Ed Llarena, Jr.
Owner/ Managing Partner
Afolabi Ajayi
Hr/mktg Consultant
Hr Associate Manager
+1 Other


360 Performance Appraisal

Unlike, the traditional top-down appraisal where a supervisor appraises the performance of their subordinate, 360 Performance Appraisal incorporates multiple perspectives by using feedback from a variety of sources. These sources include peers, subordinates, customers, self, and supervisor.

May be called multi-source feedback, mult-rater feedback, multi-level feedback, upward appraisal, peer review.

The results of this type of feedback process provide an understanding how how the employee is perceived from different perspectives. This process helps an individual understand how others perceive them.

Feedback is essential to facilitating performance improvements. Feedback allows people to utilize their strengths to their advantage. Feedback informs employees which actions create problems for others and to know what changes may be needed.

360 Performance Appraisal: Uses

Uses for 360 Performance Appraisal include:

· Employee Development

· Performance Appraisal

· Performance Management

· Training Needs Assessment

· Evaluation of Training

· Attitude Survey

· Organizational Climate Survey

· Customer Satisfaction Survey

This process can also be a motivator of performance since it shows the employee that their opinions and views are considered important.


May improve service to customers if they are able to offer feedback to the employee. 360 Performance Appraisal offers a more complete picture of the employee's performance. This feedback can provide guidance on skills that an employee may need to develop.

How it is conducted.

1. Develop questionnaire A questionnaire used for 360 Performance Appraisal typically contains items that are rated on a 5 point scale. These items may be developed to measure different dimensions of job performance (e.g., communication, teamwork, leadership, initiative, judgment, ...). Questionnaires also typically include one or more open-ended questions to solicit written feedback.

Questionnaires typically include from 50 to 100 items. When estimating the amount of time to complete the questionnaire you should estimate about 1 minute per questionnaire item.

If using a printed questionnaire form, you should consider using forms that can be scanned into a computer.

2. Ensure confidentiality of participants Steps must be taken to ensure the confidentiality of the feedback results. For example, feedback ratings from several subordinates may be combined (averaged) to mask the identity of an individual subordinate. Comments or written answers to questions may be summarized in the results to mask the identity of the author. The confidentiality helps ensure that the results are genuine.

3. Provide training/orientation Often the feedback process involves use of one or more questionnaires, confidential information, and involvement from many different areas of an organization. Therefore, training and orientation to the feedback process is needed to facilitate a smooth feedback process. During this training/orientation, employees should be informed of what 360 Performance Appraisal is and why it is being implemented at your organization. You may want to provide samples of the questionnaire items and/or feedback results.

4. Administer the feedback questionnaire Distribute questionnaire forms (if using printed copies) with instructions. May want to prepare answers to common questions if other employees will be assisting in the administration. If possible, post the questions and answers to your web site for easy access.

It is important to monitor the progress through the system in order to contact employees who need to complete forms.

5. Analyze the data Basic data analysis would include averages of ratings. More complicated analyses may include item-analysis and/or factor-analysis. Types of analyses include: Performance Dimension Summary; Summary-Performance vs. Expected; Individual Item Ratings; Item Ratings-Performance vs. Expected (normed); Highest- or Lowest-Rated Items (shows individual's strengths and weaknesses); Group & Organizational Ranking, and Recommendations for Development.

You may want to analyze the data by organizational division or department to assess group and organizational strengths and weaknesses. This can be used to support or promote training and organizational development.

6. Develop and Distribute Results Feedback results should be shared with the employee. It should not be mandatory that the employee share the results with their supervisor. However, you may want to make this an optional part of the performance review of the employee.

Most results for an employee will include a comparison of their ratings to the ratings of their supervisor and and average of the ratings from others (peers, customers...). The comparisons may be in the form of numbers or simple bar charts.

You may want to provide individual review sessions or group workshops conducted by a facilitator to help individuals review and understand the results and develop appropriate goals and objectives.


