It is difficult for one to judge himself as others see you, even when you are trying your best to be open and objective. This is where the 360 degree feedback comes in handy.
360 Degree Feedback is a system or process in which employees receive confidential, anonymous feedback from the people who work around them. It incorporates feedback from the worker, his/her peers, superiors, subordinates, and customers.
Normally a mixture of about eight to twelve people fill out an anonymous online feedback form that asks questions covering a broad range of workplace competencies. The feedback forms include questions that are measured on a rating scale and also ask raters to provide written comments. The person receiving feedback also fills out a self-rating survey that includes the same survey questions that others receive in their forms.
360-degree feedback, also called multi-rater feedback or panoramic feedback, depends on evaluations from those all around you, hence the name.
The primary aim of a 360 degree feedback is to assist an individual to identify his strengths and build upon them, to recognize priority fields of improvement, to encourage communication and people’s participation at all levels in an organization, to examine the acceptance of any change by the employees in an organization and to promote self-development in an individual. It must be noted that the assessment of individual by other people is subjective. A 360-degree feedback is challenging, promoting and analytical. It should not be regarded as ultimate and concluding. It is a beginning point. Self-assessment is an on-going process.
The primary reason to use this full circle of confidential reviews is to provide the worker with information about his/her performance from multiple perspectives. From this feedback, the worker is able to set goals for self-development which will advance their career and benefit the organization. With 360-degree feedback, the worker is central to the evaluation process and the ultimate goal is to improve individual performance within the organization. Under ideal circumstances, 360-degree feedback is used as an assessment for personal development rather than evaluation.
Objectives of 360 degree feedback
- Focuses on personal and career development.
- Helps in creating personalized action plan.
- Focuses on team effectiveness skills.
- Allows group to come together on goals.
- Performance assessment.
- Development of employee.
Uses of 360 degree feedback
- Performance appraisal.
- Performance management.
- Attitude survey.
- Customer satisfaction survey.
- Organization climate survey.
- Training needs assessment.
- Evaluation of training.
- Employee development.
Benefits of 360 degree feedback
1. Coworker feedback
Giving effective feedback requires a certain amount of interpersonal skill. Most people are uncomfortable in the feedback role—whether giving positive or constructive feedback—and they’re happy to leave this task to managers. Also, most people don’t like being negative, and they don’t want to risk offending their coworkers. 360-degree feedback gives people a safe vehicle for giving their opinions about another person’s work patterns.
2. Feedback from many sources
Feedback from one source is better than no feedback at all. But even when it’s from the boss, it’s still one person’s opinion. Consistent feedback from many sources is more convincing. Faced with the hard work of changing behavior, people want feedback to be thorough and credible.
3. Objective, quantified data about “soft” areas of performance
Many important elements of performance are hard to quantify. The most obvious examples are the interpersonal aspects of work, such as leadership, team communication, sales, service, negotiation and instruction. Because 360 combines scaled measurements from many sources focused on detailed, researched aspects of behavior, the data are highly objective.
4. Simplified feedback administration
While administering 360 feedback used to be extremely complex and cumbersome, advanced on-site 360 software makes survey administration as easy as using a word processing program.
5. Data for individual development planning
The wealth of objective feedback about areas of competence makes it possible to accept the data and focus on priority areas for self-improvement.
6. Data for needs assessment and HRD planning
The data produced by collecting individual feedback can be aggregated as averages for group and organizational analysis of strengths and weaknesses.
Limitations of 360 degree feedback
- Feedback tied to merit pay or promotions.
- Comments traced to individuals causing resentment between workers.
- Feedback not linked to organizational goals or values.
- Use of the feedback tool as a standalone without follow-up.
- Poor implementation of 360-degree tool negatively affects motivation.
- Excessive number of surveys is required of each worker with few tangible results provided to individuals.