360 Degree Review Definition

What Is 360 Degree Review

360 degree review is the exact opposite of the typical employee performance review in terms of how it is conducted. This is an essential tool used during the performance management process in which feedback about an employee and their performance is collected from the people who work around them.

This performance evaluation tool takes into consideration feedback and review from groups of people like the employee’s coworkers, peers, reporting staff and even customer in some cases.

Understanding 360 Degree Review

As the name suggests, 360 degree review provides comprehensive and detailed reviews about an employee’s performance and growth. The anonymous feedback provided by the diverse groups of people give managers and employers an insight into an employee’s skills and behaviors that they generally display at work as well as what’s expected of them to reach the set mission, goals, objectives and values of the organization.

The ultimate purpose of 360 degree review is to assist each employee to understand their skills, strengths, weaknesses, and aspects of their work that require improvement in the future.

More than that, also to help managers and employers get to know about how each employee is performing at work, how far they are in terms of achieving their goals and what all they can improve in the future in order to be able to pave the way towards overall organizational success.

360 degree review is quite a popular method or tool for measuring and evaluating employee performance, and it has a plethora of benefits to offer, such as:

  • It increases self-awareness, thereby making people more aware of their qualities, strengths and weaknesses
  • It offers employees a fuller, bigger and unbiased picture of their work and overall performance
  • it boosts employee morale and confidence because when they receive positive feedback, they begin to grow more confident about what they can do and achieve
  • It creates the kind of culture that is more honest, transparent and open, which ultimately leads to more productive and motivated teams
  • It paves the way to effective professional development, given how the feedback generated from 360 degree review provides the managers and employers in an organization with a great starting point to highlight problem areas and come up with unique solutions to resolve those issues
  • It provides feedback and review from multiple sources, which not only eradicates chances of bias and one-sided feedback but also provides both employers and employees with a bigger, more detailed and honest picture.
  • It offers proper insight into training needs and allows employers to determine all those areas of work where increased training is likely to be more effective and useful

The list of the benefits of 360 degree review is indeed quite long, but these can only be achieved if this employee evaluation tool is administered the right way. There are some key factors that managers and reviewers must keep in mind when employing the 360 degree review tool in their workplace that include the following:

  • They should promote voluntary participation because forceful reviews can result in feelings of mistrust and can also hinder the quality of data that is being collected.
  • They should assure anonymity and confidentiality when collecting reviews and feedback from other employees in order to build trust and loyalty. It is important to understand here that confidentiality is a key requirement of 360 degree review and is one important factor that encourages people to give feedback about a fellow employee.
  • They should design 360 degree reviews very carefully, which basically includes drafting valid questions to collect useful feedback. Also, it is important for them to ensure accurate and fair ratings so that the data compiled through this tool is honest, transparent and void of any kind of bias.

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