360 Degrees of Growth: Leveraging Feedback Surveys for Professional Development



As a leader, you want to get the most out of your employees. You want them to be engaged and motivated. A 360-degree feedback survey can help you do everything by providing actionable insights into how employees view themselves, their colleagues, and their work environments. A Harvard Business Review article shows that organizations that follow this score 80% on the employee engagement scale, as rated by top leaders.

What Is a 360-Degree Feedback Survey?

A 360-degree feedback survey is a way to get feedback from multiple sources, including your peers, supervisors, and subordinates. The feedback is confidential, so it doesn’t feel like an attack on your character or work ethic.

The goal of the 360-degree survey is to identify strengths and areas for improvement to help you grow professionally. According to G360 Surveys, the information gathered through these surveys can serve as catalysts in personal and professional development. Managers can use the data as part of their performance management process. It guides them in helping employees develop skills necessary for growth within the company or organization.

A few organizations also combine external stakeholders and customer feedback with a 360-degree survey to create 720-degree feedback. Such surveys can evaluate where and what changes you must make in your management and business operations.

The Process of Conducting a 360-Degree Feedback Survey

A 360-degree survey is beneficial, but how much you get out of it depends on how you conduct it. Here are some tips to help you conduct a 360-degree feedback survey.

  • A 360-degree feedback survey is a tool used to gather information about your strengths and weaknesses from various perspectives.
  • The survey aims to provide you with constructive and honest feedback from your colleagues, subordinates, peers, direct reports, clients, and other stakeholders to improve yourself professionally.
  • You should use this type of survey as part of your professional development plan (PDP). This will help ensure that all aspects of your performance are evaluated regularly so there are no surprises when it comes time for promotions or reviews.

Leveraging 360-Degree Feedback for Professional Development

360-degree feedback surveys are a great way to identify your strengths and areas for improvement. They can also help you set realistic and actionable development goals, create personalized development plans, and measure progress toward those goals over time.

The benefits of using 360-degree feedback surveys are numerous:

  • They’re cost-effective.
  • They allow you to get honest feedback from colleagues who know you well.
  • They provide objective information about yourself.
  • They can be used as part of an ongoing career path planning process, allowing managers at all levels of an organization access to the same data about their employees’ performance across different teams or projects.

Identifying Strengths and Areas for Improvement

A 360-degree feedback survey is a great way to identify your strengths and improvement areas. This type of survey allows you to get input from multiple sources, including your boss, colleagues, and direct reports. The information gathered can be used as a springboard to developing skills or seeking resources to help you improve in certain areas.

The following are some questions to consider when using this type of survey:

  • What are my strengths?
  • Where do I need improvement?
  • What skills do I want/need to develop?
  • How can I acquire the necessary tools or training required for professional growth?

Creating Personalized Development Plans

After reading the survey results, it’s time to take action. Use the feedback to help you improve your skills, identify areas for improvement and create a personalized development plan.

As an example, let’s say that one of your goals is to improve your communication skills. In this case, look at where people indicated they felt there was room for improvement in this area. This will help guide where you focus when developing new communication strategies or learning tools like Slack chats or video meetings with remote teams. You could even consider doing a 360-degree feedback survey yourself.

For each goal on our list above, write down specific action steps that will get us closer to achieving them over time. In other words, what do we need to do now? For example, “I want my employees’ feedback so I can make changes based on what people say” might become “I’ll schedule weekly meetings with each person individually every two weeks.”

Benefits of Using 360-Degree Feedback Survey

360-degree feedback surveys are an effective way to improve your performance and career growth. They can help you:

  • Improve your performance by identifying areas where you need improvement. You’ll see how others perceive your skills, strengths, weaknesses, and leadership style so that you can work on them to become a better leader or manager.
  • Increase motivation through increased confidence and understanding of strengths and weaknesses. When employees know that their managers understand their strengths and areas for improvement, they feel more motivated than ever.

Many companies are using the software for the same. The 360-degree feedback software market size is expected to reach $1.9 billion in the next few years.

Overcoming Challenges in Implementing 360-degree Feedback Surveys

While a 360-degree feedback survey is essential for professional development, it can be difficult to implement and use. Here are some tips for overcoming the challenges:

  • Ensure your survey is well-designed and aligned with your organization’s goals. If you’re not using an external vendor, consider hiring someone with experience designing surveys or working with external vendors to provide this service.
  • Have clear guidelines about how people will receive their results so that everyone feels comfortable sharing honest feedback without feeling pressured or judged by others in their network who may have received different results.

Best Practices for Effective Implementation of 360-degree Feedback Surveys

Below are some best practices for effectively implementing 360-degree feedback surveys.

  • Ensure that you’re timing your survey correctly. The best time to administer a 360-degree feedback survey is at least six months after hiring or promotion since they can take this long to settle into their roles and establish themselves. So you can conduct group surveys based on your hiring months. For instance, April is usually considered a good month for evaluation and bringing in new hires. According to data from April 2023, the number of hires stood at 6.1 million.
  • Communicate effectively about what’s coming up regarding surveys so your employees are prepared when they arrive at their workstations. This will also help build excitement around them, making people more likely to participate enthusiastically in them later on down the road.
  • Implementing an effective employee development plan means providing opportunities where people can learn from each other through sharing experiences with peers who have similar roles within an organization, and that means making sure everyone has access at some point down the line, whether through formalized training programs or informal interactions such as those facilitated by 360 Degree Feedback Surveys.


Overall, 360-degree feedback surveys are a powerful tool for professional development. They can identify strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement in your role as a leader. 

These results can then be used to set realistic and actionable goals for professional growth that align with your organization’s needs. This process will help you become a better manager who understands your team’s feelings about working with them.