How to assess your team at work using "360 degree feedback"

How teams can get an accurate picture of their dynamics

Posted Jul 13, 2008

Teams are increasingly common in the workplace, and it's the rare team that comes into being fully formed and fully functional. Most teams go through moderate to severe growing pains, and almost every team can benefit by pausing for "process checks" to assess itself and its functioning.  

I recommend that teams assess themselves by having all members fill out a "360 degree survey". The advantage of this is that the members of the team are assessing the team itself, rather than assessing one another as individuals and then trying to extrapolate from individual personalities or styles to the team dynamic.

In my experience, here are some of the most important questions that teams can ask themselves:

Are roles and responsibilities on the team clear?

Is there a sense of collective accountability for outcomes?

Do individuals on the team put the team's interests before their own when necessary?

Does the team pay attention to feedback that it receives from the consumers of the outputs that it produces?

A 360 survey enables individual members to compare and contrast their perspectives on the team's functioning. The team can then discuss its strengths and areas for improvement, and also has a quantitative benchmark to measure its progress over time.