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Leadership Training: 360-Degree Feedback Surveys Case Study

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Updated: May 3rd, 2021

First of all, it should be said that there is a great number of different 360-degree feedback surveys on the Internet and it proves the unique popularity of the issue. Nowadays it could be considered one of the main tools that should be used by an employee to determine the areas of change and engage in the improvement process (Carelli, 2010). Moreover, a well-thought-out 360-degree feedback survey could also foster teamwork and enhance cooperation between all workers in the collective (InfoTechRG, 2010). For this reason, the choice of an appropriate form becomes a crucial task, and there are several strict criteria that should be observed to contribute to the improvement of the situation and to outline the most problematic issues that should be given attention.

Thus, among all forms that were found using Google search engine, one seems preferable (“ABC global 360-degree feedback,” n.d.). There are several reasons that precondition this very choice. First of all, it could be easily accessed by employees at any time which is one of the most important demands to online 360-degree feedback surveys (Carelli, 2010). There is no need for registration or some other steps. All you have to do is just to enter the site and use the form. Additionally, it is simple and confidential which means that a person could answer all questions easily and not be afraid that the results could be seen by people who are not allowed to do it (Carelli, 2010). Finally, its design contributes to the improved understanding of the most problematic issues that should be improved. For this reason, this very form was chosen.

As stated above, the survey is a powerful tool that could indicate the most problematic areas that should be improved to enhance your skills and competencies. It could also be used to evaluate other important aspects of your functioning. For this reason, the 360-degree feedback survey mentioned previously was filled out. First of all, I should say that results were useful. Being an efficient approach that helps an individual to evolve, it outlines the most topical problems. Besides, the results of the survey demonstrate that there are some areas that should be improved. First of all, my planning skills have to be reconsidered. Moreover, the results also prove the fact that to become a good leader I should devote attention to such spheres as communication and collaboration with colleagues as at the moment these skills are not enhanced. Furthermore, the exploration of the given tool assists in the improved understanding of the fact that it is difficult to evaluate oneself critically without using additional methods. This very 360-degree feedback shows that much still should be done to guarantee my improved functioning. Despite the fact that the majority of skills are described as those which meet standards, the need for the improvement becomes obvious. The lack of delegation skills, as well as planning and motivational ones, prevents me from becoming a good leader. In this regard, these areas should be improved first of all.

Besides, the same tool could also be used to evaluate my current supervisor and compare the results of the survey with his current status. It should be said that the results were different from mine. It is not surprising as being an experienced specialist he obviously possesses better knowledge and competencies. Nevertheless, the results of the survey indicate that the supervisors organizational skills are at the high level. He is able to distribute tasks and assignments as well as organize the work in the most efficient way. Furthermore, the leadership skills are also outstanding. He is able to motivate a person and engage him/her in the process by demonstrating benefits that could be obtained in case a person succeeds. However, the results also show that there are some areas that should be improved to become better. First of all, these are some ethical aspects of his functioning. Sometimes he might be too straightforward, and it could be offensive. Furthermore, it also deteriorates communication with people. Altogether, we could state that the results are mainly fair to my supervisor. The problematic issues outlined by the tool could be considered important to him as in case they are enhanced a significant improvement of this functioning could be observed. In this regard, the credibility of 360-degree feedback could be evidenced by fair results obtained when using this very tool.

Besides, having accomplished the task and taken the above-mentioned survey twice, it is possible to evaluate the tool and provide the main impressions related to its exploration. First of all, the questions that were suggested by the form used to accomplish this very assignment were really important. They were diverse and revolved around different aspects of a persons functioning which is extremely important of an efficient 360-degree survey. Moreover, they were understandable and informative at the same time. Their exploration contributed to the comprehensive evaluation of my and supervisors competencies and helped to outline the areas that should be changed or improved.

At the same time, the survey is not customized, and it means that the form is designed in the way that satisfies general demands of users when some specific ones are disregarded. For this reason, additional questions peculiar to the unique character of our activity should be introduced to guarantee even more credible results. Therefore, there were no external raters which means that the objectivity of data could also suffer. The given survey also does not suggest any plan in case alarming results appear (Carelli, 2010). For this reason, we can conclude that 360-degree feedback survey remains an efficient tool that provides a person with important information about the main drawbacks in his/her functioning. However, it might disregard some specific features peculiar to every case which is also very important. For this reason, the choice of an appropriate survey becomes crucial.

