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Design a 360 Degree Feedback Program

Leverage multi-rater feedback to optimize employee development.


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  • Dr. Leanne Atwater, C.T. Bauer College of Business, University of Houston – Professor of Leadership & Organizational Behavior and author of extensive research papers on 360 degree feedback
  • Chelsea Hutton, HR Generalist, Microstrategy
  • Mari Iromoto, Consultant in Innovation & Leadership Development
  • Richard Lepsinger, President, OnPoint Consulting and author (with Antoinette Lucia) of The Art and Science of 360° Feedback – Second Edition
  • Jill Morrison, Senior HR Manager – North America, Microstrategy
  • Sue Mortlock, Head of Board Development, NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement
  • Dr. Maury Peiperl, International Institute for Management Development – Professor of Leadership & Strategic Change

Your Challenge

  • In order to be successful in today’s workforce, employees are requesting more development than ever before.
  • Organizations also need employees to be development focused in order to prepare for skill shortages, especially leadership skills.
  • 360 degree feedback reviews are an excellent tool to provide holistic feedback to an employee, but establishing a program within the organization is challenging due to the sensitive nature of multi-rater feedback.
  • The problem with the 360 degree feedback process is that it often produces “garbage in, garbage out” – which means that raters provide useless feedback, and employees produce useless development plans.
  • Employees find it challenging to effectively use the feedback as they struggle with interpreting the report and channeling it into an actionable development plan.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • McLean & Company recommends that 360 degree feedback only be used for employee development, and that organizations make this the sole purpose of the program.
  • Only organizations with a strong culture of trust should embark on the 360 degree feedback process. Organizations must assess their readiness before proceeding with implementing a program.
  • 360 degree feedback programs should guarantee rater confidentiality and allow the employee to own their feedback report to ensure that raters provide honest feedback.
  • Creating an effective 360 degree feedback program requires executive buy-in and participation, agreement on the competencies for evaluation, and a comprehensive communications and training effort for participating employees.
  • No 360 degree feedback program should be implemented without concerted efforts to assist rated employees with interpreting the feedback as well as building and implementing an actionable development plan.

Impact and Result

  • Use McLean & Company’s Design a 360 Degree Feedback Program storyboard to assess your organization's readiness for 360 degree feedback and to learn about the most effective process to create a 360 degree feedback program for your organization.
  • Use McLean & Company’s 360 Degree Feedback Program Scoping Document Template to get executive support and approval for the purpose, design, and implementation of the 360 degree feedback program.
  • Use McLean & Company’s 360 Degree Feedback Interpretation Worksheet to assist employees to determine key areas where employee development is required.
  • Use McLean & Company’s 360 Feedback Program Employee Development Plan Template to help employees leverage their 360 degree feedback by building actionable employee development plans.

Research & Tools

1. Set the stage for 360 degree feedback

Assess the organization’s readiness and determine the appropriate timing for launching the program.

2. Define the scope of the 360 degree feedback program

Establish the purpose and scope of the program.

3. Communicate and train employees on giving & receiving feedback

Train employees on giving and receiving effective feedback.

4. Collect 360 degree feedback

Use McLean & Company’s online 360 Degree Feedback Tool to collect feedback.

5. Interpret and use 360 degree feedback effectively

Ensure employees get the most out of their feedback.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a seven call advisory process.

Guided Implementation #1 - Set the stage for 360 degree feedback

Call #1 - Discuss your organization’s readiness and appropriately time the launch of the 360 degree feedback program.

Guided Implementation #2 - Define the scope of the 360 degree feedback program

Call #1 - Gain advice on getting executive buy-in for the program.
Call #2 - Validate your scoping document with a McLean & Company analyst.

Guided Implementation #3 - Communicate and train employees on giving & receiving feedback

Call #1 - Gain advice for communicating the 360 degree feedback program to employees.
Call #2 - Discuss your approach to training employees for participating in the program.

Guided Implementation #4 - Collect 360 degree feedback

Call #1 - Ensure that your program is set up correctly, according to your unique specifications and needs.

Guided Implementation #5 - Interpret and use 360 degree feedback effectively

Call #1 - Gain advice on how to interpret and apply 360 degree feedback.

Onsite Workshop

Discuss This Workshop

Book Your Workshop

Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Assess Readiness and Set the Scope for the 360 Degree Feedback Program

The Purpose

  • Determine cultural readiness for the 360 degree program and set the scope.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Target your program for success.




Assess readiness

  • Determine areas of the organization that are ready to receive 360 degree feedback

Understand the roles involved in the program

  • Gain support at all levels

Determine the purpose of the program

  • Establish a targeted development goal

Select employees to be included

  • Confirm participants

Module 2: Determine Competencies for Evaluation, and Communicate the Program and Train Employees

The Purpose

  • Identify the competencies for evaluation.
  • Ensure that all stakeholders are aware of the program. 

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Participants will understand how the program works and how to provide useful feedback.




Determine competencies for inclusion

  • List of all competencies that are related to the development goal for the program

Develop a communication plan

  • Gain buy-in and support for the program

Prepare training materials and messages

  • Ensure participants fully understand how the program works and their role

Module 3: Launch the Program, and Interpret and Apply Feedback

The Purpose

  • Understand how to use McLean & Company’s 360 Degree Feedback Tool.
  • Ensure employees interpret and act on feedback.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Proper application of McLean & Company’s online 360 Degree Feedback Tool.




Review the 360 Degree Feedback Tool

  • Understand how to use the tool

Understand how to interpret and apply the feedback in a development plan

  • Apply the feedback for future development

Acknowledge participation in the program

  • Encourage future use of the program