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360-Degree Feedback – An efficient tool for individual performance assessment?

360-Degree Feedback One of the most popular individual performance management tools in use today is the 360-degree feedback tool, also known as multi-source assessment, which incorporates feedback from the worker, top management, immediate superior, subordinates, colleagues, and customers. Purpose of 360-degree feedback. The primary purpose of this circle of confidential reviews is to provide the employees with information about their performance from multiple perspectives. It is also used to support HR processes, such as appraisals, resourcing and succession planning, learning and development. Advantages and disadvantages. Some of the well-known advantages of this tool are:
  • Employees get a broader perspective of how they are perceived by people they interact with at work;
  • It gives workers a more rounded view of their performance;
  • Feedback is perceived as being more valid and objective, thus leading to results acceptance  and required actions.
Despite the dramatic rise in its popularity, the 360-degree feedback is far from being perfect. The disadvantages of using this tool, as highlighted from practice, are:
  • Employees do not always give honest feedback;
  • Lack of action following feedback;
  • Poor implementation of the 360-degree tool will negatively affect employees motivation;
  • Employees might be put under stress when receiving or giving feedback.
Criteria for success. The above disadvantages can be avoided, or at least minimized, by a careful design (feedback questionnaires have to be relatively easy to complete), by involving top management in giving and receiving feedback, and by not using the tool as a stand-alone instrument, without follow-up. In order to have a successful experience with the 360-degree feedback, environmental attributes, such as an organizational climate that fosters individual growth and where criticism is seen as an opportunity for success, are mandatory within any organization. References:
Expert Interview – Maria Elena Sanz Ibarra , HR Director, Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications, Chile
Personality vs. Portfolios: The Best Performance Predictor


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