What is a 360-degree assessment? In what types of organizations will it work best?

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A 360 degree performance appraisal is a company-developed survey administered to a combination of up to 8 different employees of the organization who are knowledgeable about the performance and responsibility of another peer.

The survey asks about the work performance of such peer and, anonymously, these other employees will answer questions about that individual's job performance, and will provide feedback and observations about specific aspects of the performance.

The goal of the 360 is that employees can get a good visual of how their job performance is seen in the eyes of the working community. The role of the employee is also better defined and enforced under the knowledge that peers will be observing and measuring the quality of the executrices at work.

There are pros and cons to a 360. Some of the cons are that it takes time to develop a bias-free survey that is also focused, and balanced. At times, it takes the employment of third-party professionals to achieve this.

Another con of a 360 is bias from those who are filling out the survey: we can only hope to expect ethical answers and well-meant feedback; not a chance to attack a peer or place him or her in an awkward position with the supervisor.

There is also the employee who is receiving the feedback: is everybody really ready to accept the opinions of other peers objectively?

Hence, the implementation of a 360 must come with research-based rationales, with proven good results, and with extensive background foundations for all employees to "buy" into it. There is no other way to implement a feedback instrument if it is not accepted and approved by a vast majority.

jenlombardo eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A 360 degree work assessment concerns the process of providing feedback to an employee.  This is a comprehensive way of analyzing a worker’s commitment and dedication to the job.  Feedback is not limited to just one type such as from just supervisors or subordinates.  Ratings are accumulated from supervisors, clients, peers, etc.  This is a time consuming and expensive way to rate job performances but it does offer a full view of an employee’s work.  It works best in organizations that have trust and cooperation as part of their culture.

            Performance ratings provide structure to rate employees and insure feedback for motivation and development.  Supervisor, self, peer, subordinate, customer and 360 feedback appraisals are all effective ways of identify performance evaluations.  Proficient feedback leads to employees who are motivated and rewarded to exceed their performance for the next year.