360 Feedback or Traditional Performance Reviews?
A company is only as strong as its people. One way to set goals and make improvements is with employee feedback. But what is this 360 feedback idea? How is it different from a traditional review? And, most importantly, what’s best for your business and employees?
A 360 feedback, also called a 360 assessment or 360 review, gathers information from all those surrounding a specific employee: their managers, peers, direct reports, and sometimes even outside vendors or people that regularly interact with the employee, too.
A traditional performance review, on the other hand, is typically only conducted with the employee’s immediate supervisor. Additionally, these reviews often look at the past—they review what the employee has completed and how they’ve done so far. A 360 review, conversely, looks forward. What are the employees strengths and weaknesses and what’s the best way to move ahead? In other words, how can we improve, be more efficient, and be more effective in the long run?
WHY would you want to use a 360 review? When performance reports are limited to only a manager’s point of view, you may be missing many other parts of a story. Co-workers and direct reports may work with this employee much more often than the manager and has seen them in different circumstances. Do you act differently around your manager than you do around your peers? Get feedback from all sides with the 360 concept.
WHY would other workers want to fill out reports on their peers or, maybe worse, their own manager? While you may think they’ll worry about repercussions, like if they’re putting their bonuses (or job!) on the line based on what they say, the reports are designed to be constructive and forward-thinking, not evaluative. They look at things like leadership, communication, decision making, and teamwork. The reports take a long-term view at how you can draw on a person’s positive qualities, utilize them more effectively, AND help them grow. It’s a win-win-win for the business, the employee, and their peers when these reviews are handled honestly and constructively.
In addition, you can choose to make all feedback remain anonymous. You can also choose who within your company will receive a 360 report—just the top tier managers, also mid-level managers, or all employees at every level. In the end, these reports can benefit the entire company by strengthening the group as a whole and working together more effectively.
Have you been a part of a 360 review or have you heard about it before? Check back in a couple of weeks for more information on the TransHire blog about how to best implement a 360 feedback process with your employees.