How to create a feedback questionnaire that gets useful results

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Categories: Design & set-up: Best practice

Creating a 360 questionnaire is often a daunting task, but it doesn't need to be. We've provided the key steps below:

  1. Start with the end in mind

    Imagine the feedback report in the hands of the employee. How are they going to use it? What questions will they have? What information will they need to have? What support will they need?

  2. Define what behaviours you want to measure

    Agree what behaviours you want to encourage and change. (This may be based on a competnecy framework that already exists).

  3. Structure your high-level 360 question framework

    Use an existing competency framework if you have one. Identify the 3-10 high-level competencies or skills areas that your behaviours sit within. E.g. 'Leadership' would include how someone inspires others, takes risks etc. In Spidergap, these high-level areas are created as 'Sections' in the questionnaire designer.

  4. Identify the key behaviours within each competency / skill area

    Identify the 2-4 behaviours that sit within each high-level comptencey area. For example, 'Communication' might include the following behaviours: 'Writing clearly', 'Presenting effectively to groups' etc.

    You should aim to assess 12-40 behaviours in total.

  5. Re-phrase the behaviours as statements (that can be scored)

    When writing your 360 questions / statements, take the behaviour and write it in the positive i.e. "Writes clearly" NOT "Avoids confusion when writing". Then amend it to ensure it is an action that can be observed / scored.

  6. Define the rating scale

    Generally 5-point rating scales are most suitable, although 3-10 ratings are possible.

    Rating scales can be either based on frequency E.g. "Never / Rarely / Sometimes / Often / Always", or performance e.g. "Poor, OK, Good, Very Good, Excellent".

    Make sure the scale works across all of the behaviour statements (you may need to amend the statements if not).

    You should also consider whether to use a single or dual rating scale.

  7. Add opportunities for qualitative feedback

    Include long text questions such as ‘What 3 actions could this person take to improve in this area?’. The answers to these will help to the recipient to understand the scores given, and get ideas for actions to take.

  8. Test it out

    Test the 360 on some colleagues before a full 360 exercise, to ensure the questionnaire and the report are going to meet your needs.

  9. Continue to improve it

    When you run the full 360 with your questionnaire, it is likely that people will be able to provide valuable feedback on things that confused them, behaviours that were irrelevant or can be removed, and behaviours that need adding.

    Collect this feedback and make changes to the questionnaire for next time.

  10. Ask for help

    Spidergap provides a template assessment as a starting point when you create a new 360 assessment. Review this to get ideas.

    Once you have created your own 360 questionnaire, feel free to ask us ( to take a look at it - we've seen 100s of 360 questionnaires in our time and are very happy to identify any issues yours might have.