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More about 360 Degree Performance Appraisal

Updated on December 3, 2011

One important and modern method which can be used to appraise the performance of an employee is to use 360-degree appraisal. First developed and used in a more formal way by General Electric Company of USA in 1992, this method has attracted attention of many more companies.

360-degree appraisal is the process of systematically gathering data on a person’s skills, abilities and behaviors from a variety of sources like- from the manager,from peers, from subordinates and even customers and clients. In 360-degree appraisal, besides appraising the performance of the assessee, his other attributes such as talents, behavior, values, and technical considerations are also appraised. How appraisal information is collected from various sources in 360-degree appraisal is presented below:

Appraisal by Superior: In 360-degree performance appraisal the superior appraises the employee on various dimensions of the job as may be decided. There are three reasons why the immediate superior must appraise the performance of his subordinates. First, he is more familiar with his subordinates’ performance. Second, he understands more specifically where his particular subordinate lacks which may be overcome by training and development. Third, because of the nature of authority relationship, the superior is responsible for getting the things done which necessitates appraisal of his subordinates. However, many biases are likely to emerge in his appraisal, further, he may not be aware fully about many behaviors of subordinates which may be important for appraisal.

Appraisal by Peers: Peers of an employee are in a better position to evaluate certain aspects of his behavior. Since the employee is more closely linked to his peers at the workplace, they may be able to appraise his contribution to the group efforts, interpersonal effectiveness, communication skills, reliability, initiative, etc. however, in such an appraisal, biases are likely to emerge specially if the appraisal results are used for deciding rewards. Further, appraisal may take the shape of give and take in which there may be reciprocal appraisal. You rate me
good, I will do the same for you.

Appraisal by Subordinates: Subordinates can appraise their superior in terms of how he facilitates their working, delegates authority, allocates work and resources, disseminates information, resolves interpersonal conflicts and shows fairness to them. However, how objective this appraisal is depends on the liberty to which subordinates enjoy in appraising his superior.

Appraisal by Clients: An employee’s performance is evaluated by the clients who interact with the employee. These clients may be suppliers of inputs or customers of output. These clients may rate the employee in terms of his providing services to them, his cooperation, courtesy, dependability and innovativeness.


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