Tips From One Business To Another…Should You Be Using 360 Degree Software?

Some of you may have heard of this software, others may have not but let me tell you the top pros and cons of the software that I discovered when we implemented it in our business. First of all here is the basic outline of what the software can do.

360-degree feedback is an assessment process that integrates criticism and advice from the worker, his/her peers, subordinates, superiors and customers. The results of these confidential surveys are organised and shared with the worker, usually by a manager in a calm environment. The primary reason to use surveys are because this is a way of providing the worker with information about his/her performance in the workplace from multiple perspectives. With 360-degree feedback, the worker is central to the whole evaluation process and the ultimate goal is to improve individuals work performance within the organization. Here are some pros and cons that I found with the appraisal system:

Benefits:

  • It is much more balanced than the traditional method of just one persons (normally a managers) view of the employee
  • It seems to increase awareness of own behaviour and perceptions of other colleagues
  • Encourages self-reflection, there is always room for improvement
  • It allows you as the employer to sit, review and build a development plan on how to work as both and individual and a team player
  • It allows the individual employee to measure their own behaviour and see improvements time after time
  • It is far more time effective because it can be completed online at any point so even though you are involving more people in the feedback you are getting a more accurate picture of the employee

Disadvantages:

  • Some people can use a personal grudge to cloud their judgement, especially if a fellow employee feels in coopetition they may be more inclined to give a negative review
  • The top level management need to be willing to spend some time and effort giving feedback to fellow peers and subordinates

What Type of Job is it useful for?

We found that in a small organisation like ourselves that actually it wasn’t massively useful because there wasn’t enough members of staff to collate a large view/opinion of the employee. However if your company is very large or you have employees who are out of office a lot either on the road or just someone who visits clients then this type of performance management system will come in very handy for you and your team.

Trust

We found trust to plays a crucial role in this software system, we are trusting other people to give an honest and fair review of another colleague. Unlike the old-fashioned review systems (the one to one interview that most of us are used to) which can more often than not damage superior-subordinate relationships. In contrast to these traditional appraisals, 360-degree feedback nurtures a situation of solidarity and most importantly trust because it is an honest, whole rounded view of the individual, not only meaning that it is more likely to be truthful but also one person cannot be blamed for the bad or good review, therefore relationships with other members of staff should not be damaged in the process.

The 360-degree feedback is ideal for conducting all types of appraisals, from every level, traditionally some have found it difficult to achieve frank, honest feedback on their work performance, more often than not if you remain anonymous people tend to be more honest with their comments and in turn more harsh because it cannot be directed back to them. However, if they are to be named then they might not necessarily give an honest review as they know they will be greeted with the backlash.

More importantly whatever the performance management systems or software used it is important to bear in mind that it is the discussion and communication with the employee about performance and how to improve it that brings the benefit – not to create an unhappy or negative environment.