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Thinking of using 360-degree appraisals? Beware of these four drawbacks

by , 08 July 2014
A 360-degree appraisal is a process where you get different views about your employee's performance from co-workers who are affected by it and who are in the best position to give you feedback.

You can, for example, get feedback from his line manager, his peers, customers or suppliers.

While a 360-degree appraisal offers significant benefits (for example, it provides a more objective approach), you should also beware of its disadvantages so you can find ways to overcome them and continue to get the most out of this method.

Read on to find out the four drawbacks of using a 360-degree appraisal.

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Four drawbacks of a 360-degree appraisal

According to the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management, the potential disadvantages of the 360-degree appraisal are that:

#1: It takes up more of the company's resources, because more people are involved in the appraisal process.

#2: It takes up more of the line manager's time, as he must gather and integrate everyone's feedback.

This is especially true if:

  • The line manager has to hold one-on-one interviews; and
  • Your company doesn't use a questionnaire or a computerised system to get feedback.

#3: Your employees may be sceptical about the process.

If, for example, you implement the new appraisal method together with another company intervention (e.g. companywide restructuring) that has potential negative implications (e.g. retrenchments), appraisers might not be as positive about your new methods.

#4: Some appraisers might not be as honest with their feedback if they know you'll link it to important organisational decisions (e.g. pay, promotions) rather than development planning.

So is there a way to overcome the disadvantages of 360-degree appraisals?

The Practical Guide to Human Resources Management says you can avoid these 360-degree appraisal drawbacks or minimise the negative impact by carefully considering the design and practical implementation of your appraisal system.

Now that you know about the 360-degree appraisal drawbacks, find ways to overcome them so you'll continue to reap the benefits 360-degree appraisal has to offer.

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