4 min read | 1 September, 2017 By Melissa Jones
A comprehensive employee appraisal will consist of a number of performance evaluation methods. By using multiple performance evaluation methods employers and line managers are able to build a wider picture of the employee’s competencies and effectively identify any training needs. 360 degree, or 360, feedback is one such performance appraisal method that can be used as part of the appraisal process.
360 degree feedback is a process in which an individual receives confidential and anonymous feedback from their colleagues. This is generally provided by around 8-10 people who have varying working relationships with the individual. And so this could be members of their direct team, managers, reports and other colleagues that they may work closely with. The aim is to provide as well-rounded view as possible of the individual’s strengths and weaknesses through the views of a number of stakeholders.
The respondents are asked to complete an online feedback form which consists of statements that they have to rate the individual against. The statements are designed to assess a range of workplace competencies. Likewise, the recipient of the feedback is also required to fill out a self-rating survey that contains the same survey questions.
360 degree feedback is best used as a personal development tool whereby respondents are able to give anonymous feedback to the recipient which they may not have felt comfortable giving in another format. The outcome is that feedback recipients are made aware of how others perceive them, enabling them to adjust their behaviours or develop their skills accordingly.
It should form part of the overall appraisal process but shouldn’t be used to measure performance as its main focus is on behavioural competencies as opposed to job requirements and performance objectives.
There are a number of advantages to using the 360 degree feedback method both for the business itself and for the employee.
As with all methods there are also some disadvantages to using 360 feedback for both organisations and employees.
Providing your employees with feedback that they can use to build on their development is an important part of working life. 360 degree feedback is just one method that employers and managers can use to do this and provides employees with a well-rounded view of their competencies and behaviour at work. However, it’s important to understand what it is your employees are looking to gain out of their feedback, as well as what the business has the capacity to provide, in order to deliver and effective feedback and appraisal process.