What is 360 Degree Assessments or Feedback ?

The 360 degree assessment or feedback is a concept used in the organizations in which the employees receive feedback from their workforce confidentially. These anonymous feedbacks usually involve the co-workers/peers, managers and direct reports.

This is a professional feedback opportunity given to employees to provide feedback on each other’s performances. The feedback is mostly asked by a manager, to whom the employee reports to. However, this feedback differs from the performance appraisal system where the employee is evaluated based on his performance by the managers and they only tend to focus on the job performance. In contrary, the 360 feedback focuses directly on the skills and contributions of the employee. It generates a balanced viewpoint about how the employee’s performance and contributions are viewed by others in the areas of excellence like leadership, interpersonal skills, management, teamwork, working attitude and many others depending on the job requirements.

The management and leaders use this feedback to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their organization. The system automatically aligns all the results and presents them in a way that enables the recipient of the feedback to make a development plan. The individual responses are combined together with the responses from the people who belong to the same rater category in order to reserve the confidentiality and provide a clear picture of their strengths and weaknesses.

What a 360 degree feedback measures in the survey?

• The feedback measures the level of competencies and behaviors.

• It provides a platform to know how other perceives the employee’s performance.

• It is concerned with the skills like listening, planning and goal-setting.

• The feedback addresses the areas as teamwork, leadership qualities and other attributes necessary to interact with the work climate.

In some organizations, the managers allow the employees to conduct feedback directly with each other but they need to make the feedback as descriptive as possible so that they get something tangible to improve.

How is the 360 degree feedback used?

The feedback is used as a developmental tool where the anonymous feedback is given by the co-worker which might not be possible to give otherwise. The recipients take the opportunity to gain insight into how other’s perceive of them and learn to adapt to those skills and competencies which can help them to excel in future. Secondly, the feedback can also be used as the performance appraisal to evaluate the job related skills but it does not evaluate if the employee is meeting the job requirement or anything related to objective things like attendance, sales quotas etc.

The 360 degree feedback allows an understanding to the individual to assess his/her effectiveness based on their strengths and weaknesses and all other similar aspects that contributes to the performance development. Moreover, it promotes team work in the organizations where the team members learn to work together. The feedback also provides accurate information about the employee and how they want to enhance their career in future. The need for training is also recognized with the help of this feedback.

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