Advantages of 360-degree Systems
360-degrees feedback systems refer to the multi-rater technique that allows colleagues, supervisors and other sources of information to give their opinions as regards a leader or an employee’s overall performance and behavior in an organization. Although this system takes time and more training to conduct, there are far much better outcomes in the end as compared to the traditional methods of acquiring feedback concerning an individual’s performance (O’Boyle, 2013). The feedback provides a basis for the company to make the relevant adjustments to ensure that the whole workforce comes together in pursuit of the organization’s goals and objectives. This system, if implemented correctly, as advised by experts, may be extremely advantageous to a company.
One of the most significant aspects of 360-feedback is its ability to bring people together through the opportunity to dialogue. The technique relies on communication of people regardless of their position at the workplace. This platform allows all employees to feel empowered, and in this way be able to voice out their concerns concerning the way an individual handles particular processes and the specific ways in which they get impacted. The culture of honesty and transparency allows colleagues to feel close to each thereby inspiring them to work together more as they will value collaboration seeing that it makes them more productive (Kanaslan & Iyem, 2016).
360-feedback is also a great way to evaluate a worker’s full strengths and weakness. The fact that they also get the chance to rate their work is equally significant. Through this application, an employee comes to the realization of where they should improve and the areas at which they are most industrious. In this manner, all employees can determine their stronger attributes and where more training is necessary to ensure that the organization utilizes its resources maximally.
Once an employee or a leader is aware of how peers, supervisors and other sources view their behaviors and total contribution, they can devise methods to improve and be better in their roles. 360-feedback, consequently, is a method that boosts an individual’s confidence making them more daring to make contributions in meetings and company fora. Personal development is as important as the growth of the entire organization (Campion et al., 2015). It is the foundation of departmental growth which, in turn, spurs the expansion of the company.
When every employee in an establishment is aware that each member can contribute to the assessment of their performance, they will tend to be more accountable for their actions. Most individuals will react to this realization by improving working relationships with their peers and their supervisors. This working relationship will be crucial especially when there is a need for interdepartmental collaboration in specific projects.
360-degree feedback concerns itself more with the processes in the day to day operations and not outcomes. It focuses on eliminating hurdles in the workplace, thereby allowing for better conditions in the workplace (Campion et al., 2015). Employee personal development, accountability, transparency; all these elements build up to the enhancement of the overall performance, which, is every organization’s primary objective.
Impact of 360-degree Systems on Leadership Style
For the longest time, leaders in the administration level have always had a problem considering feedback from their juniors. However, with the advent of 360-degree structures of assessment, organizations continue to the goldmine of responses that prove valuable in improving the performance of a business. When an administration introduces this technique, leaders become aware of their conduct, especially in identifying with other low-ranking members in the establishment. They become accountable for their actions and try to treat others better with the understanding that an appraisal will uncover all their deeds and misdeeds and, assist the directors in reevaluating their abilities to fulfill the mandates of their positions in leadership.
Theoretically, if a good leader gets responses of their inability to take the lead on critical projects in the company, they may feel the urge to take part in training programs on leadership in project management and enhance their skills (Campion et al., 2015). In light of this, the multi-rater system will be changing their styles and, facilitating their adoption of better and most applicable techniques. Additionally, and, most importantly, a leader may be able to focus more on their strengths and bring out their best to manage initiatives and motivate other members of the firm into becoming more productive.
Also, feedback may be crucial in helping managers determine the type of goals they should select, with careful considerations to their skills, abilities, and behaviors. Although a supervisor’s feedback may be the most valued, it is vital to point out that the sources of responses contribute immensely to the type of leader an individual eventually becomes (London, 2014).
Challenges in the Implementation of the 360-Degree Feedback System.
Granting that the 360-degree tool has far many desirable outcomes, an organization may, however, face challenges in its implementation and maintenance enough to affect the company significantly, if not applied correctly and with enough caution. Firstly, the system requires a massive investment in resources as compared to other more traditional methods. It requires an increased number of experts to administer training on the necessary skills to ensure that all members know their roles and responsibilities in making the system work. The design also needs to be strategic to target the specific establishment’s needs. Questions should not be too negative in design to provide the environment for honest feedback. Items such as “what is Mark’s contribution in this project” will provide less insightful reactions, compared to “what can Mark do to improve his contribution in this initiative.” In light of this, companies should prioritize on the structuring of questionnaires, in the quest to get the most out of every response.
