Should 360 Degree Feedback Be Linked To Performance Reviews?

by Kylee Stone Jan 12,2016

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

Organizations will always demand improved performance and results from their employees, no matter what. Experts have come up with many new approaches like performance reviews and 360 degree feedback in order for employees to boost their performance and meet their organizational goals.

Now-a-days these approaches are being used in most organizations, across all sectors. But the usage of 360 feedback is still misunderstood in many places.

360 feedback is a very important tool for any organization, but if not used properly it can have negative impact on the entire organization. In this article we explain to you if 360 feedback should or shouldn’t be linked to performance reviews.

Performance Reviews v/s 360 Feedback

Performance review is a process to measure and evaluate the performance of your employees and it can also be used to gather feedback from superior employees. Performance reviews help employees to get an understanding of how to improve their individual performances.  They give employees a clear direction to work towards.

Also Read: Best Performance Review Tips You Will Read This Year

On the other hand, 360 feedback is a tool which helps employees learn about themselves and grow as professionals. It doesn’t measure employee performance. 360 feedback allows employees to provide feedback to their peers as well as superiors on their competencies, interpersonal behaviors or their job conduct.

Now that we know what these two tools are actually meant for, let us see how the picture looks when we link 360 feedback to performance.

People usually tend to think that multiple opinions are better than one. This thinking leads to the linkage of 360 feedback and performance.

Performance reviews are designed to evaluate employees and associate their performance with the organizational goals. 360 feedback is exclusively designed to measure interpersonal behavior, skills and competencies. When these two different tools are linked, they can’t focus on any one thing in particular about an employee. They set broader, vague goals for employees and leave them puzzled about what to focus on.

If you really want to link both these tools, then one thing that you can do is to create a specific plan for employees and evaluate employees based only on how they meet the goals from the developmental plan. This not only gives you the benefits of having multiple reviews but also allows your employees to excel as professionals as they now act on goals set by multiple people.

Also Read: The Benefits And Challenges of 360 Degree Feedback

But linking these tools together also has few dangers that should be kept in mind. When 360 feedback is linked to performance, the feedback given by peers gains more importance and a culture of monopolizing feedback can possibly arise. Employees only want to get positive feedback from their counterparts, and if they do not, they blame them. This spoils healthy work culture at the office.

So before linking 360 feedback to performance, be sure that you minimize the potential dangers and keep a complete and specific developmental plan for your employees.

Interested in knowing how Engagedly can help you with the 360 feedback process?

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Kylee Stone

Kylee Stone supports the professional services team as a CX intern and psychology SME. She leverages her innate creativity with extensive background in psychology to support client experience and organizational functions. Kylee is completing her master’s degree in Industrial-Organizational psychology at the University of Missouri Science and Technology emphasizing in Applied workplace psychology and Statistical Methods.

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