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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
Director

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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
Director

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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
Director

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Lumus360 - How to design a 360 feedback questionnaire



How to write high quality 360 feedback questions



The analysis was conducted using a polytomous Rasch rating scale model, which in simple terms compares each question against a known quality expectation. Analysing the underperforming questions, we were able to identify 8 common trends/ reasons for their low scores and these are:

Underperformance reason Example question
Participants had limited/ only occasional opportunity to conduct the behaviour and therefore it conflicts with the frequency scale When needed, challenges inappropriate behaviour
The question was overly subjective Is an 'expert' in their field
The question was double (or even triple) barrelled Invites feedback and uses it to improve
The behaviour was conducted outside the participants normal working environment and therefore respondents were unlikely to see it Makes a valuable contribution to external client meetings
The question format was more aligned to a ‘yes’ – ‘no’ response than something that can be measured on a frequency scale Is seen as the ‘go to’ person
The question was too specific/ focused and therefore the behaviour was not seen by the majority of people Effectively applies the ABC process
The behaviour was difficult to observe – including asking about a person’s knowledge or understanding which is not easily displayed/ observed Evaluates own performance against Key Performance Indicators
The question was ambiguous, would be interpreted differently by different respondents Effectively attracts sponsors to establish top-down support

The worst performing questions were frequently guilty of several of these sins. Conversely, the highest performing questions incorporate the exact opposite of the above findings.

Use the above as a checklist, to ensure your 360 feedback questions hit the mark.

David Cooper
Director

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Improving 360 feedback questionnaire completion rates



We've seen big differences in 360 questionnaire completion rates between organisations. Some get 100% return, with others as low as 18%! Whilst context, culture and time availability undoubtedly play a part, there are some simple activities that if applied, will increase return rates considerably.

Success comes from putting energy into three key areas:

Participant engagement – Ideally done through a short launch session at the beginning of the process, during which participants are encouraged to:

  • Send a personalised note to each of their respondents, asking for their support in completing the questionnaire within the time requested
  • Review completion rates just before the questionnaire completion date and politely remind/ chase those who haven’t completed

System optimisation – Building the feedback tool so it:

  • Automatically sends reminders to respondents who have not completed their questions. We advise doing this on 3 occasions:
    • Several days before the questionnaire completion date
    • On the questionnaire completion date
    • 1 day after the questionnaire completion date (stating the feedback window has been extended by 24/ 48 hours
  • Incorporates realistic timeframes for questionnaire completion (two weeks works well)
  • Provides clear guidance on completing the survey, time needed, anonymity etc
  • Is simple, intuitive and easy/ quick to complete questionnaires. Don’t underestimate the benefit of making the online tool as user friendly as possible

Energising organisational communications – Possibly built around the following:

  • Initial – A 'whole organisation' email/ intranet based introduction that outlines – What 360 degree feedback is; the reasons for doing it; how the reports will be used; confidentiality/ anonymity; the importance of completing a questionnaire if invited to do so
  • Mid-point – Senior endorsement – Ideally a video in which the CEO/ MD outlines how they benefited from the process and encouraging everyone to complete questionnaires within the allocated time
  • Pre-close – final energiser – A ‘whole organisation’ email/ intranet communication sent a couple of days before the close that reminds respondents of the benefits of 360 and what they can expect as a result of their input.

David Cooper
Director

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360 feedback questions – The shift towards business growth



Having supported hundreds of organisations over the last 17 years to develop their 360 feedback models / Competency Frameworks, I’ve seen various trends in relation to what organisations expect of their managers. The most recent (and very significant) shift is the increased expectation of managers at all levels to take a key role in prospecting, identifying and growing new business opportunities.

Are your managers clear about what is expected of them in relation to growing the business? – Should your 360 feedback questionnaire incorporate business development behaviours such as:

Setting the right team/ department climate:

  • Fosters a climate that encourages the seeking of new business opportunities
  • Constantly seeks to grow the business
  • Uses an entrepreneurial approach
  • Shares business intelligence
  • Ensures their team know their product/service

Seeking out opportunities:

  • Makes time for prospecting
  • Actively looks for new business opportunities
  • Pursues market opportunities
  • Maintains a network focused on growth opportunities
  • Uses networks to develop business leads
  • Opportunities into action

Converting business opportunities into profit:

  • Driving business opportunities into business value
  • Is ‘deal’ focused
  • Closes deals in a ‘win:win’ way; benefiting all parties
  • Is systematic in their sales activity

David Cooper
Director

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360 feedback questions – The shift towards business growth



Having supported hundreds of organisations over the last 17 years to develop their 360 feedback models / Competency Frameworks, I’ve seen various trends in relation to what organisations expect of their managers. The most recent (and very significant) shift is the increased expectation of managers at all levels to take a key role in prospecting, identifying and growing new business opportunities.