Although designing the system to suit the needs of the company might be taxing, the collection of data might be too time-consuming than what an administration expects. Before implementing this technique, it is imperative that a team of executives fully understand how the extended follow-up and the initial process of gathering information might be. It might also take them too much time, effort and money, to deliberate upon the issues raised by the responses and ways of acting upon them to support the reason as to why the company uses the tool in the first place. An establishment should be ready to provide the necessary guidance to employees in terms of training programs and workshops to facilitate the improvement of suggested areas (Kanaslan & Iyem, 2016). Until an organization considers all of these factors, it will be impossible for it to realize the full benefits of the 360-degree System.
Unfortunately, the multi-rater structure relies upon the collaboration of employees and the honesty in their feedback. Other members of the workforce may turn this into a method of achieving vengeance by responding negatively about a colleague, while others might be misleadingly positive. A company can prevent this by providing enough training and internal preparation on why it is vital for them to respond truthfully. Also, it may be challenging if the consultancy agency does not fulfill its mandate of protecting the confidentiality of the raw data, thereby disclosing the results to employees. This disastrous scenario may cultivate an undesirable culture of vindictiveness, instead of that characterized by objectivity and transparency.
Most administrations use this technique to explore the strengths and weaknesses in their workforces so that they can divide labor in a more specialized manner. However, it may be detrimental if executives only focus on individuals’ weaknesses instead of their weakness. Conflict may arise if a company unhealthily concentrates on an employee’s incapability to speak in front of others, and chooses to ignore their proficiency in time management and organizational skills. It, therefore, means that a company should be able to balance the results from the 360-degree System to reap the guarantee best outcomes (Campion et al., 2015).
Sources of Information within the 360-Degrees System.
Unlike traditional methods of assessment, the multi-rater system uses more than four sources of information to help in the gathering of information necessary for the adequate evaluation of an employee. The first noteworthy source is the individual’s colleagues otherwise known as peers. This group consists of individuals on the same professional level as the personnel up for evaluation. They are the most significant as they are closest to the worker and can provide accurate information as regards his or her day to day activities in the workplace. Peers can also motivate each other through honest feedback, and this would benefit not only the individual but also the organization in general (London, 2014).
Supervisors are a traditional source of information. This group is critical as they have the necessary training necessary to monitor the progress of personnel and discover their strengths and weaknesses. Here senior managers evaluate workers on their delivery as individuals and also their ability to work in groups. This form also enables the company to know whether the employee involved is achieving targets and fulfilling the roles and responsibilities laid out for their positions.
Another source that serves as a valuable addition to the 360-degree system is the employee subject to evaluation. Self-rating is essential to set the ground for the acceptance of the responses that the appraisal may generate. During the process of self-evaluation, an employee realizes that it is virtually impossible to expect a ten over ten scorecards. This scenario guarantees the organization of an acceptable reaction especially when there is a high chance of criticism on the individual’s behavior and performance.
Subordinates allow a company to get honest feedback as regards how the team leader, supervisor, or manager identifies with those under his or her authority. It is imperative that junior workers have the opportunity to voice their concerns regarding the manager’s ability to work with others. Traditionally, however, companies could not bring themselves to let juniors contribute in the evaluation regardless of the potential benefits.
External sources like clients and suppliers may also prove valuable. Here, an organization may be able to discover misconduct in the running of departments of completing assigned tasks. This group may also reveal better ways with which an establishment can improve their services, either in quality, quantity or delivery. For either reason, a company will be able to make use of external stakeholder’s responses and improve its overall performance (Kanaslan & Iyem, 2016).
The future looks bright for 360-degree Systems especially with the development of easily customizable applications and software that aid companies in becoming more organized and, reducing the amount of paperwork needed for adequate appraisal. Computer-based assessment allows for sources to input data at the time of their convenience and also accepts the inclusion of projects success and targets as inputs. These modernized applications come with customizable templates with suggestions on behaviors necessary for the successful completion of projects, how to rate effectiveness with the use of scales, and, automatically generated calendars on relevant review dates.
Campion, M. C., Campion, E. D., & Campion, M. A. (2015). Improvements in performance management through the use of 360 feedback. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 8(1), 85-93.
Kanaslan, E. K., & Iyem, C. (2016). Is 360 Degree Feedback Appraisal an Effective Way of Performance Evaluation?. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 6(5), 172-182.
London, M. (2014). The power of feedback: Giving, seeking, and using feedback for performance improvement. Routledge.
O’Boyle, I. (2013). Traditional performance appraisal versus 360-degree feedback (Doctoral dissertation, Emerald Group Publishing Limited).