An appraisal made by top management, immediate superior, peers, subordinates, self and customers is called 360 Degree Appraisal. Here, the performance of the employee or manager is evaluated by six parties, including himself. So, he gets a feedback of his performance from everyone around him. This method is very reliable because evaluation is done by many different parties. These parties are in the best position to evaluate the employee or manager because they are continuously interacting and working with him. This method is mostly used to evaluate the performance of the employees. However, it is also used to evaluate other qualities such as talents, behaviour, values, ethical standards, tempers, loyalty, etc.
360 degree appraisal was first developed by General Electric (GE), USA in 1992. Today it is used by all major organizations. In India, it is used by Crompton Greaves, Wipro, Infosys, Reliance Industries, etc.
Six Parties In 360 Degree Appraisal
The six parties involved in 360 degree appraisal are :
- Top Management
The top management normally evaluates the middle level managers. However, in a small organization, they also evaluate the performance of the lower level managers and senior employees.
- Immediate Superior
The immediate superior is in a very good position to evaluate the performance of his subordinates. This is because they have direct and accurate information about the work performance of their subordinates.
- Peers / Co-workers
Peer or colleagues also evaluate each other’s performance. They work continuously with each other, and they know each other’s performance. Peer evaluation is used mostly in cases where team work is important.
The Subordinates can also evaluate the performance of his superior. Now-a-days students are asked to evaluate the performance of their teachers.
- Self Appraisal
In the self-appraisal, a person evaluates his own performance. He should be honest while evaluating himself. This results in self-development.
Customers can also evaluate the performance of the employees who interacts with them. This evaluation is best because it is objective. It is also given a lot of importance because the customer is the most important person for the business. Organizations use customer appraisals to improve the strengths and remove the weaknesses of their employees.
In addition to these six parties, appraisal can also be done by an Appraisal Panel. This panel consists of 5 to 6 different types of members. Outside Consultants are also used for conducting appraisals. In some cases, Personnel Department also conducts an appraisal of employees and managers.
360 Degree Appraisal is becoming more popular because many parties are available for evaluation. Therefore, there is no “bias” or “halo effect”. Hence the evaluation will become more realistic.