Most businesses in America utilize a yearly review process to gauge an employee’s contribution to the company which typically consists of a written explanation, a one-on-one meeting or more. The idea of this process is to gain feedback from both parties which can then be used for organizational growth, team development and individual improvement. But how drastically can you measure progress by the view of just one individual?
Let me introduce to you the 360 review feedback process, also known as multi-rater feedback. This informative review allows members of an employee’s immediate work circle to provide insight unlike any process before. These direct evaluations come from an employee’s subordinates, peers, supervisors, external sources (customers and clients) as well as a self-assessment. This process may contrast with the traditional “upward feedback,” where managers are only given an assessment by their direct reports but the results of the new 360 degree evaluation allow an individual to plan and map specific paths for their development. According to Fit Small Business “When you think of 360 reviews or feedback, think of the employee receiving the 360 degree performance review as standing in the center of a circle.”
Here’s how it works: The reviewers are asked to comment and rate the employee’s professional skills and impact to the team. Reviewers consist of anywhere between 4 to 10 people that have some form of working relationship with the subject. The reviewer’s job is to provide feedback for the subject and also rate the subject on key skills. If the 360s are done right, that feedback creates a road map for education and self-development that a standard review may not provide.
Several studies indicate that the use of 360 degree feedback helps to improve performance because it allows the evaluated to see a different perspective of their performance. While a standard review is about the job an employee is doing, a 360 review is about the employee themselves which makes it very personal and very powerful. By combining the perspectives of managers and peers, you are able to better understand an employee’s leadership and management styles.
After the 360 degree review, an employee should meet with a direct manager and understand areas the said individual has been thriving and areas that need improvement. Please remember that personal and skill development take time and effort which do not happen in the 360 review but after an individual has comprehended the feedback then set an appropriate plan of action.