In Personnel Management, explain what is 360-degree feedback and give the advantages and any pitfalls of this type of feedback?

360-degree feedback:

  • Also known as “multi-rater instruments” and “multi-source assessment”
  • Unlike traditional basis where it recognizes that the employee’s immediate boss is not the only or necessarily the best person to assess his or her performance.
  • Designed to enable all the stake-holders in a person’s performance to comment and give feedback which includes the current ( and perhaps previous) boss (including temporary supervisors),peers and co-workers, subordinates and even external customers. Finally the employee’s own self-assessment is added and compared.
  • Normally this information is usually collected (anonymously) through questionnaires either on paper or on disk.

The ADVANTAGES of 360-degree feedback:

  • Highlights every aspect of the individual’s performance, and allows comparison of the individual’s self-assessment with the views of others (rather revealing in most cases)
  • Feedback tends, overall to be balanced, covering strength s in some areas with weaknesses in others so it is less discouraging and
  • The assessment is based on the real, normal work environment and circumstances-not artificial ( eg interviews) situations or isolated incidents. Therefore, feedback felt to be fairer and more relevant making it easier for employees to accept the assessment and the need for change and development

The PITFALLS of 360-degree feedback to avoid:-

  • Negative emphasis: feedback on weaknesses should be balanced by positive feedback on strengths and potential, to encourage the employee to develop;
  • A “flavour of the month approach” where the technique and its results are seen as interesting- but no thought has been given to follow-up action;
  • Lack of confidentiality. Respondents must be anonymous or they may fear to tell the truth in an assessment especially of a boss
  • Poor communication of the purpose of the exercise. It can be daunting and employee need to understand that it is not a political exercise or “rod” to beat anyone with: they are not been asked to become whistle-blower on anyone
  • Lack of action and support- organization need to support the employee in the development suggested by the feedback.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.