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What is a 360-degree performance appraisal?

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A 360-degree performance appraisal is an employee evaluation tool that includes feedback from a supervisor, subordinates, colleagues and customers. The purpose is to create a broader view of the employee's performance based on the impact of relationships with key stakeholders, according to an article by Terri Linman posted on San Diego State University's website.

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What is a 360-degree performance appraisal?
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Full Answer

The supervisor's assessment is similar to a top-down evaluation. The manager shares feedback on the employee's performance toward work goals and development of skills, notes Linman. For a manager, feedback from subordinates is helpful in recognizing strengths and weaknesses in leading and motivating workers. Colleagues can share insights on whether an employee is a team player or whether the worker is performing up to department standards. Input from customers or clients is especially useful in a customer-centric organization. If customers are not satisfied, the employee may need additional training or strategies.

The primary benefit of the 360-degree appraisal is its rounded perspective on the employee's performance. It minimizes the potential of a biased evaluation from a single supervisor. Steve Taylor for the Society for Human Resource Management notes that 360-degree appraisals may cause morale problems if poorly managed. When a company ties compensation and promotions to this type of appraisal system, risks include team conflict and misplaced goals. One strategy is to simply use it for feedback and communication purposes.

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