360 Degree Feed Back and Its Relation to Human Resource Management

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360 degree feedback is a new attempt to update the traditional employee appraisal system, yet still fitting along the same lines as ‘team management’, ‘employee empowerment’ and ‘total quality management’.

The 360 degree feedback is also known as ‘multi-source feedback’, ‘multi-rater feedback’, ‘full-circle appraisal’ and a modification of ‘upward feedback’ in which employee’s appraise their own supervisor’s and peers performance. The goal of 360 degree feedback is to increase employee’s self awareness; to better improve their work performance and accomplished by collecting perceptions about an employee’s behavior / work performance appraisals from everyone or anyone an employee may come in contact with – line managers, subordinates, colleagues, and peers and even outside clients. This type of appraisal becomes a reality check and used to overcome the false or misleading assumption that one person can provide a full and accurate picture of another’s performance, yet up until now most appraisals have been conducted this way for years without anyone questioning it. The effectiveness of the feedback is directly linked to the integrity of the process, each rater remains anonymous and without the protections of anonymity, most people would not provide an accurate evaluation which then weakens the validity, commitment, and purpose of the data. Furthermore, when many people share the same opinion, we can conclude that we are probably that much closer to the truth.

The 360 degree feedback can only deal with problems caused by individual behavior and how it relates to work performance, but does nothing for the cause of the problems, such as organizational structure, lack of skills, pay problems or used as a tool to downsize an organization. But, it does serve as a catalyst to help management realize the cause of organizational problems, and can be used as part of the solution to link employee...
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