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Guide to Effectiveness Surveys and Use Cases

The different use cases for the 4 types of Effectiveness Surveys

Jared Ellis avatar
Written by Jared Ellis
Updated over a week ago

What can I learn from this page?

The different use cases for the 4 types of Effectiveness Surveys

Who is this guide for?

Account Admins, Survey Admins, Survey Creators

Within the Effectiveness module you have access to 4 survey templates:

As with any surveys, it’s important to consider the organizational context and opportunities you’re trying to solve for. For example, you might’ve invested heavily in manager capability over the past year and you might think, “is a Manager Effectiveness survey the right survey to run?” This guide can be used to determine which feedback would be most effective given the problems you’re currently experiencing.

Overview of Effectiveness Offerings


Individual Effectiveness


Leadership Effectiveness


Manager Effectiveness


Team Effectiveness


Target Group


Senior leaders (e.g., C-suite, VPs, senior directors)


Teams (a group of individuals that work interdependently to a larger goal)

Feedback From

Manager(s), peers, direct reports (if applicable)

Manager (if applicable), peers, direct reports

Direct reports

The team itself

Feedback Type

Qualitative & quantitative

Qualitative & quantitative

Mostly quantitative

Mostly quantitative

High-Level Use Cases

At a high level, you can use your previous Engagement survey results to determine where you could focus your efforts.

If _____________ was a recommended focus area on your last Engagement survey…

Considering getting feedback through…


Manager Effectiveness


Leadership Effectiveness

Learning & Development

Individual Effectiveness

Teamwork & Ownership

Team Effectiveness

More Specific Use Cases

Digging a bit deeper, we’ll dive into the common reasons for using each of the templates.

Individual Effectiveness is a 360 (multi-reviewer feedback) optimized for individuals to identify their areas of strength and opportunity to further develop themselves. Common reasons to initiate individual 360 feedback:

  • Experiencing High Growth: When your organization is growing quickly, you need employees to scale with the challenges your organization is facing. An individual 360 can help your employees own their own development in addition to quickly pinpointing where the organization most needs them to develop their skills. Additionally, hiring can be an investment that takes employees away from their day to day work, so you want to make sure you’re making the best decisions possible. You can use aggregate 360 results identify where there are competency gaps for certain functions/teams that a new hire could fill.

  • Onboarding to a New Role: After a few months in a new role, a 360 can be used to get feedback on what could be improved to fully ramp into the new position.

  • Determining Company or Department L&D Needs: If learning and development is a recommended focus for the organization, the aggregate results of Individual 360s can help you pinpoint which programs would have the largest impact on the largest number of people for the company overall or in particular departments.

  • Moving From a Traditional Performance Review to Developmental Feedback: many companies are abandoning traditional annual performance reviews for more frequent developmental feedback. Individual 360s are a great way for individuals to receive developmentally focused feedback from their peers, direct reports, and manager.

Leadership Effectiveness is a 360 optimized for senior leaders (e.g., C-suite, executives and senior directors) to identify their areas of strength and opportunity to further develop themselves. As opposed to the Individual 360, Leadership Effectiveness includes competencies that are specific leaders and moving the organization forward. Common reasons to initiate leadership 360 feedback:

  • Lack of Confidence in Leadership: If you’ve received feedback that employees aren’t confident in your company’s leadership, a Leadership 360 can not only get that feedback to the leaders that need it, but also pinpoint what changes would make a real difference. Just be sure to prepare leaders to receive that feedback.

  • Changes in Leadership: Leadership changes can be disruptive to all involved, once a leader has had some time to settle in, consider a Leadership 360 to help their onboarding and determine where reality may not be meeting expectations.

  • Determining Leadership’s L&D Needs: If you’re jumpstarting a leadership development program, you may not be sure where to start. A leadership 360 can help you pinpoint which programs would have the largest impact on the largest number of leaders and the competencies that are most important within your organizational context.

