defined answers, like yes or no or the various choices on a rating scale. These are great for collecting quantitative data, which will show up on your survey reports as graphs and charts. These questions should be easy to understand, focus on one issue at a time and be totally bias-free. Good closed-ended examples of 360 feedback questions that would be answered on a 1 to 5 scale from strongly disagree to strongly agree include:
- Chris communicates in a clear and understandable way.
- Sam listens closely when other people are talking.
- Cindy has strong presentation skills.
Contrast those with these bad examples of closed-ended 360 feedback questions:
- Chris communicates well most of the time.
- Sam looks at his cell phone a lot.
- Cindy gets nervous when presenting.
Open-ended questions require respondents to dig a little deeper and provide details about their experience. These are great for collecting qualitative data, such as attitudes and moods. Understandably, it’s harder to analyze these types of responses because they can be all over the place. But they’re critical for providing context, identifying trends and highlighting specific behaviors. Just like closed-ended questions, these should be easy to understand, hyper-focused on a single question, and be free of leading or loaded statements. Good examples of open-ended 360 feedback questions include:
Please provide comments on Chris’s interpersonal skills
Please provide comments on Sam’s problem-solving skills
What are Cindy’s strengths and opportunities for development?
Now take a look at these bad examples of open-ended 360 feedback questions:
• How easy is it to relate to Chris?
• How does Sam go about solving problems?
• What’s wrong with Cindy’s leadership style?
Can you spot the differences? When designing 360 feedback survey questions, pay close attention to how easy they are to understand, whether they include any leading or loaded statements, and how many questions each question is really asking. It’s also a good idea to administer the survey to a small test audience, to determine if they had issues with readability or could detect bias.
Better yet, partner with us for your 360 feedback survey needs. When you work with G360 Surveys, you can rest easy knowing your survey will include a healthy mix of closed- and open-ended questions that were designed with your success in mind. Get in touch today.