360-Degree Feedback

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Description of 360-Degree Feedback. Explanation.


Definition 360-Degree Feedback. Description.

360-degree survey360-Degree Feedback is an Appraisal technique in which an image of an employee is produced from multiple angles, leading to a circular (hence: 360) picture of the employee. The method can be seen as an extended variant of the Peer-Appraisal. People participating in a 360 review normally include:

  • The person her / himself

  • Manager

  • Selected colleagues / peers (from other departments)

  • Selected subordinates (people the person manages)

Besides these standard ones, the categories of participants can be extended by including:

  • Clients / customers

  • Business partners

  • Other stakeholders

  • Any other business contacts of the employee

Typically, the appraisers provide feedback about the employee's competences, skills and behaviors using an anonymous questionnaire-based 360 feedback form. The method can be used as an introduction phase of an appraisal by the manager of the employee. An advantage of doing so is that it provides the employee and the employer with the opportunity to involve a wider range of opinions in the appraisal process. It can be combined with a Self-Appraisal to reflect the employees own thoughts about his performance and the reasons behind it.

Advantages of doing 360-Degree Feedback reviews include a decrease of subjectivity, bringing in a wider range of opinions, helping to increase the size of the future-oriented part of the manager appraisal. A disadvantage is the time and effort that needs to be spent. For a motivated and social coherent group of people this disadvantage should be no obstacle.

The following environmental attributes / factors are believed to be conducive for successful 360-degree feedback:

  • Organizational climate fosters individual growth.

  • Criticisms are seen as opportunities for improvement.

  • Proper framing of feedback method by management.

  • Assurance that feedback will be kept confidential.

  • Development of feedback tool based on organizational goals and values.

  • Feedback tool includes area for comments.

  • Brief employees, appraisers and supervisors about purpose, uses of data and methods of survey prior to distribution of tool.

  • Train appraisers in appropriate methods to give and receive feedback.

  • Support feedback with back-up services or customized coaching.

Also called Multi-rater Feedback, Multi-source Feedback or 360-Degree Reviews.

Special Interest Group - 360-Degree Feedback

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Forum - 360-Degree Feedback  

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Compare with: Performance Appraisal  |  Self-Appraisal  |  Peer-Appraisal  |  Pre-Employment Screening  |  Career Management  |  Management by Objectives  |  Behavioral Observation Scales  |  Competency-based Approach  |  Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scales  |  CSFs and KPIs  |  Result Oriented Management  |  Employee Attitude Survey

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