Using 360 Degree Assessment Questions in Your Workplace


The use of 360 degree assessment questions are a great choice when looking at the entire organization. This type of systematic questioning will look at the employees, employers, subordinates, and employee's peers, from all directions, rather than simply asking one type of question.

The assessment covers all topics from the workplace, to rating knowledge and skills, communications, rating work performance, and all other areas of the workplace. Depending on who is answering the 360 degree assessment questions, the manner in which they are answered are obviously going to change based on whether it is an employee or the employer answering the questions.

How they are formatted
The 360 degree assessment questions are generally formatted in a number series (1-5 or 1-10). These ratings will show where a particular individual feels they (or a boss or co-worker) fall within the spectrum. An example of a question would be: how calmly does the individual handle stress on the job? A number rating correlates with each answer, where 1 is they do not handle stress well, up to 10 where they excel in stressful situations. These number ratings are used to rate the individual in the overall manner of their work, rather than simply looking at one aspect of the work that they do.

What is asked?
Of course the questions that are asked in the 360 degree assessment questions is going to vary from company to company, but they are general based questions. Some of the topics that are covered include:

  • Knowledge and skills of the employee's job, tasks, the company, etc.
  • How individuals work with others, their boss, and co-workers on the job.
  • What the individual's job performance is like, in different areas of their everyday job.
  • How the individual communicates in the workplace, and how they are in interacting with others when they have to.

These behavioral type questions that are asked as part of the 360 degree assessment questions, not only allow employers and managers to see what co workers and managers think about a particular individual, it allows them to look at the overall level and quality of work, not just one aspect of it.

How the questions are used
Depending on the line of questioning used with the 360 degree assessment questions, there are different uses for this questionnaire type. One of the most popular uses for this type of assessment is to determine if an individual in the workplace deserves a raise or promotion. Hiring managers might have co workers and peers, as well as upper level managers answer the questionnaire, in order to decide whether or not a particular candidate is ready for new work and a higher rank, or whether they should remain in their current position.

The 360 degree assessment questions can also be used as a means to determine how managers are doing, and how they treat employees. Since there are both communicative style and interaction questions, as well as work related questions, employees can give an in depth feedback of how they feel, by ranking managers, and the way they treat the employees.

In each workplace, the questionnaire is used in a different manner, and it allows the company to assess an individual, a group, or a management team, through an objective basis, by ranking, and on all aspects of the working place, as opposed to just a yes or no answer that other questionnaire formats use.

In the 360 degree assessment questions, after each subcategory, there is also usually a section where the individual answering the assessment can provide comments or feedback. This is a great tool that managers use, in addition to the number ranking. Since some things can't be ranked on a 1-5 (or 1-10) scale, the individual has the opportunity to put in to words, what they could not answer in the questions, or to elaborate on the reason they gave a particular score. At the end of the assessment, the individual answering also has the opportunity to rate the overall performance, and provide final comments.

The use of 360 degree assessment questions is great in any workplace, but is especially useful in a workplace that employees, managers, and other higher end team members have to interact on a constant basis. This questionnaire format allows everyone to give their opinion, and it allows management to make necessary changes or modifications, based on the 360 degrees (the entire workplace), as opposed to just one individual's personal opinions or beliefs.


About The Author

Yves Lermusi (aka Lermusiaux) is CEO & co-founder of Checkster. Mr. Lermusi is a well known public speaker and a Career and Talent industry commentator. He is often quoted in the leading business media worldwide, including Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Business Week, and Time Magazine. His articles and commentary are published regularly in online publications and business magazines. Mr. Lermusi was named one of the “100 Most Influential People in the Recruiting Industry” and his blog has been recognized as the best third party blog.