Is Using 360 Degree Feedback as part of the Performance Appraisal system a good idea?
Organisations typically use a 360 feedback system in one of two ways:
1. 360 Feedback as a Development Tool to help employees recognize strengths and weaknesses and become more effective
When done properly, 360 is highly effective as a development tool. The feedback process gives people an opportunity to provide anonymous feedback to a co-worker that they might otherwise be uncomfortable giving.
Feedback recipients gain insight into how others perceive them, and they have an opportunity to adjust behaviours and develop skills that will enable them to excel at their jobs.
2. 360 Feedback as a Performance Appraisal Tool to measure employee performance
Using a 360 degree feedback system for Performance Appraisal is a reasonably common practice, but not always a good idea.
It is difficult to properly structure a 360 feedback process that creates an atmosphere of trust when you use 360 evaluations to measure performance.
Moreover, 360 feedback focuses on behaviours and competencies more than on basic skills, job requirements, and performance objectives. The skills, job requirements and performance against objectives are more appropriately addressed by an employee and their manager as part of the performance review or appraisal process.
It is certainly possible and can be beneficial to incorporate 360 feedback into a larger performance management process, but only with clear communication on how the 360 feedback will be used.
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