360 Degree Feedback

What is 360-degree Feedback?

360-degree Feedback or 360-degree appraisal system is a part of the performance management system. It refers to an assessment system wherein employees get ratings and feedback from numerous people they regularly interact with and work with. One must note that the feedback is not just confidential but anonymous too.


‘360’ in 360-degree feedback implies 360 degrees in a circle. As it is apparent that feedback comes from all around, i.e. superiors, subordinates, coworkers and peers in the organisation hierarchy. In certain instances, it could also come from external sources, such as customers and suppliers who deal with the employees.

For this reason, it is referred to as multisource feedback or multisource assessment. Hence, it takes a holistic view of the employee when it comes to performance and other attributes like talents, behaviour, values, etc.

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It analyses how the employee perceives themselves and how other members (internal or external to the organisation) perceive the employee.

Table of Contents

  1. Components
  2. Basic
  3. Process
  4. Objectives
  5. Advantages
  6. Disadvantages
  7. Wrap Up

Components of 360-degree appraisal


  1. Employee Self Appraisal: It allows the employee to know his strengths, weaknesses, and achievements and judge his own performance.
  2. Appraisal by Superior: Superiors judge the responsibilities and actual job performance of the employee under evaluation.
  3. Appraisal by Subordinate: It provides an opportunity to assess the employee based on communication and motivating abilities, leadership qualities, ability to delegate work, and so forth.
  4. Peer Appraisal: It helps to know whether the employee is cooperative and easily gel up with other employees. Also, how good he is when he works in a team.

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Do you know that top-notch multinational organisations always attempt to evaluate and guide their staff for continuous improvement? 360-degree feedback is a technique through which each employee gets performance feedback from various people. It is a process of employee review wherein feedback about an employee from different sources with whom the employees interact and deal.

For the effective development of employees, feedback plays a very important role, as it helps in understanding the strengths and weaknesses.

Process of 360-degree Feedback

In this process, the individual looking for feedback, i.e. the appraisee, usually fills and submits a self-perception questionnaire. After that, asks several people who act as respondents to provide feedback by filling out the same questionnaire form. The information is used for the purpose of employee performance appraisal.

The evaluation is carried out with the help of a questionnaire that attempts to gauge the behaviour which is regarded as critical for the performance of the job. Evaluators conduct this evaluation anonymously. After that, an external or specified internal agent collects the evaluation. The evaluation is performed at periodical intervals, i.e. annually or semi-annually.

This method assesses whether the employee is actually deserving of promotion or not.

Objectives of 360-degree Feedback

  • Giving awareness to the employee under evaluation about the strengths and weaknesses.
  • Recognise the need for development and evolve developmental plans for an individual.
  • Gathering data for rational decision-making concerning rewards and other HR issues.
  • Reinforcing numerous changes in the efforts of management.
  • The basis for performance-based pay.
  • Matching the goals of individuals and teams with the organisation’s vision, values and goals.

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Advantages of 360-degree feedback

To Employee

  • An employee who gets the feedback can use the same for planning the training and development.
  • Offers a quite acceptable review to employees.
  • The candidate gets a variety of inputs to improve his role, performance, ideas and styles. Also, it enhances the employee’s acceptability.
  • It helps in understanding personal and organisational developmental needs.
  • The employee can take responsibility for their career development programme. This is because they get responses from multiple sources regarding where they need to put more effort and focus.
  • It helps an individual understand his/her own personality from an outsider’s point of view.

To Organization

  • Organisations can use it as a base for promotion and also for deciding the salary.
  • It serves various needs of the conventional appraisal system, such as identifying developmental needs, reward management and performance development.
  • Capable of highlighting the supervisory biases in the conventional appraisal system.
  • An effective technique of improving customer service and input quality and service to customers.
  • Adds objectivity and augments the traditional appraisal system.
  • As it involves the participation of the employees, the quality of HR decisions improves.
  • Appropriate for new organisational culture. Most of the top-notch organisations in the world support this system.

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Disadvantages of 360-degree feedback

  • The method of performance appraisal is a time-consuming one.
  • It may result in tension among employees as they might take evaluations of others personally.
  • If the employee cannot handle criticism positively, it may result in low morale and a decrease in productivity.
  • Encourages non-objective evaluation, as people may take advantage of anonymity.

Wrap Up

360-degree feedback is a technique of systematically collecting information from the group dealing with the employee. Hence, any person having useful information regarding how an employee does a job can be one of the appraisers. It does not just measure interpersonal skills but is also a great source of self-development. But sometimes, it can also turn out intimidating and threatening too.

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