Unfortunately, as any evaluation tool that explores rates and peoples opinions on a certain person or issue, the 360-degree survey might also suffer from subjectivity and pitfalls that might occur when using it. First of all, it is connected with individuals fear to become a negative rater who gives low marks to his/her coworkers, friends, or top managers (Carelli, 2010). The given fear is obvious as usually people do not tell each other truth especially if it is unpleasant. Moreover, the results of the survey could be distorted if a person wants to get rid of a rival and gives unfair rates hoping to obtain a more advantageous position (Carelli, 2010). The given approach could also be considered biased and subjective as it results in the appearance of a wrong image. Besides, these obstacles could be overcome by guaranteeing the anonymity of results and emphasizing the unique importance of real data that is related to a companys functioning (Pedler, 2012).

It is crucial to keep in mind the fact that a 360-degree survey is not able to guarantee the credibility of final results in case employees explore it to achieve their own goals and to obtain a more advantageous position. Moreover, in case the survey is designed not carefully, it will also provide corrupted data. For this reason, there are several recommendations that could be given to the company. First, “while designing the questionnaire, it is important to keep in mind that there is enough opportunity for raters to justify their ratings with evidences” (Mukherjee, 2014, p. 208) which means that all rates, no matter high or low, should be explained to avoid any subjectivity in judgments. Moreover, using pieces of evidence to support their claims, participants will be able to provide additional information needed for the improved understanding of the situation in the company. Furthermore, before distributing a survey between all employees, several independent raters among the most trusted workers should be chosen (Mukherjee, 2014). Their evaluation and rates will serve as a landmark that is needed to analyze all other answers and discover knowingly false statements. Only under these conditions, the results of the survey could be trusted.

The given situation should be considered a perfect evidence to the fact that 360-degree survey could be useless in case some biased attitude is used. The fact is that anonymity is one of the most important factors that should be emphasized when distributing surveys between the members of a collective. It is obvious that no one wants to be a low rater; however, in case anonymity is guaranteed, people could provide real and relevant information (Jones & Bearley, 1996). As for the case, the number of people involved in the investigation is too small, and if low rates appear, the relations between them will be deteriorated. They will not know names but will be sure that some of these five individuals gave bad feedback. For this reason, the increased number of participants could be taken as one of the possible solutions to this problem. The given approach will result in the increased anonymity of all information and encourage people to share their thoughts to make the functioning of the department more efficient (Childs, Woods, Willcock, & Man, 2011). Additionally, if more participants are involved, the increased number of problematic issues could be discovered. That is why it could be considered an appropriate solution to the given problem.

There are several aspects that should be mentioned when analyzing the given case. First of all, the low quality of software provided by the company does not indicate that there is a problem in the sphere of communication or teamwork. There are many factors that could deteriorate the quality, and it is crucial to find the most relevant ones. However, it becomes obvious that using the 360-degree instrument that is focused on communication and teamwork the company fails to attain success. Despite improved results among workers, the situation with the company remains the same. However, the problem is not the low credibility of data provided by the tool. Thus, top managers failed to identify the most problematic area and used the wrong approach trying to improve the sphere that is not crucial at the moment (Jackson, 2012). That is why they should find the problematic area using more generalized 360-degree survey.


(n.d.). Web.

Carelli, A. (2010). The truth about supervision: Coaching, teamwork, interviewing, appraisals, 360° assessments, and recognition. Springfield, MO: Charles C Thomas.

Childs, R., Woods, M., Willcock, D., & Man, A. (2011). Action learning supervision for coaches. In J. Passmore (Ed.), Supervision in coaching: Supervision, ethics and continuous professional development (pp. 24-49). London, UK: Kogan Page.

Jackson, E. (2012). Forbes. Web.

Jones, J., & Bearley, W. (1996). 360-degree feedback: Strategies, tactics, and techniques for developing leaders. Minneapolis, MN: Human Resource Development Pr

InfoTechRG. (2010). [Video file]. Web.

Mukherjee, S. (2014). Corporate coaching: The essential guide. New Delhi, India: Sage Publications Pvt. Ltd.

Pedler, M. (2012). Action learning in practice. London, UK: Routledge.

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