The Pros And Cons Of 360° Performance Reviews For Your Employees, Teams And Managers

19 December 2022

9 min read

Lynette Teo
Lynette Teo

With work-from-home (WFH) much more common than before, and more employees on remote and hybrid working arrangements, the need to rework the performance review process have been apparent for many companies.

And the 360° performance review has emerged as the way forward in a post COVID-19 work environment, for many good reasons.

It involves gathering feedback about an employee from multiple sources at different levels of your company, which can give you a more comprehensive insight about their performance levels.

This is not only a more effective approach to employee development, but it can also come with various benefits. Of course, the 360° performance review also has some shortcomings relative to the traditional performance review method.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the pros and cons of the 360° performance review, to give you a better idea of whether you too should adopt it for your company.

What Are 360° Performance Reviews?

The 360° performance review differs from the traditional method in that it does not rely on a single manager relying on their own observations about the performance of one of their direct reports.

Instead, the manager also seeks feedback from their teammates and self-feedback from the direct report themselves to gain a more complete, and holistic picture.

This provides the manager more accurate and in-depth insight into the reasons behind their direct report’s changes in performance levels, which enables them to provide support more effectively if needed.

It also gives individual employees, entire teams, and managers the rare, yet much-needed opportunity to hear feedback from themselves from the people they work with.

Pros of 360° Performance Reviews

Now, let’s hear about the pros of 360° performance reviews from the perspectives of the individual employee, their peers, as well as yourself – the manager. 

Individual Employees

Individual employees who are the subject of a 360° performance review can potentially gain the following benefits from the process:

More Balanced Feedback

Because the 360° performance review provides individual employee feedback from multiple sources, it provides a well-rounded view of their performance which captures a wider range of said employee’s strengths, as well as areas where they can improve.

It also minimizes the possibility of bias overly influencing the feedback an individual employee receives, thanks to the multiple sources of feedback. This is in contrast to the traditional method, where a manager who’s positively inclined towards said employee might give an overly-positive but relatively useless review.

On the other hand, with a 360° performance review, the employee will receive a broader, diverse, and more accurate range of insights into their overall performance.

Strengthening Relationships

Another benefit that an employee might derive from a 360° performance review is the opportunity to strengthen their relationships with their colleagues.

The insights they receive from their team members can be especially useful in accurately identifying areas where their work can improve, and help them become better as a member of their team. 

And if they get the opportunity to see what sort of positive feedback their colleagues give of them, it can help build a sense of camaraderie within the team.

With the knowledge that others will eventually review their work, employees could be incentivized to put in their best effort, as well as consider how they interact with their colleagues more carefully.

Inspiring Starting Points for Learning and Development

One of the most important benefits that a 360° performance review can provide for individual employees is that it’s especially effective at identifying their developmental needs.

If said individual employee receives the same concerns about a particular aspect of their work from multiple sources of feedback, they can be even more assured that it’s something they definitely need to work on.

They can then use this as a growth opportunity, and work with their manager to develop an action plan and set goals aimed at making improvements accordingly.


It’s not just individual employees who can benefit from 360° performance reviews; their team can benefit as a whole, as well. Here are some of these benefits;

Facilitates Communication Between Team Members

360° performance reviews creates open communication channels between team members, especially for topics that are otherwise difficult to address due to fears about possible retaliation – such as withheld raises, or even promotions.

According to a study, such open channels makes these topics much easier to address between team members. It can also lead to other positive outcomes, such as boost to employee morale levels, and minimized turnover rates.

Improves Collaborative Efforts

Another benefit of the 360° performance review process is that, because they’re now able to openly share feedback with each other, it can enhance their collaborative efforts.

That’s because as they continue to solicit feedback about themselves from each other, team members build mutual trust with each other, which puts them in a better position to achieve overall team goals.

Clarifies Expectations

A 360° performance review isn’t just useful for identifying the strengths and weaknesses of an individual employee in isolation; it can be just as useful in the context of their contributions within their team.

This can be especially powerful in clarifying the expectations that their team members have of each individual employee. For example, when applied to their contributions in a big team project, the 360° performance review can help the team realize that a particular team member is strong in time management, but needs improvement in detail-orientedness.

360° performance reviews can also identify employees’ developmental needs at an organizational level. For example, if the reviews of multiple employees state that they’re all facing the same difficulties with motivation and engagement, it could point to a company-wide issue as opposed to placing the blame on individual employees.

With this insight, you’d then see the need to develop a plan for driving employee engagement and motivation levels.


360° performance reviews can offer benefits at the managerial and leadership level as well. Here are some of them;

Improved Relationships With Direct Reports

The multiple sources of feedback that a 360° performance review provides is not only useful for an individual employee, but also for the manager for whom said employee is their direct report.

That’s because they get to work with insights from a wider variety of perspectives, which gives them a broader view of an employee’s performance, and pick up on certain aspects that they might have personally missed on their own.

Employees also trust the feedback from a 360° performance review more than with one conducted by the manager alone, because they can more easily trust the results are not biased in any way.

Increased Transparency During Conversations

Managers need to know how their direct reports perceive them, as it informs them of any adjustments in their leadership style they need to make.

However, it can be tricky for your managers to get constructive feedback, for a number of reasons. For example, their direct reports might not have the opportunity to provide such feedback, and even if they do, might be concerned about the repercussions to their own careers.

But with a 360° performance review, your managers can provide the communication channels needed for their direct reports to provide anonymous feedback, which can lead to more transparent conversations between them.

Enhanced Team Performance

Your managers exercise a significant amount of influence over the teams they manage. As such, if they fail to do so, the overall performance of the team will plummet accordingly.

However, a 360° performance review process can give your managers the feedback they need to be informed about the level of employee engagement in their teams, and act to improve on their leadership style accordingly.

This helps them manage their teams better, and subsequently boost the engagement of the team members to perform at their best.

Because 360° performance reviews also serve as a safe means for employees to provide feedback to their managers, it keeps them accountable for their decisions, and ensures they always get the insights they need to be better at their job of managing their teams.

The Cons of 360° Performance Reviews

Of course, there are a couple of downside to using the 360° performance review process over the traditional method. Here are a couple of them;

360° Performance Reviews Need The Right Participants And Method

The 360° performance review process, like any other review or feedback structure, comes with its own challenges. In this case, you must take care to include the right participants if you want to generate the most effective and constructive feedback.

For example, you must make sure that the feedback you obtain about an employee isn’t only from colleagues with which said employee have a close relationship. Similarly, avoid getting feedback only from colleagues with which the employee doesn’t get along well with.

This would only lead to biased feedback about the employee across the board, which defeats the purpose of the 360° performance reviews to begin with.

360° Performance Reviews Require A Lot Of Effort

Getting feedback about an employee from multiple sources naturally means going to much more effort, in order to solicit feedback from these sources in the first place.

Not only does it require a much greater time investment than with the traditional method, your managers might also receive so much feedback that all the data becomes difficult for them to manage.

Therefore, the 360° performance review is not feasible unless you have a platform designed to support the process.

Omni HR Can Help Your Manage Your 360° Performance Reviews

As we’ve covered in this article, 360° performance reviews offer a great deal of benefit for your individual employees, teams, and managers, and are generally a more effective way of managing overall performance levels in your company.

However, it also takes a lot of work to properly conduct a 360° performance review for each and every one of your employees.

Omni HR’s performance management software offers the ideal solution for this issue. With it, your managers can keep track, organize, and deliver all the feedback to their respective recipients effectively. Request for a free demo today!

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