Pros & Cons of 360 Feedback

For many years, 360 degree reviews have been popular for providing individuals with feedback on performance from multiple sources – colleagues, customers, direct supervisors, etc. While most companies still provide performance reviews in the traditional manner, it’s important for a company to understand the pros and cons of the 360 feedback before changing their method of review.

PROS:

  • Provides personal insight to assist employees at all levels and see themselves as others do.
  • Provides a more complete assessment since the information is coming not only from the direct manager, but from colleagues and customers as well.
  • Theoretically, by identifying specific strengths and weaknesses, the team as a whole can become better.
  • The feedback will be perceived as being more fair since it comes from more than one source.
  • Identifies performance and behavior gaps to provide a more comprehensive view of how performance and behaviors are interconnected in the workplace.
  • Well-defined questions frame performance in terms of behaviors and outcomes and help to establish expectations for performance.

CONS:

  • The design and implementation of the process must be done carefully. Too many negative questions could discourage honest feedback and make the individual feel defensive when they review the responses.
  • It can be time consuming to obtain, analyze, and present feedback from multiple sources.
  • The success of the 360 Degree process requires buy-in from employees and managers.
  • The process can be viewed negatively and thus undermine the success of the feedback.
  • It may not be accurate. If the team is small, colleagues may be reluctant to provide negative feedback on a friend. If the team is large, the colleagues may not know an individual well enough to properly assess their performance.
  • 360 Feedback tends to inherently be focused on weaknesses. It’s important to insure the tool used includes more focus on strengths and how they can be leveraged for the benefit of the team.

Remember, performance shouldn’t just be reviewed once a year. It’s important for employees to receive consistent, constructive feedback throughout the year from their direct supervisor.


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