Rethink the Effects of 360 Performance Reviews

Performance reviews have been highly scrutinized lately, with their effectiveness being heavily questioned. As talent leaders, what’s the best way to make these reviews a success for the business and for the individual? A recent article from Talent author Daniel Margolis points out the right direction for this process.

The most controversial of performance reviews is known as the “360 performance review”, taking criticisms from everyone in the working environment can be a little overwhelming. If the information is not processed and handled correctly, the results could be detrimental to the employee and the business. There’s an initial chain reaction of emotion that can explode if the individual is not mature enough to process the information in a positive manner and make some changes to their work behaviors.

Becoming mature enough to handle these criticisms can take time. To help reduce the amount of time it takes to gradually mature to this stage, try offering employees a ‘360 debriefing’ beforehand. Let the employee know that the information is being given to them in an effort to enhance their work behaviors and that support from within can be given to them if need be.

For companies that do still find value in the process, talent leaders’ first step toward success with 360s is to determine who to ask what. There may be unique aspects of an employee’s performance that only certain parties are qualified to evaluate. For instance, peers are not going to know how good a manager is to direct reports beyond second-hand information.

Asking the right questions when conducting 360s is the most important aspect of making the process worthwhile. The biggest goal of 360s is to focus on future betterment and growth, do not look at the past. Even though 360s are evaluating an individual’s past performance, the ultimate goal is to improve future performance. Also note that performance 360s are a very different process than behavioral 360s, so be sure to define your quest. Performance has already been done … therefore, focusing on behavioral 360s are more beneficial so that behavior can be adjusted and can create a new, forward-thinking and positive influence.

How does technology effect 360s? In essence, it really doesn’t help. It may make the process easier, but it doesn’t make the process any more efficient. Another thing to consider is the timing of the process. Some organizations give a 360 within six months of working at the company whereas others are on an annual basis. Decide what’s best for your organization, but be sure that however you time the process, it’s to enhance the future of the business and the individual. To read more about how to execute effective 360s within your organization, click here to read the full article.

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