How to make a compelling business-case for a 360° feedback programme


This blog examines some of the key costs and benefits that you can consider when you make your business case to implement a low cost 360-degree feedback programme in your own organisation. It gives you some ideas to work with and makes some simple suggestions about how you can make your case. You will also need to be clear about the specific business objectives that you are trying to address in your own business. For more help with identifying business objectives see our blog, Top 10 tips for effective 360 degree feedback projects. Alternatively, click here to learn more about UTEGRA 360 Degree Feedback.


In this blog we will discuss the following 4 elements:

  1. We examine the cost of doing nothing and then
  2. Identify the benefits to the business of 360-degree feedback
  3. We provide an actual extract (non- attributable) of a successful business case submission to Finance for approval of our low cost 360-degree feedback programme. See how they have used many of the points made in this blog!
  4. Conclusion – how we can help you with your individual business case pitch.

Imagine the difference you could make to your peoples' relationships, teamwork, and business impact with a cost-effective 360-degree feedback programme!

1. Cost of doing nothing

Sometimes business leaders (but by no means all) are tempted to think that in a financial crisis a quick saving could be made on training and development costs until we are in sunnier climes. But, and it’s a big but, there is a cost of doing nothing:

    • Top talent will leave if it isn’t developed – Clients recognise this and justify it explicitly in their business cases! (see example at the end of this blog). Of course, the  wider employment market, the type of culture in your company and how people are line-managed also has a dramatic effect on staff turnover. Interestingly, 360-degree feedback also helps with culture and line management competence as well as talent development!
    • Many companies view management and staff development as costly but necessary, but they don’t always realise that they stand to make a significant cost saving from this investment. The cost of doing nothing is way higher than the small investment in developing people. Consider these costs:
      • Loss of performance and productivity from top talent which leaves – cost estimate at your company?
      • Recruitment and onboarding costs of replacement staff – costs at your company?
      • Management overhead / time in recruitment training and induction of replacement people – cost per day in managers salary and bonus?
      • Impact on productivity on the department (and your clients) when key people leave – cost estimate at your company? Any specific examples?
      • Learning curve costs of new people to reach full productivity – 6 months to a year cost?

Suggestion: If a small investment like this could reduce staff turnover say from an average of 10% to 5% what would the cost saving versus the small investment be? Try to work out some headline costs for your specific company situation.


2.  Benefits of using 360 Degree Feedback

The good news is that investing in your people through learning and development, supported by 360-degree feedback and 180-degree feedback (Individual rates themselves, with feedback from their manager also) and coaching can really help business performance:

    • Talent turnover reduced
    • Poor line management skills improved
    • Culture shift to a more open, collaborative, communicative style vital in post-pandemic world of blended home and office working
    • Individual and Team Performance increased

Tangible benefits that can be measured:

  • Developing high performing managers and leaders
    • High performing, better skilled managers and leaders with stronger teams by using 360-degree feedback insights that drive development, productivity and engagement. Measured against your organisations required ‘Behaviours’ this simple and effective tool will allow all leaders to improve their performance and make greater contributions to the company by:
      • Delivering individualised reports to managers and leaders to identify performance strengths and areas for improvement.
      • Empowering managers to hold more actionable conversations based on trends and analysis from 360- & 180-degree feedback data from their staff
      • Providing leaders with powerful knowledge into what is working and what isn’t so that they drive employee engagement and improved team performance resulting in increased profitability
      • Identify using trend analysis, the major performance improvements required across the business


    • Business results and team KPI’s
    • Staff survey – do staff feel communicated with and treated fairly? How much has this improved?
    • Empowering staff to develop their own careers – do you see this happening?
  • Inspiring and easy to use 360-degree feedback reports that provide real insight will be translated into self-managed development action planning and enhanced performance. E.g. one of our big brand retail clients noticed a step change in demand for 360-degree feedback tools when they made self-service tools available and easy to use. This empowered individuals to drive their own careers much more with low L&D overhead. They also noted a change in the communication across their business, which leads to enhancement of the softer benefits such as transparency in the business and enhanced communication.


    • Demand for 360-degree feedback measured in take up of self-service 360 appraisals
    • Staff engagement and morale measured through the Staff engagement survey
    • Development Action Plans – completed
    • Number of internal staff promotions to new levels v external recruits
    • 360 appraisals identify the pivotal factors for individuals to drive  improved performance by setting their own performance goals
  • Planning and resourcing improvements. Comprehensive reporting of whole group trends and individual reporting allows for effective training needs analysis and therefore targeting and resourcing of training and development needs. This can avoid wasted costs e.g. a significant proportion of staff may not require the cost of the “one size fits all” approach to training if they already possess those skills.   