Responses are collected for items that fall under a specific dimension of job performance. A single questionnaire may contain dozens of questions that measure responses on one or more dimensions. Example dimensions are shown below.

· Problem Solving Items under this dimension measure how well a person can understand information and options, give appropriate considerations to information, make correct decisions, analyze and interpret information, and react to changing situations.

· Planning and Organizing Items under this dimension measure a person's ability to develop plans and objectives, develop long-term solutions, set business objectives adhere to schedules.

· Communication Items under this dimension measure the ability to present information formally and informally in both written and orally. Also measures the ability to communicate with customers, staff, peers and supervisors.

· Supervisory Skills Measures the individual's skill level in planning, organizing and overseeing the work of subordinates. Also measures a person's ability to manage work flow efficiently.

· Administrative Skills Measures an individual's ability to implement and monitor actions to ensure compliance with policies and regulations. Also helps identify the ability to distribute information, allocate staff and maintain records or documents.

· Business Control Measure the skill in, and concern for, controlling expenses, reducing costs, setting performance standards and reviewing budgets.

· Manager Potential Index A measure of the composite score of the scales reflecting an individual\'s overall ability to successfully perform management tasks.


A 360 Performance Appraisal process requires a coordinated effort to collect hundreds, or even thousands, of pieces of data. In addition, the validity of the results is enhanced by ensuring confidentiality of the participants.

The survey administration may require time (to complete the questionnaires) and computer resources to analyze the data.
6th June 2004 From India, Gurgaon
You need to be very careful with how to use the 360. I have seen many organizations embrace it for the value it is expected to provide but dump it after the first pass becuse the organization was not ready to handle the output.
9th July 2004 From India, Mumbai

To me, the 360 Degree Appraisal is not an employee Performance Evaluation tool or system but only a method or an APPROACH on how to do employee evaluation. Its importance lies in its reminder that "feedback from others" surrounding the employee (hence 360 degree) is better or more important than the traditional feedback from the immediate supervisor.

But this method does not give you the tool or form to use. As a matter of fact, it is quite impossible to have a good tool for this method because the other people that are targetted to provide feedback may not be privy to the Job Content, KRA/ KPI, and Performance Plan agreed by the employee and his/ her immediate superior for a certain performance period.

Morover, how do you put a weight on the feedback of others within the entire system? Can their feedback have more weight than the evaluation of the immediate superior who is with the employee most of the time? Will others have time to sit down and understand the PA system that the company is using? If this other is a customer, will he/ she be willing to defend his/ her ratings should the employee question it?

The critical elements in Performance Appraisal are: 1) Performance Plan, 2) Performance Review, Evaluation & Rating, 3) Performance Feedback, 4) Performance Improvement Planning, and 5) Performance Recognition, Rewards, and/ or Sanction.

Best wishes.

Ed Llarena, Jr.

Managing Partner

Emilla Consulting

10th July 2004 From Philippines, Parañaque
Dear Colleagues,

I would add to what Ed has said in respect of the 360 degrees Appraisal Method.

Fine, it is another concept in trying to detect bias or prejudice in the area of Perfomance Management and Employee Evaluation.

The flaw inherent would be the time frame of getting feedback from all the parties Appraising a particular employee-for insatnce a Marketing Staff would need a few customers/clients to make available their input for the supervising officer of the Appraisee.

It should be noted that third parties, that is those not within the internal business environment may not be able to interprete the evalution instruments and hence application may be faulty.

Another issue to be looked at is from the angle of probably getting a seemingly balanced evaluation from the different input from all parties appraising, especsially internally.

For instance a supervising officer puts in information on an individual, a junior officer does, a customer does and probably a few others he relates with add their input-at the end of the day diverse opinion would have been gathered and an objective deduction may be arrived at.

Well lets see it grow as a concept and eventually fine tuned for Practitioners to use and probably come up with betters ways of applying same.

26th October 2004 From Nigeria, Lagos
Is 360 degree appraisal popular among organisations in India? If so, which sectors are using this? (Ex: IT, ITES, Banking etc)
27th January 2006 From India, Madras
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