360 degree appraisals

When looking at a workplace, performance is always a tough question to tackle for both employees and employers themselves. The first one usually being how to effectively record, track and evaluate performances and the second being, how to improve them effectively. Over the years, several methods of appraisals have come and gone and one of the best methods to improve workplace performance happens to be on called the 360 degree appraisal.

What is a 360 degree appraisals?

This is a feedback process, or better described, it is a feedback system. In this system, there are anonymous and confidential feedback of an employee’s performance sent to them by their co-workers. Usually, this ranges between seven to twelve people sending feedbacks. These feedbacks are in the template of a form and have performance-based questions asking employees to rate them, and/or to give comments or further feedbacks. The employee receiving the feedback is also provided with one for self-evaluation.

Before we begin, we must take a look at what this method measures and what it does not.

  • It does NOT measure job performance of an employee.

  • It DOES measure their behavior and competency.

  • It does NOT measure if an employee is qualified for the job or workplace.

  • It DOES measure skills such as planning, goal orientation, listening and comprehension.

  • It does NOT measure technical skills of an employee.

  • It DOES provide feedbacks on co-workers’ perception of an employee.

  • It does NOT measure sales quotas or attendances.

  • It DOES effectively evaluate teamwork, overall character, soft skills and leadership tendencies.

How does this method help?

360 degree appraisal is proven to be very effective in a lot of workplaces. When it comes to:

  • Employees

General employees gain feedback from those who work around them thereby increasing their quality of performance in order to scale and move up to become a manager. It helps them better perform their current roles as well as they receive information on what areas to put more effort or focus on.

  • Managers

Managers make full use out of this system. It helps them have a better look at their strengths and weaknesses. The 360 degree system has a method in which results are automatically tabulated. It is also projected in a format and template that better helps the manager to create a game plan as to how to work on their strengths and weaknesses. When it comes to managers, the reports come from other people in the same category as well and are combined results. This helps keep the results anonymous and helps provide the employee with a clear idea of their overall performances and their strong points and weak alike.

Finally, it all comes down to how the companies’ best sees this system fit. However, there are two major ways in which it is implemented.

  1. Appraisal

Many companies use this as a tool of performance appraisal. In layman’s terms, this means the tool is used to measure an employee’s overall performance. This is a common practice. However, it should be noted that this may not be a great method to asses performance. The 360 degree tool works on the basis of behaviors and competencies. Job performances include skill, qualifications and work quality that is not assesses through the tool. It can be incorporated but only after a clear discussion on how it will be utilized in the evaluation process.

  1. Affectivity

This tool helps as a development method. When used correctly, it can help employees recognize strengths and weaknesses and work on them in order to function more effectively. As anonymous feedback is provided, employees can not only provide opinions that they may have been uncomfortable in provided directly but also for the recipient to gain a clear insight about others’ perception of them. This helps them in adjusting and working on their competency and behavior in general. It also aides with learning and picking up skills in order to perform better in the workplace and with their jobs as well.

In order to find the best tool for a 360 degree appraisal, one must keep in mind some key features.

The tool must be able to provide an effective appraisal of an employee’s performance. The report must be holistic and give an anonymous and combined perspective of the individual. It should also make reports in such a way where it identifies the needs required to train an employee. If the other stakeholders find flaws or shortcoming in behavioral traits of an employee, it must be better identified in order to train them. The tool must help provide reports in a manner than helps employees better do their current positions in order to scale and grow.

Keep in mind that the tool should also be east to use, with a simple UI and should be user friendly over all. Have a tool that has a quick installation, easy administration and monitoring and can provide timely reminders are used by top corporations.

The reports provided must be also intuitive, descriptive but also simplistic, comprehensive and the general dashboard must be easy to grasp and not overly complicated. On the employer’s end, the tool must have features that enable the user to create and tailor-make the surveys. This helps in building questionnaires that are custom-made. It should have a vast library and different types of questions to choose from and make evaluations on. It should be a platform that both the employer and employees must find easy and love to use. Thus, finding a tool that is mobile-friendly, easy to personalize and be able to do basic convenient functions such as auto save in order to increase rates of completion are all also preferred.

The tool is mostly used in three steps- the selection and customization of the template, the launching of the survey and the tracking of progress and reports. This streamlined the entire event.

Overall, this tool has been able to revolutionize several workplaces, helping employees to scale and grow and employers to find the right candidates and provide the right training and it is understood that this tool will be reliable in the years to come as well.