360 Performance Review

Evaluate Employee Performance with 360 Performance Review

360 Performance ReviewThe 360 Performance Review is an idea popularized by companies dissatisfied with the traditional manager-employee performance review. These companies feel that top-down reviews simply do not provide an accurate representation of the employee's strengths and weaknesses. Most workers interact with a varied assortment of colleagues and customers on a daily basis; how could the sole viewpoint of the employee's immediate supervisor provide a comprehensive review of their job performance? Important facets of an employee's work, such as report with customers or teamwork with co-workers, may not be immediately obvious to the manager. In limiting themselves to traditional performance reviews, both company and employee suffer: the company may never learn of an employee's strength in a certain area, while the employee may remain ignorant of means for improvement in another. The 360 Performance Review seeks to address this problem.

What is a 360 Performance Review?

A 360 Performance Review, as the name implies, allows the company and employee to receive confidential input from the entire circle of people who interact with the employee on a regular basis. Typically, a representative sampling of the employee's peers, subordinates and supervisors fill out an anonymous online form rating the employee on a wide variety of skills and competencies. If appropriate, feedback will also be sought from sources outside the company itself, most commonly customers and/or suppliers. The 360 Performance Review system will then organize this information in a way that demonstrates overall trends in specific categories of respondents and preserves individual anonymity.

Preparing an accurate 360 Performance Review

Obviously, some safeguards are needed to prevent abuse of the 360 Performance Review system. Respondents are often asked to provide specific examples or comments with each rating; in addition to demanding some specificity from the respondent, this also gives the recipient a clearer idea of ways to make practical use of the input. Typically, a self-review is also included as part of a 360 Performance Review. In addition, many companies that rely on the 360 Performance Review will attempt to assist employees in developing an understanding of the process, and, perhaps most importantly, teach what is expected of those providing feedback.

Benefits of a 360 Performance Review

What are some of the benefits of the 360 Performance Review? In essence, superiors, peers, subordinates, external sources, and even the employees themselves act as checks and balances on one another, preventing a biased or incomplete performance review while illuminating aspects of an employee's work perhaps hidden to supervisors or even the employee him/herself. Employees, aware that feedback comes from all sources, may strive to improve all aspects of their work, not just those visible by managers. If the process is carried out properly, after receiving the feedback of the 360 Performance Review, employees will have in their arsenal specific suggestions from a variety of sources on how to improve many aspects of their job performance.

For these reasons, use of the 360 Performance Review has increased in popularity, with more and more companies deciding that the 360 Performance Review provides the fairest and most accurate evaluation of an employee's performance. The rise of the internet and, with it, convenient, confidential and organized online feedback services, eliminated financial and administrative roadblocks for companies desiring to implement this type of review. The modern employee, entering the workforce, should not be surprised to find him/herself answerable to more than just the nearest supervisor.

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