5 Advantages & Disadvantages of 360 Degree Appraisal

A 360 degree performance appraisal is a multi-source assessment. This means that your performance is judged by a number of individuals and may include managers, subordinates, colleagues and customers. How does this work? Each of the assessors rate you based on a certain criteria which are all performance based (strategic orientation, leadership, teamwork, communication, organization skills, decisiveness, adaptability, etc). This particular kind of feedback is used during appraisal, resourcing, succession planning and also to support pay decisions.

While getting all the necessary feedback from more than one source can be helpful for an individual, can it also hurt? The short answer is that there are both advantages and disadvantages to such an appraisal method. Here’s a look:

List of Advantages of 360 Degree Performance Appraisal
1. It provides feedback from different perspectives

As mentioned earlier, a 360 degree appraisal may involve managers, subordinates, colleagues and customers. This is helpful because a person interacts differently with those they work with. For instance, they might be more open with a colleague than they are with a manager. Also, a colleague can most likely give a better assessment of how an individual works compared to the manager because they are who the individual spends more time with on a daily basis. Getting feedback from different sources allows for a more balanced feedback.

2. It identifies development opportunities
Personal development and growth is crucial to a successful career and areas where one needs to improve on can be addressed through a 360 degree feedback. Through this kind of feedback, you need to improve on communication skills or get better with conflict resolution or any other area you need to be better at. It helps you align better with your career goals.

3. It focuses on core competencies
Feedbacks are designed to show how you’ve been helping the company and how else can you make better contributions. A 360 degree feedback focuses on competencies that reflect that standard for behavior and interaction within an organization.

List of Disadvantages of 360 Degree Performance Appraisal
1. It is not really an honest assessment

A person can be completely dishonest when they are filling out a feedback form for a certain individual. They might be scared to hurt another person’s feelings if they rank them in a certain way. Also, some may be vengeful and rank a person below what they deserve. As such, the method isn’t entirely reliable.

2. It can be time consuming
This depends on how many points need to be covered in the assessment and how many people need to be provided feedback. For instance, an individual may be asked to provide feedback for their colleague and their manager. Answering these feedback forms requires much thought because you can’t just click through.

Delivering the feedback to the actual person also takes time. The person needs to be told their good points as well as their bad points and how they can improve on it. Sometimes, the individual being assessed doesn’t entirely agree with the assessment which could lead to trouble.

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