    • Percentage of staff that need not attend standard training events can be estimated e.g. if only 4 out of every 20 staff need not attend training events, then we can estimate that 20% of total eligible staff x cost of training per staff member can be saved
    • Cost of salary x number of days saved on unnecessary courses
      opportunity cost savings e.g. sales staff losing 10 training days x average monthly sales income
    • targeted training will enhance usefulness of training whilst reducing number and cost of training days overall
    • Staff appraisal and development systems including 360-degree feedback can give a picture of training resource required allowing for better targeting and planning of training resource.

e.g. A car retailer client estimated from a pilot of only 20 people grossed up across all 10,000 employees attending universal staff courses that they could save 16% of their total training cost and save costs of sales lost and salary costs during attendance of non-targeted courses – total savings estimated when looking at cost of training days and cost of lost sales and salary £2.2m per annum


  • Building Capability. It is of course imperative to develop management and leadership skills and knowledge ready to meet the needs of the business so that you manage talent and have a pipeline of people with the correct skills to meet the resourcing needs of the business now and in the future so at this functional level one needs effective tools and processes to do this.


    • Number of vacancies filled internally v externally?
    • Recruitment and agency costs versus home grown talent?
    • Staff attrition can be a good measure and if people are developing both in role and upwards, should positively reduce
Why 360 Degree Feedback?

A 360-degree feedback programme can be the most valuable developmental experience an individual has in their career. They often provide the richest appreciation of their contribution and the most informative pointers towards improvement and career progress. A 360-degree report is probably the most objective feedback measure for any individual that needs to use interactive skills in a team environment. By using the collective feedback of the group individual bias is largely eliminated and a true picture quickly emerges.

The business gains from individuals’ improved capability and management performances are made more effective throughout their teams. This improvement in performance drives straight through to the bottom-line results.

The main advantages include:

    • A full and more accurate picture of the individual’s performance “in the round.”
    • An objective diagnostic report of the individual’s interactive skills and behaviour
    • Raised self-awareness of strengths and development opportunities as an essential prelude to training and development activities which result in better line management skills and self-awareness results in happier, better performing teams and talent retention – “people don’t really leave companies, they leave line managers and culture”
    • Ability to plan development actions towards the next role level for succession development
    • Improved or changed behaviours and performance
    • Better communication in teams and across the business
    • Increased recognition, by individuals and the organisation generally, of the significance of “relationship” skills
    • Contribution to a culture shift towards greater trust and openness
    • Release of creativity and initiative within the business and a more effective contribution from colleagues

If you would like more information about implementing a low cost, effortless 360-degree feedback programme in your organisation please click here.

3.  Extract from of a successful client 360 feedback business case application to finance:

“To develop high performing leaders with stronger teams with 360- & 180-degree feedback insights that drive development, productivity and engagement. Measured against the Leadership Behaviours, (identified by the SLT to deliver the Business Plan) the simple and effective tool will allow all leaders to improve their performance and make greater contributions to the company. The tools will provide leaders with powerful knowledge into what is working and what isn’t. Research shows that good 360-degree feedback programmes are related to increased employment engagement and improved team performance resulting in increased profitability. 


Key Objectives:
• Empower managers to hold more actionable conversations based on trends and analysis from 360- & 180-degree feedback data
• Deliver individualised reports to leaders to identify strengths and areas for improvement. 
• Track improvements in behaviours allowing leaders and colleagues to be held accountable for living the Leadership


• Save costs by targeted development, and retain top talent 
• Increase productivity and engagement through better working relationships across the business 
• Low-cost option to identify improvement areas
• Identify major performance improvements required through trend analysis 


Consequences of non-delivery:
• Candid feedback about leaders’ performance or leadership style actually goes down as they move up the organisation, resulting in no change in performance or engagement. 
• Increased costs associated with recruiting leaders with the required behaviours to deliver the business plan
• Increase costs to replace top talent as they see development opportunities elsewhere.
• Increase in costs associated with lack of skill and capability to lead in a complex environment. 
• Increased levels of colleague dis-engagement.
• Decreased levels of profitability due to missed opportunities. 
• Incapable managers still in position and nothing changing
• Do we want better leaders in the company?”


4.  Conclusion

If you would like us to assist you to develop a business case to implement a low cost, quick and easy 360-degree feedback programme in your organisation please get in touch. We are always happy to have an old fashioned, no obligation discussion to check feasibility with you 🙂


We are also happy to assist in your pitch by of course providing very competitive costs and also in some cases a free 360 Report Mockup based on your brand and behaviours. In other cases we can look at a free cost of set up if you wish to show nil-transfer costs from your existing supplier. Just get in touch and we will do all we can to help you to build a pragmatic and compelling business case for your pitch!

To learn more about how we can support your business-case for 360 degree feedback, contact us for a free consultation.

Receive a FREE consultation below:

Please fill out the form below to receive a free demo of either our 360 Degree Feedback Tool or Performance Management system or both.