Manager Effectiveness is a 180 designed to give managers quantitative, upwards feedback on their areas of strengths and opportunities to further develop themselves. Unlike in 360s, in 180s managers will get feedback only from direct reports and that feedback will be fully focused on their managerial skills. Common reasons to initiate manager effectiveness feedback:

  • Large Proportion of New Managers (or Managers With Growth Opportunities): New managers are most in need of feedback to determine how they can improve the experience of their direct reports and become the most effective version of themselves.

  • Determine Managers' L&D Needs: If you’re jumpstarting a manager development program, you may not be sure where to start. A manager effectiveness survey can help you pinpoint which programs would have the largest impact on the largest number of managers.

  • Pre and Post Assessment of Manager Training Effectiveness: Given the quantitative nature of the feedback, a manager effectiveness survey is ideal for assessing if a given program actually increased perception of manager effectiveness in a given area and overall.

Team Effectiveness gives teams (a group of individuals who interdependently work towards the same goals) the opportunity to provide inward feedback to identify how they can improve working together and collectively take action. Common reasons to initiate team effectiveness feedback:

  • Following a Restructuring: Once the team has had some time to settle, consider sending a team effectiveness survey to help speed up the stages of team development.

  • Communication Breakdown: Through engagement feedback (or other sources of data) you may find a specific team could benefit from learning their key opportunities for improvement and taking action.

💡 Tip: Some companies want to use effectiveness surveys as way to create and reinforce a culture of feedback. Depending on the situation, it might make sense to start with Leadership, Manager or Team. Leadership or Manager gives employees the opportunity to practice giving feedback and see someone higher up in the organization role model how to receive feedback. While Team can be a great team building exercise to receive and act on the feedback collectively.

Overlapping Use Cases

Manager Feedback in Individual 360 Versus Manager Effectiveness: While it’s true there’s the ability for direct reports to give their managers feedback in the Individual 360, there are important distinctions for when you would choose one over the other.

Manager Effectiveness is a Better Choice When:

  • You want to see an overall manager effectiveness index and understand the drivers of manager effectiveness in your organization

  • You need to compare results pre and post

  • You want to easily see results in aggregate across manager populations (e.g., using heatmap to find hot spots for particular departments)

  • You only want to provide upwards feedback to your manager population

  • Your managers are new to receiving feedback (it can be easier to receive quantitative results than qualitative)

Individual 360 is a Better Choice When:

  • You ultimately want managers and non-managers to receive feedback

  • You want managers to receive feedback on their overall effectiveness, including competencies that may not be manager-related

  • You want individuals to receive feedback from all relationships, not only direct reports but also peers and their manager

  • You want someone to easily and clearly see the discrepancy between their self-perception and others perception

When to Send Targeted Surveys Versus Centralized Surveys

You’ll notice some of the above use cases are organizational-wide (for example, restructuring) while others are specific and targeted to an individual or team (for example, onboarding to a new role). In the below, a centralized survey means sending to all that are eligible for a particular survey. Using Manager Effectiveness as an example, the centralized approach would be sending to all managers and direct reports in the organization, while the targeted approach would be sending to only new managers and their direct reports.

A Centralized Survey is a Better Choice When:

  • You want to be able to easily see results across groups

  • You want to provide additional context of how the feedback compares to the organization overall (for example, how does your team compare to other teams at the organization? Or how do your results as a manager compare to all other managers at your organization?)

  • You don’t have the resources to customize feedback to individual contexts

A Targeted Survey is a Better Choice When:

  • You need to customize the survey for a particular group (for example, a team is having issues with a particular theme and needs to deep dive into feedback in that area)

  • The catalyst is event or time-based (for example, everyone completes an individual 360 when starting a new role, or managers receive manager feedback at the 6 month mark)

  • You don’t have the resources to walk the entire population through their results

💡 Tip: Targeted surveys can be an administrative burden if you have a small team. Once an organization has a mature feedback culture, many give the power to employees to decide when they would like to receive feedback by enabling employee-driven 360s.

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