360-degree performance appraisal has been around since the 1950s and by the 1990s, companies around the world have adopted it. Today, over 90% of Fortune 1000 companies rely on 360-degree performance appraisal for employee performance review process and employee development plans. The purpose of 360-degree performance appraisal is to help each employee assess and understand their strengths and weaknesses for personal and organizational development. It aids in role clarity, potential appraisal, career planning, leadership, and team building. Each of these is vital for a well-functioning organization.
Most performance reviews today depend on 360-degree performance appraisals. One of the most essential part of a performance management system, 360-degree feedback helps employees receive a performance appraisal from not just their supervisor but also co-workers, reporting staff members, peers, and customers. It gives a holistic view of their effectiveness as an employee and provides in-depth feedback on their strengths and weaknesses. Moreover, it provides better career development opportunities as it synthesizes self-assessment with others’ perspective of the employee.
Managers can use 360-degree performance appraisal and feedback as a starting point for creating a development plan. It not only provides information regarding the quantity and quality of work but also the employee’s work competencies, work relationships, and behavior. It increases communication and is a great tool for team building as well since it involves all the team members.
Here are some of the many benefits of using 360-degree performance appraisal and feedback as your performance management system and its relation to the workplace.
Self-awareness is the first step to personality development. Being aware of one’s emotions, behavior, actions, feelings, strengths, and weaknesses helps you to understand what can be improved. Self-awareness is extremely important in the workplace as it has an impact on interactions with clients, organizational goals, and teamwork.
Getting a 360-degree performance appraisal and feedback means you get your view as well as that of your supervisors, peers, and even clients. By incorporating feedback from various sources, you can focus on what you think your strengths are vs. what others think your strengths are. This helps you to make improvements in the right direction and see the bigger picture.
Certain behaviors are desirable for certain roles. 360-degree performance appraisal provides you with insights into your performance, so you can see your behavior and work to improve traits that are desirable but not present at the required levels in you. Everyone, even a leader, can gain insight into the required behaviors, and use the performance management system to gain a holistic view of it – where they stand and where they can improve.
As mentioned earlier, 360-degree performance appraisal and feedback do not focus on the quantity of work alone but also the quality of one’s work. Sometimes, it is more important to pay attention to “how” work got done, rather than “what” got done. This helps in streamlining the processes involved and offers the highest probability of reaching one’s goals. When there is more information on how the task was completed, the process gains repeatability and predictability.
Dialogue is the first step towards improvement. 360-degree performance appraisal and feedback give a chance to both the manager and the employee, to sit and discuss their feedback and plan improvement activities. Not just managers, it could be their co-workers or supervisors. This helps in building strong communication and helps the employee get a clear understanding of their improvement areas and to share their thoughts and motivations with the others in the team as well.
Often, traditional performance appraisals are seen to be one-sided. Usually, the performance of an employee is judged by a supervisor/manager and shared with the employee. Many times, such assessments cause unhappiness and could even negatively affect the relationship between the two individuals. There is a strong possibility of having a high level of subjectivity affecting the outcome of such a performance assessment. When we follow a 360-degree performance appraisal and feedback system, we find that its open communication and holistic approach to feedback is seen to be an undeniably tangible benefit to all parties involved. When the feedback involves open communication and focuses on work quality and team-building opportunities, it can improve working relationships and remove the friction.
360-degree performance appraisal and feedback aids in personal development in more than one way. It helps assess the drive and ambition of the employee. This leads to employees assessing themselves and their strengths, weaknesses, and leadership behavior. Honest feedback from reliable sources helps them to identify overlooked strengths and potential blind-spots.
This means there is constant motivation to become better individuals. It leads to effective managers becoming more effective executives and helps effective executives to become effective board members. The cycle continues throughout the organization, at all levels. Thus, receiving a 360-degree performance appraisal and feedback offer an employee an opportunity for personal development and an all-round improvement in their capabilities and approach to work in general.
Accountability cannot exist without clarity. It is not really possible to hold someone responsible when there are confusion and ambiguity related to their tasks and responsibilities. Telling someone to “demonstrate company values” or “be a better leader” without providing details of what it means to be a better leader or what behavior is expected, we cannot encourage an individual to somehow identify the areas where they need to make a change and meet our expectations.
With 360-degree performance appraisal and feedback, most of the expectations are set out clearly and there is no scope for ambiguity or confusion. When it comes to accountability, the individual can match themselves against the feedback and see where they have or have not met the expectations. This leads to clearer accountability as well as responsibility.
When there is a focus on the quality of work, increased self-awareness, better communication, and relationships at work – it will undoubtedly lead to enhanced performance. 360-degree feedback is used around the world by some of the biggest organizations as their performance management system.
When implemented well, 360-degree performance appraisal and feedback help provide continuous feedback for performance management systems. This continuous feedback results in continuous improvement in personal attributes and performance, thereby resulting in organizational development.
Read how beneficial continuous 360-degree performance appraisal and feedback can prove for managing performance in organizations, big and small.
In conclusion, 360-degree performance appraisal and feedback improve performance at all levels, holistically. Most managers credit them with creating an environment in an organization that pushes for effective communication, quality, and personal development. Which is why organizations adopt efficient Performance Management Systems to aid in driving Exponential Business Growth? Read here to find out more. When the performance management system is set to base the performance appraisals on 360-degree feedback, the results benefit the entire organization. When the 360-degree feedback is obtained and recorded on performance management systems, the insights are detailed as well as action-oriented. This pushes for better planning and helps to improve everyone’s performance to hit the mark. Meaning that your organization will enjoy quality performance every time from everyone at work.