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Dear Members,
On one of the WA groups, Administrator of the forum has brought a topic for discussion. Today's topic is 360 Degree and 720 Degree Appraisal. Following are the questions that he has raised:
How is 720 degree feedback different from 360 degree feedback?
What steps or procedure is followed in implementing these methods?
Is the outcome satisfactory and how?
I have given replies to his questions. My replies are as below:
Dear Rajaram,
Introduction of 360 degree appraisal in the organisation is no easy task. 360 degree appraisal is for matured organisations and also for matured employees. 360 degree appraisal requires stabilisation of the systems and processes in the organisation. We need to define the objectives for every single department of your company. Secondly, organisation needs to have audit system to check whether all the departments follow their systems and procedures? I say so because there could be flawed system in the organisation but because of the 360 degree appraisal, this flaw could be attributed to the manager. This is a bigger risk!
360 degree appraisal requires identification of the competencies. Few companies also call it as "Competency Mapping". These competencies could be functional/technical and of people management. Once the competencies are identified, The next task is identifying the level of the competency the individual has attained. The various are like "Beginner", "Learner", "Advanced", "Expert". Now my question is if the appraiser does not have a level of "Expert" in particular competency, then is he/she eligible to appraise someone else? Allowing to do so is yet another big risk of 360 degree appraisal!
Going further, you have asked question on difference between 360 degree and 720 degree appraisal! The question could have been valid provided most of the the organisations would have settled in 360 degree appraisal. However, what is the industrial scenario? Unfortunately, large number of organisations are still grappling with the issues related to good old Personnel Management!
My simple logic is how many organisations have stabilised their process for traditional performance appraisal? If the fault-lines exist there itself, then why crave for such jargon? This is an important point to moot. 720 degree appraisal is for the companies that are on another planet!
Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
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