Are your managers clear about what is expected of them in relation to growing the business? – Should your 360 feedback questionnaire incorporate business development behaviours such as:

Setting the right team/ department climate:

  • Fosters a climate that encourages the seeking of new business opportunities
  • Constantly seeks to grow the business
  • Uses an entrepreneurial approach
  • Shares business intelligence
  • Ensures their team know their product/service

Seeking out opportunities:

  • Makes time for prospecting
  • Actively looks for new business opportunities
  • Pursues market opportunities
  • Maintains a network focused on growth opportunities
  • Uses networks to develop business leads
  • Opportunities into action

Converting business opportunities into profit:

  • Driving business opportunities into business value
  • Is ‘deal’ focused
  • Closes deals in a ‘win:win’ way; benefiting all parties
  • Is systematic in their sales activity

David Cooper
Director

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360 feedback questionnaire to measure progress of new senior team members



Supporting new top team members to get off on the right foot is crucial, especially during “their first 100 days,” when they are under intense scrutiny to lay the right foundations and prove they have what it takes.

To assist new senior team members successfully transition into their role, Lumus360 have developed a 360 survey that provides targeted/ specific feedback on those aspects essential for longer term success. The 360 activity is conducted at the 3 month point and enables participants to capitalise on strengths and identify the things they still need to attend to.

The survey looks at 6 key areas:

  • Their 'fit' into the organisation – To what extent they have... Found out what makes the organisation tick; Being accepted by others; Refined their leadership style to adapt and harmonize with the organisations culture; Worked collaboratively with others; Built passion for the organisation.
  • Establishing credibility – To what extent they have... Demonstrated credibility in their area of expertise; Been sort out for their opinion; Influenced decisions; Built a good reputation/ respect.
  • Role alignment – To what extent they have... Defined their role / mandate; Balanced technical / functional role with senior team responsibilities; Acquired the necessary knowledge and skills needed to be successful in the role.
  • Goal Alignment – To what extent they have... Engaged in the Strategic Plan; Established clear targets / priorities for themselves/ others that are aligned to the organizations goals; Taken action to structure their part of the organisation for maximum performance.
  • Delivering Results – To what extent they have... Influenced/ brought about improvement change; Got things done within the organisation’s reality; Demonstrated accountability, planning and execution; Got the best out of others; Adopted key processes and systems; Challenged easy assumptions.
  • Relationships – To what extent they have... Invested time in building relationships; Established good working relationships with key stakeholders; Developed an information network inside the organisation; Fostered positive "Teamability"; Demonstrated humanity.

All of the above can be tailored to your organisations context.

Drop me a note, If you would like a little more information about using 360 to accelerate the transition of new senior team members into their role.

David Cooper
Director

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What makes the 'one in a million' boss?



Having seen 1000's of 360 feedback reports, there are not many things that surprise me. That said, a couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of coaching a manager through what was a truly outstanding (one in a million) report.

Whilst I’ve never seen such high ratings before … It was the comments people left, that reinforced they (a middle manager within a school support organisation) really had found the holy grail of leading others.

So what is this manager doing that makes those they lead hold them in such high esteem? Having analysed all of the feedback comments, it became clear that the following 6 leadership attributes (in no particular order) underpin their success:

Valuing others:

  • Being approachable and a genuine listener
  • Taking into account the opinions of others
  • Admitting when other viewpoints are more valid than their own
  • Making others feel appreciated
  • Acting upon others thoughts and ideas

Strength of belief

  • Standing own ground when needed
  • Challenging negative attitudes of others
  • Showing resilience, even in difficult situations

Respect to all:

  • Always seeing the best in people
  • Handling stressful situations with a positive approach
  • Genuinely caring about the team and customers
  • Giving credit where due

Realistic improvement with heart:

  • Always looking for ways to improve the service
  • Promoting a positive attitude to change
  • Being realistic with regard to what can be achieved but at the same time having high expectations of others
  • Ensuring team members are supported during change no matter how small

Communication credibility:

  • Giving honest and open opinions
  • Being clear and concise
  • Having an opinion that is valued
  • Delivering information with appropriate tact and sensitivity
  • Behaving calmly under pressure
  • Delivery excellence:

    • Having an ethos of excellence that rubs off on the whole team
    • Admitting to mistakes
    • Doing what they say
    • Understanding team members pressures and supporting them where necessary
    • Going further than the extra mile
    • Being one step ahead when actions are required
    • Assisting with whatever is required to meet the business needs

    Looking at the above, you may say … So what’s new? … and I agree, if quizzed we could all come up with a similar list of what our perfect boss would be like. However, the challenge is – How do you make these behaviours the managerial norm?

    David Cooper
    Director

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Snippet

360 masterclass - questionnaires

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

Snippet

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...

Snippet

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

Video - Questionnaire Design

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

Article

How to write high quality 360 questions

Working with a Research Psychologist we have been able to review the performance of 309 different 360 questions (answered by over 33,000 people) and this snippet shares our learning.

Article

Improving 360 feedback questionnaire completion rates

Improving 360 feedback response rates - Some simple activities that if applied, will increase your questionnaire completion/ return rates considerably

Article

360 feedback questions – The shift towards business growth

Does your 360 feedback questionnaire capture the expectation of your managers in driving continued business growth? Some questions for you to use/ adapt …

Article

Measure progress of new senior team members

A questionnaire for executive/ senior team members after completing their first 100 days in role

Article

What makes the ‘one in a million’ boss?

The 360 feedback questions that the behaviours displayed by amazing bosses

Check out our other 360 feedback products