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Office Appraisals: Are 360 Degree Performance Assessments Beneficial?

Office Appraisals: Are 360 Degree Performance Assessments Beneficial?

Edited By Aditi Narendra | Updated on Nov 20, 2023 03:29 PM IST

It is a corporate practice to evaluate employee performance annually. This evaluation system of checking the employee's performance as assigned by the company is called performance appraisal. A 360-degree appraisal is one such performance assessment that conducts a complete review of an employee. It involves getting feedback from their bosses, colleagues, juniors. This feedback gives a clear picture to an employee to understand how they are performing.

Office Appraisals: Are 360 Degree Performance Assessments Beneficial?
Office Appraisals: Are 360 Degree Performance Assessments Beneficial?

A 360-degree performance rating system evaluates an employee's performance by sharing feedback from coworkers and others in the same work environment. This feedback is centred on the employee's various competencies and skills. Employees also contribute by rating themselves. Through unique feedback forms, this technique assists in identifying an employee’s strengths and flaws.

But what is needed to use the evaluation process in the companies? There are three main reasons why organisations prefer the 360-degree performance appraisal:

  • To gain a better understanding of the performance and potential of future leaders.

  • To have a broader perspective on employee development and their needs.

  • To collect feedback from all employees and ensure fairness within the organisation.

During a 360-degree review a resource from the Human Resources (HR) department or a manager asks subordinates to give their perspectives. Many organisations also use online surveys to engage with employees and gather performance feedback. These surveys are valuable for gaining a clear understanding of employee performance.

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The 360-degree performance review offers an overall evaluation of how well the team is working as a unit, how are you doing in a leadership role, how well is the interpersonal communication going, your managerial skills, accountability, work habits, vision, and other aspects relevant to the employee's role.

During a 360-degree appraisal the manager assesses the employee's actual performance, while subordinates, peers, and customers review other aspects of the employee's role.

Collecting feedback from all employees helps assess the impact of one employee on their colleagues and identify ways to improve teamwork. Managers may also seek informal input from subordinates to gain information about employee behaviour and work attitude.

How Do 360-Degree Performance Appraisals Work?

There is no rigid process of performance appraisal, however a 360-degree performance appraisal might differ depending on the position and the organisation the employee works for. The general course of action for 360 performance appraisal is:

  • Colleagues, subordinates, and managers receive feedback forms with questions and rating scales.

  • The employee being reviewed also fills out a self-assessment form, before they receive any feedback from others.

  • The collected feedback is then compiled to create an anonymous report that highlights the employee's strengths and areas for improvement.

  • This feedback is used to create a well-informed plan for the professional growth of the employee.

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What Steps Does 360 Performance Appraisal Follow?

Setting Performance Standards

Performance appraisal begins with setting up guidelines on which the employee will be ranked. This step includes defining the criteria for evaluating an employee’s performance. It checks on whether the designated employee is doing well or not and how much he or she is contributing to the organisation's goals. It is encouraged to keep the standards easy and quantifiable.

Sharing the Standards

Once the standards are set, the management introduces all employees to what these standards are. The employees need to know and understand their roles and what is expected from them. The standards should also be explained to individuals who will be part of the performance appraisal process. These standards can be modified depending on the recommendations from employees or evaluators if necessary.

Measuring Actual Performance

The most difficult aspect of performance appraisal is determining how well employees are doing their work at a specific time. It is an ongoing process that involves watching how employees perform throughout the year. This stage requires selecting the right methods to measure performance, ensuring that personal opinions do not influence the process.

Comparing Actual vs Desired Performance

Actual performance is compared to the ideal or standard performance. This comparison shows whether employees are doing better or worse than the standard expectations. It involves looking at and analysing data related to employee performance.

Discussing Results

The feedback is shared with employees one-on-one. The management can reach possible solutions through healthy feedback discussion. It's important to share the feedback positively, as it can impact an employee's future performance. The goal of this discussion is to guide the employees to work on their drawbacks.

Advantages of 360-Degree Assessment

Getting feedback from different people helps the employee get an insight into the impact of their roles and responsibilities. Makes them more aware of their strengths and weaknesses and improves teamwork. It also gives an overview of how the job of an employee fits into the bigger picture at their workplace and makes things more transparent. This can lead to better decisions and more money for the company.

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Disadvantages of 360-Degree Appraisals

There are some downsides to this feedback system. It can take a lot of time to collect and assess all the feedback. The management in situations focuses on negative aspects which may not be good for the employee who is being reviewed. Lack of trust among the employees might result in dishonest feedback. As the feedback system is anonymous, some employees may be ruthlessly negative or critical.


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