Business houses rely on 360 degree appraisal to evaluate performance of individual managers. It is a comprehensive performance evaluation where feedback on a manager’s performance is obtained from various quarters. People part of this feedback is subordinates, peers, customers etc.
As feedback is obtained from various quarters where a manager interacts response is reliable. If a same feedback is obtained from various people or departments it becomes difficult to ignore. A degree of anonymity is provided to evaluators, so honest answers are expected without any repercussions.
Basically, 360 degree appraisal feedback is a process or system where managers receive anonymous feedback from people around them. A consortium of 8 to 12 people fills in an online form where diverse range of questions covering core competencies is provided. The answers to questions are evaluated on a rating scale and ratters are asked to provide comments. A person receiving feedback also fills in a self-rating survey form which is same questionnaire presented to others.
Leaders or managers within company rely on 360 degree feedback systems to understand their weakness and strengths. In an automatic manner results are tabulated and recipient of feedback formulates a plan. A combination of individual response with others of the same category is combined. This includes a direct report. On condition of anonymity a clear picture of the strength and weakness of an employee is illustrated.
360 degree feedback can be used as a developmental tool for people not in managerial capacity. In technical terms a 360 degree non manager assessment does not mean feedback from 360 degrees as no direct reports are involved, but same principles hold value. With the 360 degree feedback a manager is able to evaluate who outshines in their designated roles. It provides them inputs on the areas they need to focus once them head on to a management role.
How you can put to use a 360 degree feedback?
An organization implements a 360 degree feedback in the following ways–
In the form of a development tool where employees gain access to their strengths or weakness
If undertaken properly, 360 degree feedback serves as a developmental tool. It is an opportunity in providing an anonymous feedback to any co-worker which otherwise you might not have been comfortable with. Feedback provides insights on how others perceive an individual. This gives them a chance to alter their behaviours and develop skills to excel in a job.
Measuring employee performance
Use of 360 degree performance appraisal tool is a standard protocol, but it does not find value. It becomes difficult to comprehend a 360 degree feedback structure that articulates a sense of trust. The focus is more on behaviours or competencies and not skills in performing a job. Such things are analysed by a manager and an employer during their annual appraisal meeting. To an extent it is possible to integrate a 360 degree feedback process on to a large organization system. With clear communication only this feedback system is expected to be used.
A business house willing to comprehend this comprehensive module of assessment needs to churn in time and effort of training an independent evaluator. They are going to guide you on to interpret correct and incorrect questions. Failure to provide improper feedback would cast a damp squib on the system and even result in loss of revenue for a company.
Benefits outline from a 360 degree feedback process
A 360 degree feedback is important from a developmental point of view. For organizational development the feedback is of utmost importance. Let us now outline benefits associated with a 360 degree feedback process-
The major feature of a 360 degree process is increase of self-awareness. People privy to the procedures are handed a comprehensive report evaluating their strengths and weakness. It gives an insight to an employee about their behaviour and how they are perceived by others in an organization. A deeper sense of understanding prevails when an employee evaluates their self-assessment with the ratters.
It is useful for an employee as it provides a balanced and rounded view of their performance. The feedback is not only obtained from a supervisor but from various levels of people in an organization. This sums up demonstrated behaviour of an employee in an organization.
Uncovers blind spots
A 360 degree feedback provides insight from multiple angles. It would allow an individual to uncover blind spots in their behaviour. This allows an employee to understand more about their behaviour which they might not be noticing. For continuous improvement uncovering blind spots is really important. In highlighting blind spots focus is more on development or learning which are applicable to overlooked behaviours.
Empowering skill sets
A tipping point of 360 degree behaviour is that it allows individuals to foster a new skill or developing a new behaviour. This means enhancing your strengths and focussing on grey areas. An ownership is provided to employees on improvement themselves with customized methods. This would encourage individual ownership and encourages employees in developing new career horizons. Being in charge of their own development creates a sense of belonging for an employer to be part of a feedback process.
With a 360 degree feedback it leverages strengths of employees. Uncovering strengths is important for personal development. Identification of positive areas would cater to a detailed career development plan. A person who shows particular skill in a particular area may flourish when handed over extra responsibility. For company effectiveness working on strengths of employees is a must.
To move from measurement to performance dialogue is a vital cog in the wheel. A dialogue starts off with a warm dialogue between the system administer and survey leader where weakness along with strengths of an individual is highlighted. If deemed fit, the dialogue should include employees and peers.
To conclude, it is high unlikely that leaders have reached pinnacle of success by behaving as they want. They might have an understanding about their leadership behaviour along with their weakness and strengths. An honest and reliable feedback is necessary to test one’s perceptions.
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