Gain More Performance Feedback with a 360-Degree Review

Sunday, December 17, 2017, 6:00 AM | Leave Comment

Performance reviews can be a stressful time for staff and managers. It takes a great deal of thought and care to give honest and thorough performance feedback.

If you have to deal with negative performance, the anxiety level can be off the scale. Because performance feedback is difficult, many, if not most, performance reviews are shallow at best.

One of the major criticisms of the review process is that the manager cannot see all the aspects of how a person performs on the job. The manager is not always sure how the employee has performed, and the employee is not sure how the manager will review him because the manager is not in the trenches with him every day.

  • A 360 degree review provides more realistic perceptions of performance

    One way to be as fair as possible with employees is to ensure that performance feedback is not totally based on the manager’s perception.

    The manager should also seek feedback from other people that the employee works with on a daily basis. This is called a 360 degree review process.

    A 360-degree review process formally seeks this input from multiple sources. Typically this includes feedback from the rest of their team (peers) and relevant stakeholders.

    If the employee is also a manager (functional manager or project manager), feedback is also sought from their direct reports.

  • The main purpose is to help the reviewee

    The 360 degree feedback is a way to help the manager get a more balanced view of the employee’s performance.

    However, the ultimate value of this process is realized by the person being reviewed. The employee should see the review process as an opportunity to get an outside perception of his strengths and areas where he can improve.

    Ultimately the employee should take a personal interest in the review process to ensure that he can grow professionally and provide more and more value to the organization.

    The 360-degree review process provides more complete input to the employee. Not only do you have performance input from your manager, but you have feedback from stakeholders, team members, and direct reports as well. This feedback is invaluable to see how others view you, your skill level and your performance level.

Of course, all personal feedback is based on perceptions. That is true when the manager provides the only feedback, but it is also true with a 360-degree review process. The difference is that the feedback is more real when it is captured from different perspectives and from different people.

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This column is © copyright to and originally appeared in their weekly project management tip newsletter.

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