A 360-degree feedback approach is a formalized process whereby an individual receives feedback from multiple individuals or “raters” who regularly interact with the person being reviewed. The 360-degree feedback approach involves collecting performance information from a variety of sources instead of just from a supervisor. (Colquitt, Lepine & Wesson, 2011).
Sources that are consulted for a performance review include customers, employees, subordinates, and peers. An interesting aspect of this appraisal is the inclusion of self-assessment by the employee, which is the capacity for introspection and the ability to reconcile oneself as an individual separate from the work environment and other individuals. As a result of this feedback, the individual is expected to be able to set goals for self-development that will support the advancement of their careers and in turn benefit the organization.
In understanding how 360-degree feedback influence behavior, we must consider the theory of Emotional Intelligence (EI). The theory describes how a trigger or situation can evoke an emotional response, which leads to a behavioral response. Individuals with high EI skills are likely to react to negative or disconfirming feedback by attempting to diagnose the causes of low performance and actually increase their effort directed at improving performance. (Scholl, 2002) On the opposite end of the spectrum, individuals with low EI skills are likely to quit at first sign of invalidation, negatively impacting productivity and the organization.
The use of a feedback coach in a 360-degree process is shown to be of particular importance if an organization is using the tool with the objective of positively effecting performance. A study conducted at the Richard T. Farmer School of Business at Miami University confirmed that combining 360s with coaching focused on enhanced self-awareness and behavioral...