Frequently Asked Questions

“360” refers to the 360 degrees in a circle, an all-around view, and 360-degree feedback is also known as multi-rater feedback.

A 360 is a way for multiple individuals, with different perspectives, to share feedback with a colleague related to his/her skill, performance, and leadership. Examples of raters in a 360 assessment include direct reports, team members, peers, and managers or administrators.

UI LEAD recognizes that individual development leads to organizational success.

"The better designed development initiatives employ structured 360-degree feedback based on responses from workplace colleagues....Learning is enhanced whenever individuals have some form of behavior feedback..." (Jay Conger, Marshall School of Business at The University of Southern California and author of Learning to Lead)

After your colleague (the UI LEAD participant) announces his/her upcoming 360, you will receive an email from Envisia Learning within one week’s time.

To: (your name)

From: Envisia Learning

Subject: UI LEAD Participant - Feedback Questionnaire

This email will contain directions and a link to access the online 360.

  • Standard deadline: 2.5 weeks.
  • During this time, you can exit and return to the survey. The Envisia Learning system will save your responses.
  • Automatic reminder: Envisia will send a reminder email mid-way before the deadline to all raters whom have not yet completed the online 360.

If you don’t recall receiving the email from Envisia Learning within one week of your colleague’s notification, please check your deleted folders. If you need another invitation sent to you, email clientservices@envisialearning.com or Barb Simon.

If you have any technical questions about this online process, contact Envisia Learning at 800-335-0779 or email clientservices@envisialearning.com.

Additional contacts: Barb Simon, OE support, 335-5464; Nikole Mac, Manager, University of Iowa Leadership Development, 335-2687.

Your role is to provide honest and constructive feedback to aid in your colleague’s leadership development.

“The 360-degree feedback process allows people to become connected, and, in so doing, it facilitates the building of effective working relationships around work-oriented communication.” (Tornow and London, 1998)

In UI LEAD, participants carefully select their raters in consultation with their supervisor/faculty administrator, and their UI LEAD coach. If you have been selected to participate in your colleague’s 360, it affirms that s/he considers your input valuable to his/her leadership development. While your participation is voluntary, we encourage you to honor this invitation by completing the 360.

Your feedback will be added to the feedback provided by other UI faculty and staff members to assist your colleague and UI LEAD coach to develop an individualized talent development plan.

“Coaching is important in helping appraisees interpret the results, set improvement goals with appraisees, and follow-up on action plans.” (Antonioni, 1996)

Please note that if you are a supervisor or faculty administrator of the participant, your 360 responses will be provided separately. However, some participants may report to multiple leaders; in these cases feedback is aggregated. You will receive an email from UI LEAD indicating either case, informing you of how your feedback will be reported.

UI LEAD understands the importance of respecting the confidentiality of raters, while also providing an opportunity for direct feedback from supervisors.*

To this end, we have selected a vendor partner, Envisia Learning, to provide an online process which protects the anonymity of individual raters. Responses and written comments (reported as written) are aggregated, meaning they are batched together by rater group, such as peers, direct reports, or team members. Each rater group, with the exception of one’s supervisor/administrator, has a minimum of six raters.

Using these aggregated responses, Envisia creates a report which will only be shared with the participant and his/her UI LEAD coach. In this report, response rates are provided, indicating the percentage of raters who have responded to the questionnaire. However, the identity of individual respondents is protected, with the exception of one’s supervisor.

*Please note: Supervisor(s)’or faculty administrator(s)’ responses and comments will be reported separately. Our experience and research in leadership coaching have affirmed that direct feedback is imperative to one’s growth and development. 

“In most cases, supervisor ratings, as opposed to other sources, are not confidential. In other words, the feedback recipient is aware of the ratings given by the supervisor because these ratings are not aggregated with other raters.” (Tornow & London, 1998)

A written comments section will be available. Please provide honest and objective comments, while keeping in mind that your words will be reported as written. Comments are most valuable when they provide examples to make your point more explicit. Carefully review your written words before finalizing them. A good rule of thumb: “Is what I wrote truthful, useful, and kind?”

“Feedback recipients are less likely to react negatively if they believe the feedback is accurate. This is particularly important when open-ended comments are included.” (Atwater, Walderman, Brett, 2002)

Assessment is a vital piece in building awareness of your effectiveness in crucial leadership competencies—and tangible evidence of your efforts to enact change.

“Effective leadership rests upon full self-knowledge.” —Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones in Why Should Anyone Be Led By You?, Harvard Business School Press, 2006

UI’s LEAD program begins with a state-of-the-art online assessment opportunity through Envisia Learning. Envisia Learning, a forerunner in the field of leadership development, provides UI LEAD with online assessment instruments and developmental tools which are backed by 25 years of research and experience.

As a participant, you select your raters who will complete the online survey, which provides you with a written report clarifying areas of leadership strength and growth. This is known as a 360-degree assessment, or multi-rater feedback. As the 360 assessment is intended to be used solely for developmental purposes, only UI LEAD participants and their coaches have access to the 360 results. While raters do not receive 360 results, we recommend participants share copies of their Talent Development Plan (including goals and success measures) with their immediate supervisor or faculty administrator, which may include opportunities identified in the survey results. Consistent with 360-degree best practices, a UI LEAD coach will meet 1:1 with you to facilitate the interpretation of the results report, and to provide support in receiving the feedback.

Once enrolled, your UI LEAD coach will guide you through the assessment process, helping you to:

  • Identify, and communicate, with your survey raters;
  • Select the assessment tool that best suits your needs;
  • Understand how to use your results, and identify salient goals for your Talent Development Plan;
  • Develop skills through coaching;
  • Repeat of the survey process in 12-24 months, and
  • Consult on ways to convey your results.

Our approach is based on research of best practices in successful 360-degree use. An assessment activity itself is not necessarily developmental. That is why UI LEAD combines developmental planning and follow-up, plus supervisory involvement, to achieve better results.

  • Typically measures specific behaviors and competencies associated with job performance and success.
  • Provides for a confidential process to obtain feedback from others who work closely with an individual.
  • Focuses on observed behaviors that can be modified.

360 can be used for:

  • Leadership Development
  • Talent Management/Succession Planning
  • Personal and Professional Awareness and Growth
  • Supervisory and Management Training

Source: Dr. Kenneth Nowack, Envisia Learning

Your UI LEAD coach can consult with you to select an assessment tool and approach that fits your needs.