360-degree feedback, also known as 'Multi-Rater Feedback', is employee development feedback that comes from all around the employee. The feedback would come from subordinates, peers, and managers in the organizational hierarchy, as well as self-assessment, and in some cases external sources such as customers and suppliers or other interested stakeholders. The results from 360-degree feedback are often used by the person receiving the feedback to plan their training and development. The results are also used by some organizations for making promotional or pay decisions, which are sometimes called "360-degree review." 360-degree feedback enables leaders to :
Take advantage of under-utilized personnel strengths to increase productivity •
Avoid the trap of counting on skills that may be weak in the organization •
Apply human assets data to the valuation of the organization •
Make succession planning more accurate
Design more efficient coaching and training initiatives
Support the organization in marketing the skills of its members
360 degree appraisal is also a powerful developmental tool because when conducted at regular intervals (say yearly) it helps to keep a track of the changes others’ perceptions about the employees. A 360 degree appraisal is generally found more suitable for the managers as it helps to assess their leadership and managing styles. This technique is being effectively used across the globe for performance appraisals. Some of the organizations following it are Wipro, Infosys, Reliance Industries, Maruti Udyog and HCL etc. 360 degree offers an unprecedented opportunity to the employees than the traditional top- down approach could ever offer, providing as it does, the feed back from the broad Swathe of people. The purpose of having multiple individuals in the appraisal process differs. Notwithstanding all the negatives associated with supervisor feed back, supervisor is well – poised to conduct a very comprehensive performance appraisal of the subject or an individual. Supervisor has a better understanding of the work requirements of the individual. He can also take a call on matters relating to any changes to be effected in the job requirements. Supervisor can also re-schedule and re-allocate the individuals work as the situation warrants. On the flip side, excessive reliance on supervisors feed back is not advisable. Besides supervisor should be able to measure all the critical incident involved in employees job performance so as to make an dispassionate assessment. Supervisors need to be sensitized as to how to conduct this 360 degree process. Many a time the performance appraisal system fall by the way side as the supervisor have no clue what so ever to conduct the appraisals.
Secondly with traditional hierarchies giving way to flat and lean one, as well as the increased use of teams in the organizations, peer valuation has come to stay. Peers can provide a distinctive take on co-workers good performance or the lack of it for the reason that the behavior of co-workers will have a immediate bearing on the work environment. Besides employees may be amenable to idea of appraising each others performance. In this day and age, where the self - directed teams are gaining currency in the organizations, the role of peer appraisal has become the core of formal appraisal system. This is not to say that the peer appraisal is not with out its share of pitfalls. In a competitive milieu, peer ratings can raise tension levels and cause a bad blood amongst employees. Co-operation and mutual support will become a catastrophe. Any attempt to tie peer appraisal to pay or promotional decision can have disastrous consequences for the company. Thirdly sub-ordinates have a distinct perspective to offer in this appraisal exercise. A sub ordinate feedback can help the supervisor gain insights into employee needs and concerns A sub-ordinate feed back will also go a long way in assessing the...
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