Human Resources Essay: 360 degree Appraisal

On October 19th, 2011, Posted by author

Last modified: April 6, 2017

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The 360 degree appraisal is the test of performance and competence of an employee performed by those around him. It is also called the multi-rater appraisal as the process involves many people at different levels or positions with relevance to that of the employee being appraised.

The people who rate the employee can be the management, immediate superiors, peers, subordinates, customers and the employee himself.

The 360 degree appraisal is useful in providing an all round feedback to the employee, as the raters are in the optimum positions to observe and evaluate the behaviors of the employee in relation to that position. For instance, the peers can evaluate the employee’s

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behavior as a team player, in his cooperative and work attitudes, whereas the management and supervisor can rate his behavior from their point of view. As each person point of view is unique, each perspective presents its own information that can add up to maintain the incremental validity of the appraisal.

This feedback system consists of questionnaires with a wide range of questions regarding the competencies of the employee in the workplace. The questionnaire has tick boxes for rating the specific competency according to the evaluation of the rater on a scale, like the Likert scale. There is also a space provided for comments. Anonymity of the rater is maintained and the results are tabulated by another person of agency not involved in the rating.

The 360 degree appraisal would provide the employee with constructive feedback that is necessary for his growth and development in the company, with enough opportunities to modify his weaknesses into strengths and with no immediate negative repercussions unlike the traditional performance appraisals where only the manager’s review is conducted which can be subjective.

The results of the 360 degree appraisal can be used simply as a developmental and training tool or for administrative decisions regarding his promotion or pay increments. There are many views regarding the use of this tool for either.

Advantages of the 360 degree appraisal: This tool measures the behaviors and competencies and provides a feedback to the employees of how others percieve him. Skills like planning, goal-setting, listening and subjective areas like teamwork, character, and leadership qualities are evaluated.

Shortcomings of the 360 degree appraisal: This tools does not measure the performance objectives or the basic technical and job-specific skills the employee uses in his work. Similarly, the appraisal does not evaluate whether the basic job requirements are satisfactory or if the  objective areas of his work are reasonable.

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