BLOGS / Why 360 Reviews Are Important

Why 360 Reviews Are Important

Written By:

Julia Oliva

It's the long awaited time to get evaluated—a moment that some may dread. Performance reviews are stressful, time consuming, and can feel a bit awkward. You are not legally obligated, in Ontario, to conduct performance reviews either... so why bother? Carrying out 360 performance reviews is the most efficient and effective way of bringing out the best in your employees along with ensuring the company is running smoothly.

Photo by AllGo on Unsplash

Photo by AllGo on Unsplash

What is a 360 Review?

A 360 review is a comprehensive performance management practice, capturing the full picture of employee performance. This includes reviews from all levels including self, manager, peer, and upward reviews. It's a conversation that focuses on professional development beyond just employee performance, allowing managers to envision a robust picture of each member of their team and evaluate how they live out company values.

At TribalScale we use a performance management platform called 15five to facilitate our 360 review process and it's worked really well for our team. Below you can read how 15five measures each part of the 360 review:

Image from 15five

Image from 15five

All 4 types of reviews provide different perspectives which paints a more accurate picture of employee performance. The questions within the different types of reviews should allow for each party to dig deep into their thoughts and experiences. By spreading the responsibility of evaluating performance you are also limiting bias, it's not just up to one person (the manager) to dictate how positive or negative an employee performed or tracked towards goals. As a fully remote global innovation firm, some of our managers at TribalScale might not always have the ability to work alongside their direct reports, as they may be allocated to a client or internal project. We've seen some really useful performance insights come out of the following type of reviews:

  • Peer reviews—Peers in general have a much different perspective than managers, as you're usually collaborating much closer and getting in the weeds with peers day-to-day. When nominating peers, you also have the ability to select multiple, and sometimes you've collaborated on different projects or tasks with each of those peers, giving them all a unique perspective of your performance.

  • Upward reviews—Great managers enable their teams to perform better and drive value, so upward reviews are great for revealing how they can be better at supporting their teams and what employees need from their managers to succeed.

Tips: Help Your Managers Conduct Performance Reviews That Actually Work

The Key is Continuous Improvement

A successful 360 review is not just a process that happens once a year, it should also incorporate continuous improvement. At TribalScale we've implemented a continuous feedback loop through bi-annual mid-year reviews and weekly check-ins, both of which we also facilitate through our 15five tool.

Mid-Year Review

This review happens roughly 6 months after the 360 review and only includes a self and manager review. This allows both managers and employees to review progress towards individual and department KPIs, evaluate if any improvements are necessary or if there are any gaps that need to be addressed, and it gives employees the opportunity to course-correct in order to meet goals by the end of the year.

Weekly Check-in

The weekly check-in happens at the end of every week where each employee answers recurring questions on the following:

  • How they are feeling at work this week—pulse-check how employees are feeling each week

  • What they accomplished this week—keep track of all the work and progress they achieved each week

  • Any objectives they have for next week—set tasks and priorities for the upcoming week

  • Spot questions for their manager—highlight if there are any concerns or blockers their manager can help with

  • Kudos for the week—give recognition and shoutout team members that went above & beyond

Weekly Check-in Benefits for Managers

Managers are able to use the check-in insights to consistently monitor employee morale, correct low engagement, and solve any roadblocks early on. The feedback from check-ins can be added to the agenda for employee and manager 1-on-1 meetings for a great conversation framework instead of just using the time for status updates. This gives the manager an opportunity to prep before the meeting and come prepared with a solution for their employee. At TribalScale, our managers also have access to all their employees' past check-ins when completing the manager review component of their employees' 360 and mid-year reviews which is a great way to reduce recency bias.

Weekly Check-in Benefits for Employees

What I've realized from working in the tech industry is that there is never a dull moment. One minute I'm working on internal policies and the next minute I have five roles that just opened that need to be closed in two weeks. I've found these check-ins to be super helpful as they allow me to set a plan for the week ahead and focus on priorities for the week. Our 15five tool also stores all of our previous check-ins so we can look back at them when completing the self review component of our 360 and mid-year reviews. Lastly, it gives me the opportunity to focus on my priorities with my manager and bring up any roadblocks so I can get the support I need. It's not just for status updates, but the mentoring and knowledge that a lot of professionals like to seek in their 1-on-1s with their manager.

Final Thoughts

The scary truth, according to Gallup, is that only 26% of employees strongly agree that the feedback they receive helps them, and only 23%, strongly agree that their manager provides meaningful performance feedback to them. Implementing a robust 360 review process through tools like 15five or similar means can help improve employee moral, trust, and engagement along with productivity and the accomplishment of their goals. Why not get started?


Julia is our Senior People & Culture Specialist here at TribalScale, overseeing the Engineering & QA department. She manages and leads our recruitment, employee initiatives and engagement along with various HR tasks. When Julia is not working behind her computer she is binging a Netflix series or cooking different cuisines.