360 appraisal

  • Self-knowledge is often regarded as the single most important factor in the practice of leadership and critical to life/job success. The power of 360 degree feedback is that it provides a reality check. Proactively inviting feedback from people you work with helps you understand the range of perceptions others have of you and how your behaviours affect them.
  • 360 degree feedback is developmental, allowing you to check your own perspective on your strengths and development needs against the perspectives of others. This can help you identify areas where you could improve leadership capability and make plans to achieve personal or developmental goals.
  • 360 degree feedback is gathered from all around you: your direct reports, peers, internal and external “customers” (where appropriate) and your line manager. The results are then collated with your own responses and used to generate a report. The report is discussed in a confidential developmental conversation with a trained facilitator.
  • 360 is only effective if you take the results seriously and respect the fact that people have been genuine in what they say about you in order to help you improve. Feedback needs to be given in a climate of openness and honesty and it is important to ask your respondents to tell the truth even if they think you won’t like it.
  • This particular scheme is based on the Hay Emotional and Social Competency Inventory (ESCI). If you would like any further information about ESCI, please contact People Development.
  • A way for managers to avoid having face to face conversations with their staff about their performance.
  • 360 feedback is not a psychometric tool or personality test. It looks at your observable behaviours, (i.e. what you actually do in a given situation).

Anyone who exercises some form of leadership, particularly if they lead a team of people. It is not appropriate for someone who is carrying out a technical role primarily as an individual contributor. The model is based on the premise that successful outcomes are achieved through people and enabled through leaders who are self-aware and values-driven. It is intended to help leaders understand what they should be doing to effectively lead colleagues in a top 100 Global University.

Confidentiality is a vital aspect of the process. No one in the University – including the facilitator - sees individual responses. The feedback report is the property of the individual and is not revealed to anyone else in the University, unless the individual chooses to share it. Individual responses are not identifiable in the report except for the ratings of the line manager which are separately identified.

The feedback meeting with the facilitator is completely confidential.

One to one feedback is provided by trained facilitators. For many reasons this is most effective when there is a degree of objectivity and so we provide a facilitator who is not well known to you or who works with you.  

Selecting people you believe can make the most accurate observations of you is an important part of the process. As a participant you are generally in the best position to identify who is able to comment meaningfully on your leadership behaviour. Do not automatically exclude those with whom you find working or interacting more difficult. Their feedback may be very revealing and helpful to you.

You can use the following draft text to send to your raters, explaining what 360-degree appraisal is about and asking if they would be prepared to give you feedback.

Rater categories

You should choose at least two raters each from as many rater categories as appropriate for you. Ideally, to give you a sufficient range of feedback, you should have a total at least six raters in addition to your line manager. The categories of raters are: self; manager; direct reports; peers; others; client/customer.

  1. You complete the 360 degree appraisal application form.
  2. On receipt of the form, we will check we have all the necessary information and can arrange for you to meet with a member of our team if you would like to ask any questions about the process.
  3. If you confirm you would like to proceed we then agree timescales and advise you to contact your raters (see above "How do I choose my raters?"). You need to let us know when this has been done.
  4. We inform Hay Group of your participation and they will contact you directly and will ask you to set up your raters.
  5. You will need to complete your own surveys.
  6. We will set up a feedback meeting with your feedback facilitator.
  7. Hay Group collates your report and sends it to us. Your 360 feedback facilitator will bring your report to your feedback meeting.
  8. After a period of reflection you may want to follow up your 360 degree appraisal with a further meeting with your feedback facilitator, or another development professional.

The cost of gathering 360 degree feedback via the internet, together with an individual feedback session with a trained facilitator is £156 chargeable to individual departments.

Please complete the 360 degree appraisal application form and return it to us at peopledevelopment@exeter.ac.uk

If you have any queries please contact peopledevelopment@exeter.ac.uk.

Hear a previous participant's thoughts on the process in this interview: