What are the benefits of Using 360-degree Feedback in Teams?

There are several benefits associated with utilizing 360-degree feedback within a team environment. When used effectively, Hurley (2008) found that 360-degree feedback can increase communication, foster employee development, and increase productivity and efficiency on a team. Let’s examine these three benefits of 360-degree feedback within teams:

Frequent and Transparent Communication

Teams who utilize 360-degree feedback can increase the level and quality of communication within the team, leading to increased team performance. Research has found that both formal and informal communication often increases after the implementation of 360-degree feedback, and an increase in two-way communication can be seen between team members (London & Beatty, 1993). As feedback results are delivered and discussed among team members, communication is shown to become more frequent and more transparent (Antonioni, 1996). Participants report that issues that previously may have been difficult to discuss become easier to address because of open communication channels and removal of the fear of retaliation (Peiperl, 2001).

Increased Self-Awareness

Using 360-degree feedback within a team environment can lead to an increase in self-awareness among team members as individuals consider assessments of their own performance compared with others’ assessment of their performance. Self-awareness can also contribute to increased communication and transparency among team members, enabling the team as a whole to perform at a higher level. A self-awareness of individual strengths and weaknesses leads to improvements in work behavior and performance, which in turn contribute to greater overall team performance (Antonioni, 1996).

Clearer Understanding of Goals and Expectations

Effective 360-degree feedback should focus on behaviors that align to team values and objectives (London & Beatty, 1993). The process of completing 360-degree feedback provides raters with greater insight and understanding into the values and behaviors that are important for team success. Seeing how others are being evaluated allows team members to formulate their own expectations around goals for performance and behaviors (Dominick et. al., 1997). When 360-degree feedback is combined with setting specific performance goals that relate to developmental areas identified in the feedback, even greater changes in behavior are expected (Dominick et. al., 1997). Second, Locke and Latham even ventured so far as to say that introducing a formal feedback system into a group may motivate individuals to set their own performance goals without explicitly being instructed to so do. (Dominick, 1997).