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360 Feedback Questionnaire Resources

Every resource you could need on 360 feedback questionnaires

360 feedback masterclass - questionnaires

Taking the time to develop a questionnaire that is ‘fit for purpose’ and will provide participants with insightful development feedback against the organisations expectations of them, is a fundamental part of getting 360 degree feedback right.

Whilst there are many factors to consider when designing a great questionnaire, we believe the following to be key:

  • Use the Leadership/Senior Management Team to define the behaviours that will enable the delivery of the organisations needs today and in the future
  • Don’t re-invent the wheel – Use a standard data base of tried and tested questions as a start point (drop me a note if you haven’t got access to one)
  • Ensure each question has a single focus and clearly captures the desired behaviour
  • Identify 65 – 75 questions, split into 5 – 6 competency areas
  • Provide 3 – 5 free text (qualitative feedback) boxes spread throughout the questionnaire and a summative comments box at the end
  • Do a Face Validity test – Invite feedback from potential feedback responders on the understandability of each question and feedback from the top team on the relevance of each question

Lumus360 offer a free questionnaire design service to all our customers

Bye for now

David Cooper

How long does a 360 questionnaire take?

We surveyed 1,500 (1466 to be precise!) feedback respondents from across 14 organisations. The respondents completed questionnaires comprising on average of 70 questions each with the opportunity to leave between 4 – 6 sets of written/ free text feedback comments.

Whilst it took 3 people only 2 minutes to complete their questionnaires and 1 person over 2 hours(!), the average completion time was 22 minutes, which broke down as follows:

0 – 5 minutes = 3%
6 – 10 minutes = 18%
11 – 15 minutes = 23%
16 – 20 minutes = 22%
21 – 30 minutes = 21%
31 – 40 minutes = 4%
41 – 60 minutes = 8%
61 – 90 minutes = 0 .7%
90 plus minutes = 0.3%

The other interesting thing that came out of the research was that those who also provided written feedback comments, indicated that they preferred to have a free text box at the end of each competency area, as opposed to several comment boxes spread throughout the questionnaire.

So what does it mean? …. Given that most of us are unable to sustain attention on one thing for more than about 20 minutes at a time – this research draws me to the conclusion that questionnaires should:

  • Be 70 questions or less
  • Have the questions grouped into 5 competency areas/ factors
  • Provide the opportunity to leave free text comments at the end of each block of questions

David Cooper

Are we measuring the right things?

Resent research that analysed 360 degree feedback data from in excess of 11000 leaders found that the least effective/ worst leaders displayed the following characteristics

During their research they analysed the 360 degree feedback data from in excess of 11000 leaders and mapped that against the 10% who were considered least effective and those who were subsequently fired(!).

They concluded that the worst leaders:

  • Lack energy and enthusiasm – They see new initiatives as a burden, rarely volunteer, and fear being overwhelmed. One such leader was described as having the ability to “suck all the energy out of any room.”
  • Accept their own mediocre performance – They overstate the difficulty of reaching targets so that they look good when they achieve them. They live by the mantra “Underpromise and overdeliver.”
  • Lack clear vision and direction – They believe their only job is to execute. Like a hiker who sticks close to the trail, they’re fine until they come to a fork.
  • Have poor judgment – They make decisions that colleagues and subordinates consider to be not in the organization’s best interests.
  • Don’t collaborate – They avoid peers, act independently, and view other leaders as competitors. As a result, they are set adrift by the very people whose insights and support they need.
  • Don’t walk the talk – They set standards of behaviour or expectations of performance and then violate them. They’re perceived as lacking integrity.
  • Resist new ideas – They reject suggestions from subordinates and peers. Good ideas aren’t implemented, and the organization gets stuck.
  • Don’t learn from mistakes – They may make no more mistakes than their peers, but they fail to use setbacks as opportunities for improvement, hiding their errors and brooding about them instead.
  • Lack interpersonal skills – They make sins of both commission (they’re abrasive and bullying) and omission (they’re aloof, unavailable, and reluctant to praise).
  • Fail to develop others – They focus on themselves to the exclusion of developing subordinates, causing individuals and teams to disengage.

Whilst I am this first to say that 360 Degree Feedback questionnaires have to meet the organisations current/ future needs and be embedded in their context – the article does raise the question… Should 360 degree questionnaires also contain some of the generic aspects that underpin great leadership?

Please let me know if you need any other information or advice on developing your 360 feedback model / 360 degree feedback questions or would like to access our 360 feedback sample questions.

David Cooper

Lumus360 - How to design a 360 feedback questionnaire


360 masterclass - questionnaires

Taking the time to develop a questionnaire that is ‘fit for purpose’ and will provide participants with insightful development feedback...


How long does a 360 questionnaire take?

Lumus360 have just completed a piece of research into the amount of time it takes to complete a 360 feedback questionnaire...


Are we measuring the right things?

I was interested to read in a recent HBR Article by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman about their research to identify the ten fatal flaws that derail leadership...


Video - Questionnaire Design

Our experience of supporting hundreds of organisations, shows that success comes from the application of the following principles...

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