360° degree reviews are complex, multi-layered assessments that allow employees to receive performance feedback from coworkers, peers, and direct reports instead of managers alone. While the 360° review process is growing in popularity, there’s no single approach to this complex review model, and each organization can customize the process to fit the infrastructure, needs, and culture of a given workplace.
For example, some organizations assign a specific set of 360° reviewers to each employee undergoing assessment. Others allow the employee to choose his or her own panel of reviewers from a long list of managers, directors, underlings, team members, and peers. Consider some of the pros and cons of each method.
Choosing 360° Reviewers: Yes
Allowing employees to choose their own panel of 360° reviewers can provide a direct path to the feedback an employee specifically needs and wants in order to excel at her work. For example, the opinions and assessments of her personal mentor, a role model, or an especially honest direct report can have more value to the employee than the opinions of others. 360° reviews can be expensive and time consuming, but allowing the employee to choose her own reviewers can make feedback more meaningful, which means greater efficiency and a more cost effective process.
Choosing 360° Reviewers: No
Allowing an employee to choose his own reviewers can water down the value of the review, since he’s likely to simply choose reviewers who will give favorable feedback or demonstrate positive but unhelpful bias. If employees can select only friends and supporters to provide the feedback they need to reach their goals, the feedback may not be as honest or as meaningful, which can push these goals further out of reach. In the meantime, as mentioned above, 360° reviews are expensive, and some employers would rather control costs by keeping reviewer selection lean and random.
What do we suggest? A bit of both worlds. Giving employees the ability to nominate raters while also allowing managers and HR to nominate 360° raters can result in a great pool of 360° feedback to contribute to an employee’s appraisal.
To learn more about emPerform’s 360° review capabilities, including peer and manager nomination, visit: https://employee-performance.com/360reviews