Does 360 degree feedback really work in practice?

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This is probably not a well phrased question, since it's too simplistic. The reality is that the process of employees receiving feedback from various sources can improve their performance under certain circumstances, but under other circumstances, can have the opposite effect.

In principle the idea of 360 feedback is sound. The more information we have about how we are doing, and how to improve, the better we will be able to improve, at least in theory.

The practice of 360 feedback as it is used in the real world, however, is a completely different issue. Often the 360 degree feedback system is coercive, intimidating, and misguided, so in those many situations it doesn't work in practice.

Like anything, it can work if it's done well. Unfortunately, it's usually not implemented well.


About Company

Bacal & Associates was founded in 1992 by consultant and book author, Robert Bacal. Robert's books on performance management and reviews have been published by McGraw-Hill. He is available for consultation, training and keynote speaking on performance and management at work.


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We Believe

  • Performance management and appraisal MUST be a partnership between manager and employee where BOTH benefit.
  • Performance management can be the lever for improved employee engagement.
  • The review process is the LEAST important part of performance management
  • If managers aren't managing employee performance, why are they there?

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  • 722 St. Isidore Rd.
  • Casselman
  • Ontario
  • Canada, K0A 1M0