As the modern-day economy tightens and employment is increasingly more competitive, the need for measuring employee performance is becoming even more significant than ever before. A clear understanding of an employee’s overall performance influences compensation, goal setting, training/development, and progression within the organization. This puts extreme pressure on the traditional methods of “top-down” evaluation, the manager and the employee.

360-degree feedback: an efficient HR tool

Over the past couple of decades 360-degree feedback has gained a reputation as being an excellent source of data collection for both development and performance purposes.

By definition the 360-degree feedback (also known as multi-rater feedback or multi-source assessment) is feedback that consists of a collection of members in an employee’s immediate work circle. Its main purpose is to use a multi-focal approach to assess the developmental needs and competency-related information of an individual for succession mapping within an organization. This personal development tool produces reports that are available to the employee. In turn, the feedback results are reviewed and action plans are put into place while being discussed with a manager or career coach.

Taking 360-degree feedback a step further there are repeated successes that prove this same tool can be used in performance appraisals as well. When used as a measurement for performance, the 360 feedback is only part of a formal process. The differences in the multi-rater feedback here is that the questions have a specific performance focus and the data collected becomes owned by the organization while the disseminated information is included in the performance appraisal. It is important to keep in mind that, though similar in concept, these two forms of 360-degree feedback produce significantly different results.

According to Scott Clark, Principal Instrument Designer at CompleteSurvey.com:

 “A performance review primarily assesses specific tasks and milestones, strongly related to assigned job duties. In addition to gathering feedback from a variety of raters, a 360 degree review is designed with overarching organizational success factors, mastery or deficit at that level may not be directly related to employee performance.”

A Hybrid Approach: Using both 360-degree Feedback and Top Down Performance Reviews

Using both types of multi-source assessment tools as part of a feedback process allows a manager to highlight daily job performance and to incorporate individual strengths and development opportunities with a larger organizational framework.

The CompleteSurvey 360-degree feedback experts are able to bring a vast range of appraisal design experience to any project. Human resource departments, organizational training and leadership groups, and consultancies use our products and services to strategize employee development and increase performance while monitoring their return on investment. CompleteSurvey's products and services provide the insight that powers individual and corporate performance across the board.