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360 Degrees Performance Appraisal!!! An Outlook.


Contemporary 360-degree methods have roots as early as the 1940s, however, there is some disagreement regarding the exact genesis of the techniq e! "espite these disagreements, one point that most scholars can agree on is 360degree performance appraisal has historical roots within a military context! " ring the 19#0s and 1960s this trend contin ed in the $nited %tates within the &ilitary service academies! 't the $nited %tates (aval 'cademy at 'nnapolis, the midshipmen sed a m ltiso rce process called )peer grease* to eval ate the leadership s+ills of their classmates! ,n the corporate world d ring the 1960s and 19-0s, organi.ations li+e /an+ of 'merica, $nited 'irlines, /ell 0a1s, "isney, 2ederal 3xpress, (estle, and 4C' experimented with m lti-so rce feed1ac+ in a variety of meas rement sit ations! The Concept

2or example, s 1ordinate assessments of a s pervisor5s performance can provide val a1le developmental g idance, peer feed1ac+ can 1e the heart of excellence in teamwor+, and c stomer service feed1ac+ foc ses on the q ality of the team5s or agency5s res lts! The Process

The Appraisers uperiors Its Contribution6

7he 1st line s pervisor is often in the 1est position to effectively carry o t the f ll cycle of 8erformance &anagement! 7he s pervisor may also have the 1roadest perspective on the wor+ req irements and 1e a1le to ta+e into acco nt shifts in those req irements!

Cautions to be addressed6

% periors sho ld 1e a1le to o1serve and meas re all facets of the wor+ to ma+e a fair eval ation! % pervisors sho ld 1e trained! 7hey sho ld 1e capa1le of coaching and developing employees as well as planning and eval ating their performance!

elf Its Contribution:

%elf-ratings are partic larly sef l if the entire cycle of performance management involves the employee in a self-assessment! 7he developmental foc s of self-assessment is a +ey factor! 'pproximately half of the 2ederal employees in a large s rvey felt that selfratings wo ld contri1 te )to a great or very great extent* to fair and well-ro nded 8'!

%elf-appraisals are partic larly val a1le in sit ations where the s pervisor cannot readily o1serve the wor+ 1ehaviors and tas+ o tcomes!

Cautions to be addressed:

4esearch shows low correlations 1etween self-ratings and all other so rces of ratings, partic larly s pervisor ratings! 7he self-ratings tend to 1e consistently higher! 7his discrepancy can lead to defensiveness and alienation if s pervisors do not se good feed1ac+ s+ills! %ometimes self-ratings can 1e lower than others5! ,n s ch sit ations, employees tend to 1e self-demeaning and may feel intimidated and )p t on the spot!* %elf-ratings sho ld foc s on the appraisal of performance elements, not on the s mmary level determination! ' range of rating so rces, incl ding the self assessments, help to )ro nd o t* the information for the s mmary rating!

Peers Its Contribution:

3mployees report resentment when they 1elieve that their extra efforts are req ired to )make the boss look good* as opposed to meeting the nit5s goals! 8eer ratings have 1een an excellent predictors of f t re performance and )manner of performance*! 7he se of m ltiple raters in the peer dimension of 360-degree assessment programs tends to average o t the possi1le 1iases of any one mem1er of the gro p of raters! 7he increased se of self-directed teams ma+es the contri1 tion of peer eval ations the central inp t to the formal appraisal 1eca se 1y definition the s pervisor is not directly involved in the day-to-day activities of the team! 7he addition of peer feed1ac+ can help move the s pervisor into a coaching role rather than a p rely 9 dging role!

Cautions to be addressed:

8eer eval ations are appropriate for developmental p rposes, 1 t to emphasi.e them for pay, promotion, or 9o1 retention p rposes may not 1e pr dent always! :enerally, the identities of the raters sho ld 1e +ept confidential to ass re honest feed1ac+! / t, in close-+nit teams that have mat red to a point where open comm nication is part of the c lt re, the developmental potential of the feed1ac+ is enhanced when the eval ator is identified and can perform a coaching or contin ing feed1ac+ role! ,t is essential that the peer eval ators 1e very familiar with the team mem1er5s tas+s and responsi1ilities! 7he se of peer eval ations can 1e very time cons ming! ;hen sed in 8', the data wo ld have to 1e collected several times a year in order to incl de the res lts in progress reviews!

