The 360 evaluation feedback method was first used by the german army in the 1940s. The 360 method provides each employee the opportunity to receive performance feedback from his or her supervisor, peers, staff members, coworkers and customers. This multi-source feedback is an appraisal or performance assessment tool that incorporates feedback from all those who are directly involved with the employee.
Most organisations that focus on employee development use the 360 degree tool to assess performance and potential of employees and enable the employee to map their career path based on the feedback. Organisations use 360 degree feedback about an employee before taking a major decision about the employee's career. The results of a 360 degree performance appraisal are often used by the employee receiving the feedback to plan training and developments. Results can be used to make administrative decisions, such as pay or promotion. When this this the case, the 360 assessment is for evaluation purposes, and is sometimes called a 360 degree performance appraisal.
The advantages of the 360 degree appraisal are:
- Improved credibility of the performance appraisal.
- Help strengthen employee development.
- increase responsibilities of employees to their customers.
- Balanced assessments give a holistic understanding of the employee
- Employees are motivated by the feedback from the people around them
- The company culture becomes more honest and open.
The Disadvantage of the 360 degree appraisal are:
It can be quite time intensive to get every team member to give a single employee a performance review.
- It can also create tension amongst employees if not constructive and beneficial.
- if the feedback does not encourage growth or development, it can be useless and a waste of time.
Who should conduct and be part of the 360 degree performance appraisal:
- Team members
- Any who works directly with the employee in question.