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360-Degree Review Process

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With a 360-degree employee review process, feedback comes from all around the employee. The feedback could come from the employee’s own self-assessment, the employee’s peers, managers, subordinates and depending upon the type of position that employee has, stakeholders could also be invited to assess the employee in their review process (DeBare, 1997). This performance feedback is often used in the developmental plan. It is also used when making promotional and wage increase considerations. As stated in one of the websites I viewed, the 360-degree review process is “the performance evaluation that has come full circle” (Checkpoint, 2007).

     One of the advantages of using the 360-degree employee review process is that it can allow multiple perspectives on the employee’s progress. Generally, one’s work effects multiple persons or even multiple companies or organizations, so oftentimes it may not be one’s supervisor who is most directly affected or most aware of the competency of the employee’s work performance, but others.

     Writer Ilana DeBare stated that the surging interest in the 360-review process is partly due to the increased use of teams in the business world—where fellow team members often know more about their co-workers day-to-day job performances than their boss (DeBare, 1997).

     Other positive features of the process include improved feedback from more sources, team development, performance development, career development, reduced discrimination risk, improved customer service, and comprehensive training needs assessment (Heathfield, 2007).

     The introduction and implementation of such a process can make all the difference as to whether employees are fearful, frustrated or open and accepting to the new process. As I read in one article on the 360-review process, just throwing a new employee review process at your employees will most assuredly bring about disastrous consequences.

     Also, “the way the feedback on style and performance is presented is paramount” (Golden, 2007). The 360-degree review process also has more ways it can be “messed up” than the traditional one-on-one supervisor type of review.

     I agree with some research I read that 360’s are most useful in assessing perceptions of how well people are doing in the areas of leadership and management that can tend to be subjective (Maister, 2007).

     Unlike earlier management trends of the past, the 360-degree review doesn’t solely base one’s review on whether or not they have met the financial goals their company expected them to meet, it has a much broader approach on grading their overall job performance (DeBare,1997).

     Management professional, David Maister, believes that some of the exact areas in which the 360-degree review process would be effective would be in teambuilding and team management, delegation and direction of others, planning and decision making, leadership along with self-awareness and development (Maister, 2007). I believe the 360-degree review process would be effective in positions where you can get feedback from your employee’s user/customers.
Aspect Telecommunications acknowledges that if a 360-degree review process is done poorly, it can create widespread confusion and resentment. Company representative Jamie Van De Ven from Intel Corporation stated that “there’s the age-old human issue of, “’Who said that about me? Was it Joe or Jim? Did he really say that about me?’” states Van De Ven (DeBare, 1997).

     There are other circumstances where the 360-degree review process presents challenges. I could relate to this example but one article stated that an executive will learn about the process at a seminar or in a book and it really doesn’t get the research it needs before implementation (Heathfield, 2007). If it doesn’t fit in with the strategic aims of the organization, it can pose more problems than help.

     As Michelle Golden, president of Golden Marketing states, “There are many ways to mess up a 360-degree review or any appraisal” (Golden, 2007). Therefore, there are several issues Golden suggests be resolved when using the 360-degree process. The reviewer should make sure the purpose and the reasons for the feedback are clear.

     Other recommendations to employers considering the 360-degree review would be that the questions on the 360-degree process are fair, appropriate and without bias and to focus on the employees’ strengths more than their weaknesses. From the research I have read on the 360-degree review process, insufficient training in either providing or receiving feedback can make or break the introduction of it to employees.

     Another recommendation to employers who may be considering the 360-degree process would be to determine if this process is suitable for your purpose. The review process shouldn’t be too long and cumbersome or repetitive. The reviewer should be able to edit his/her responses if necessary.

     One thing I read that I strongly agree with is “it’s essential that the subject selects his or her reviewers so that the results aren’t easily dismissed as potentially coming from someone whose opinion the subject does not respect. We are far more likely to accept and process feedback from people we respect” (Maister, 2007). However, Maister does go on to state that he usually urges people to consider selecting people outside their tightest circle of friends.


360-degree feedback. (2007, March 20). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved

     23:30, April 26, 2007, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=360-


(2007). Check Point. Retrieved April 24, 2007, from Gately Consulting Web site:


DeBare, Ilana (1997, May 05). 360-Degrees of Evaluation. Retrieved April 28, 2007,

     from SFGate.com Web site: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-


Golden, Michelle (2007). 360 Degree Reviews and Incremental Change. Retrieved April

     24, 2007, from Golden Practices Web site: http://goldenmarketing.typepad.com

Heathfield, S (2007). About: Human Resources. Retrieved April 26, 2007, from About:

     Human Resources Web site:


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