360-degree feedback has become an important part of many performance management systems. It provides employees with performance feedback from supervisors, co-workers, peers, and customers, and for managers, their direct reports. The performance feedback is usually a part of a developmental plan and is often a part of the organization’s performance appraisal process, as well. However, 360-degree feedback has come under criticism in many organizations. Evaluate the benefits and criticism that 360-degree feedback has encountered. What are the pros and cons of the method as well as the organizational requirements for success If your company uses a 360-degree process, include your own personal experience with the method and your assessment of its value. If your company does not use a 360-degree feedback process, analyze whether you think that it could be successful in your organization.
The 360 degree feedback is defined as a performance appraisal. The process is done by collecting data from employees, subordinates, supervisors and sometimes internal and external customers (businessdictionary,2016). The main objective for collecting the data is to assess training and development that may need to provide competence-related information for succession planning. The feedback is not for promotion or pay increase.
The 360 degree process always is intended to gather feedback on various aspects as technical, strategic, operational and relational. The technical aspect is the ability to develop and manage complex project budgets (Hultin, 2010).The strategic aspect is the ability to make high-quality, organization-wide decisions. Operational and Relational aspects to the 360 degree process are the ability to manage multiple stakeholders while relational is the ability to negotiate or manage up (Hultin, 2010).
At Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police Department (SCMPD), I believe the company that did our assessment went with a more technical approach. SCMPD was told to do the assessment with hours with no time to really think about what was being asked. The request had pros and cons. The pro that I experience while answering most questions was that I knew that we were doing way more than our “job description” .Even though most of the time, the assess is needed for evaluation proposes only, it can lead to pay raises. The con I have experience is that once we stated all the job duties we performed, the HR department began to update job descriptions without notice based on the assessment alone. During my experience, I feel the feedback is needed, however not to be used against the employees.
An effective 360 degree process should increase clarity regarding an individual’s strengths, and reveal area for improvement. The ratings, comments should reveal a clearer picture of the behaviors and competencies, which will eventually make staff effective members of the company. Bringing in an outside company to evaluate your job can be scary as well. Some of SCMPD employees thought this was a layoff situation, because it had happened before. Most criticism comes from the data. Some feel that the data pulled is “bad data” and will not help the overall companies’ goal.
360-degree feedback has become an important part of many performance management systems. It provides employees with performance feedback from supervisors, co-workers, peers, and customers, and for managers, their direct reports. The performance feedback is usually a part of a developmental plan and is often a part of the organization’s performance appraisal process, as well. However, 360-degree feedback has come under criticism in many organizations.
o Evaluate the benefits and criticism that 360-degree feedback has encountered.
o What are the pros and cons of the method as well as the organizational requirements for success
o If your company uses a 360-degree process, include your own personal experience with the method and your assessment of its value. If your company does not use a 360-degree feedback process, analyze whether you think that it could be successful in your organization.
360-degree feedback is a performance rating system that used by companies that have a strong desire to develop their employees. It takes away a linear rating system where the manager evaluates and rates the subordinate. The 360-degree feedback system allows for inputs from peers, managers, subordinates, and customers to provide feedback from all angles and all aspects of a particular employees job function. There are four primary reasons that this tactic is considered beneficial. The first is multiple observations. Written observations allow an employee to receive feedback on different and multiple aspects of their job. An employee may be great in one area, but has opportunity to improve in another. The second reason is really strength in numbers. It is much easier for an employee to discredit the opinion on one person regarding performance. This makes it much more difficult to suppose that 4 individual opinions are inaccurate. The third reason bridges the gap between an employees’ self-rating and the ones received by others. This may shed some light on potential development needs. The fourth is the thought process that upper management feels as if this technique improves leadership characteristics. In theory these positive characteristics of 360-degree feedback seem like a logical way to conduct performance ratings. However, this technique does have some significant downsides as well.
One of the biggest downsides to 360-degree feedback is the consistency of the data that is generated from the different sources. Some evidence shows significant differences of performance between the different raters. Another downside to this type of feedback is determining whether or not this technique is helpful. The discrepancies of the feedback often times leave the employee very confused about the direction that they need to take going forward. This often times has a negative impact on the overall development of the employee. In addition, a very real problem for this technique is the time it takes to complete the task. Managers will be required to develop complex rating assignments just to fulfill the requirements of the 360-degree plan. This could potentially mean that employees are spending a very large amount of time rating peers, subordinates, and managers instead of completing their primary work functions. It would also require the appropriate software to complete the task.
360-degree feedback in Practice
While my current company does not implement 360-degree feedback, the military uses somewhat of a similar system. Its not completely 360 degrees due to chain of commands, at least there are no formal ratings from subordinate personnel. But the military does implement ratings from direct supervisor, higher-ranking supervisors, and peer reviews. These rankings are very important to the individual’s career and are taken very seriously and are very thorough. In addition, higher-ranking officers will conduct skip level meetings with a leaders subordinate staff to assess their leadership attributes.
A 360-degree feedback method looks like a very good method to accurately assess an employee’s job performance. However, the inconsistencies that this method produces do not promote the behavior change that leaders are often times looking for. In addition, the time and software requirements needed to conduct this type of rating system are not worth the results that it produces.
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