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The secret to supercharging your learning programs: 360 Leadership Assessments 

As an L&D leader, you’re likely under a lot of pressure. Your teams and learning programs are responsible for increasing team performance, reskilling workforces, accelerating employee growth, and more. However, when your learners do not understand why they may be underperforming, what skills they are missing, or how they should be growing, your learning programs are at risk of falling short of their intended impact. 

In order to meaningfully drive business and learner outcomes, learning initiatives require one common element: learner self-awareness.

Self-awareness acts as a starting point for a learner to understand their strengths and weaknesses and connect them to a program’s learning objective. Developing self-awareness requires not only reflection from the learner but feedback from the people they work with regularly as well. With multi-rater feedback, a learner is equipped with a deeper understanding of their strengths and opportunities, so they can determine the actions they need to take to become stronger leaders. You, in turn, can use these insights to better support the unique needs of your learners. 

This is why 360 leadership assessments are so critical to include in learning programs.

What is a 360 Assessment?

A 360 assessment is a tool rooted in behavioral science and designed to provide learners with insights to support their development as leaders. By collecting feedback from a range of sources—peers, direct reports, managers, etc.—a learner is able to gain a much more holistic view of their growth opportunities. 

Following an exhaustive study of assessment frameworks, Torch’s Behavioral Science team developed a proprietary 360 Leadership Assessment which measures three primary leadership domains: Personal, Interpersonal, and Team. Each of these domains have additional subdomains to help leaders gain a thorough understanding of their strengths and opportunities. These domains are also configurable, so you can align each assessment to your organization’s unique leadership competencies and cultural values.

Most importantly, The Torch 360 Leadership Assessment is designed to help participants gain insights and quickly transition to taking action, all while supported by trusted experts like coaches, mentors, and internal facilitators. To help our users take action faster, the Torch 360 integrates with Torch Coaching and is now available for use with Torch’s Collaborative Learning programs as well. With the launch of Torch’s 360 tool for Collaborative Learning use, you can now give more people access to the insights they need to grow. 

The 3 keys to a successful 360 program

Three important elements ensure the success of a 360 assessment. 

1. Reduce time from insight to action

For a 360 to actually result in lasting behavior change, learners must be able to move quickly from insight to action. Insights without clear next steps can leave participants in a state of paralyzed reflection. However, when paired with personalized learning content and a trusted expert to help them navigate feedback, a 360 allows learners to actually take action. 

The Torch platform enables participants to apply their newfound insights through both coaching and highly relevant content. For example, in coaching partnerships, the 360 acts as a starting point and is used to define a participant’s goals for the program.

“The Torch 360 was a great tool and jumping off point that gave me insight into my behavior and style. [My coach] was able to take those learnings, help me understand the nuances of the feedback, and guide me to creating a plan for the next year,” says Torch Coaching Participant.

Additionally, outside of coaching partnerships, Torch 360s can be supplemented with curated content such as articles, videos, webinars, and courses in the context of a learning path

2. Align 360s to your organization’s strategy

In our work with customers, we find that 360s are most effective when they are directly connected to the competencies and values of your organization. Otherwise, participants run the risk of changing their behavior in a way that does not make them successful within your organization’s unique context. 

The Torch 360 Leadership Assessment is designed to measure three primary leadership domains. However, it is configurable to allow you to collect feedback that aligns with your leadership competencies. This ensures that feedback and goal-setting is focused on the areas that matter most to your organization. 

Using the Torch platform, learners are able to set goals that align to specific opportunity areas identified in their 360 report. Additionally, program administrators are able to see an aggregate report of all 360 results which identifies the collective strengths and opportunity areas across the organization. This enables you to design programs that target the specific needs of your people.

3. Streamline administration so you can focus on your participants

Ultimately, a 360 assessment should accelerate growth in your organization without adding a heavy administrative burden to your already time-strapped teams. The Torch 360 automates traditionally time-consuming tasks such as email reminders and feedback collection to make your life as easy as possible. 

Torch is also designed to simplify measurement, providing aggregate reporting of 360 results and goal progress so you can demonstrate value. For example, when using 360s in a coaching partnership, participants have the opportunity to set learning goals. Over time, learners track progress against these goals and can even request regular feedback from their teams to ensure they’re making progress. Program administrators are able to see aggregate views of progress and themes of learning goals across a cohort, without any additional administrative lift. 

To successfully scale a 360 program across your organization, streamlined administrative capability is key. 

To increase self-awareness and improve leadership development outcomes, consider deploying 360 assessments across your organization. If you’d like to learn more about how you can supercharge your learning programs, contact us for a demo.


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