"epending on the c lt re of the organi.ation, peer ratings have the potential for creating tension and 1rea+down rather than fostering cooperation and s pport!

u!ordinates Its Contribution:

' formali.ed s 1ordinate feed1ac+ program will give s pervisors a more comprehensive pict re of employee iss es and needs! 3mployees feel they have a greater voice in organi.ational decision-ma+ing! 7he feed1ac+ from s 1ordinates is partic larly effective in eval ating the s pervisor5s interpersonal s+ills! <owever, it may not 1e as appropriate or valid for eval ating tas+-oriented s+ills! Com1ining s 1ordinate ratings, li+e peer ratings, can provide the advantage of creating a composite appraisal from the averaged ratings of several s 1ordinates!

Cautions to be addressed6

7he need for anonymity is essential when sing s 1ordinate ratings as this will ens re honest feed1ac+! % pervisors may feel threatened and perceive that their a thority has 1een ndermined when they m st ta+e into consideration that their s 1ordinates will 1e formally eval ating them! % 1ordinate feed1ac+ is most 1eneficial when sed for developmental p rposes! / t preca tions sho ld 1e ta+en to ens re that s 1ordinates are appraising elements of which they have +nowledge! =nly s 1ordinates with a s fficient length of assignment nder the manager sho ld 1e incl ded in the pool of assessors! % 1ordinates c rrently involved in a disciplinary action or a formal performance improvement period sho ld 1e excl ded from the rating gro p! =rgani.ations c rrently ndergoing and>or reorgani.ation sho ld avoid this so rce of 8'!

Customers Its Contribution:

C stomer feed1ac+ sho ld serve as an )anchor* for almost all other performance factors! ,ncl ding a range of c stomers in 8' program expands the foc s of performance feed1ac+ in a manner considered a1sol tely critical to reinventing the organi.ation!

Cautions to be addressed:

:enerally the val e of c stomer service feed1ac+ is appropriate for eval ating team o tp t ?there are exceptions@!

C stomers, 1y definition, are 1etter at eval ating o tp ts as opposed to processes and wor+ing relationships! ,t is a time-cons ming process!

"mportant factors in 360 degree feed!acks

7he mission and the o19ective of the feed1ac+ m st 1e clear! 3mployees m st 1e involved early! 4eso rces m st 1e dedicated to the process, incl ding top managementAs time! Confidentiality m st 1e ass red! 7he organi.ation, especially top management, m st 1e committed to the program!

Ad#antages$ To the individual:

<elps individ als to nderstand how others perceive them! $ncover 1lind spots! B antifia1le data on soft s+ills!

To the team:

,ncreases comm nication <igher levels of tr st /etter team environment % pports teamwor+ ,ncreased team effectiveness

To the organization:

4einforced corporate c lt re 1y lin+ing s rvey items to organi.ational leadership competencies and company val es! /etter career development for employees 8romote from within ,mproves c stomer service 1y involving them Cond ct relevant training


,t is the most costly and time cons ming type of appraisal! 7hese programs tend to 1e somewhat shoc+ing to managers at first! 'mocoAs /ill Clover descri1ed this as the C%'4'< reaction6 %hoc+, 'nger, 4e9ection, 'cceptance, <elpC! 7he pro1lems may arise with s 1ordinate assessments where employees desire to )get the 1oss* or may alternatively )scratch the 1ac+* of a manager for expected f t re favors!

7he organi.ation implementing this type of performance appraisal m st clearly define the mission and the scope of the appraisal! =therwise it might prove co nter prod ctive! =ne of the reason for which 360 degree appraisal system might fail is 1eca se the organi.ations attempt to assimilate the 360-degree method within a traditional s rvey research scheme! ,n traditional s rvey research, investigators attempt to maximi.e data collection with as many items>q estions as possi1le and with large sample! ,n the case of 360-degree appraisal, creating meas rement instr ments with many items will s 1stantially increase non-response errors! ,n addition, large sample are not typically possi1le considering that perhaps 4 or # so rces will rate an employee5s performance! 's s ch, statistical proced res that rely on large sample in order to ens re statistical validity might not 1e appropriate! =rgani.ations m st consider other iss es li+e safeg arding the process from nintentional respondent rating errors! 7he c lt re shoc+ that occ rs with any system that creates )change!* 'nd especially with a modern system li+e 360 degree performance appraisalD m st 1e ta+en care of!


/eca se many of the more conventional performance appraisal methods have often proved npop lar with those 1eing appraised and eval ators ali+e, 360 is gaining pop larity with many managers and employees! ,t offers a new way of addressing the performance iss e! ;hen sed with consideration and discipline, feed1ac+ recipients will feel that theyAre 1eing treated fairly! ,n addition, s pervisors will feel the relief of no longer carrying the f ll 1 rden of assessing s 1ordinate performance! 7he com1ined effect of these o tcomes sho ld res lt in increased motivation, which in t rn improves performance!