Everything You Want To Know About 360-Degree Performance Appraisal

performance appraisal

Any organization runs by its employees and hence the job satisfaction is the most important aspect from a company point of view. For an employee, the only salary is not a factor that can motivate him. There are also other factors such as growth in position and knowledge as well as the feel of self-esteem that make him important for the organization. Hence every organization prefers to have a sound appraisal system that can help to evaluate the performance of the employee rightly and offer him raise in salary as well as a designation. It is a complete circle system which is used to obtain info about an employee’s performance from the subordinates, peers, self, internal,and external customers.

In human resources, 360-degree performance appraisal is also known as multi-rater feedback,multi-source assessment, multi-source assessment, 360 degree feedback, or full circle feedback.

Seldom 360-degree performance appraisal includes direct feedback from a recruit’s co-workers, supervisors, and peers,as well as from self-evaluation. It may also include, in various cases, feedback from sources that are from external parties like suppliers and customers or some other interested stakeholders.

Employees view various information from a number of the source as accurate, credible, fair, and motivating 360-degree performance appraisal improves the performance measures quality with the use of multi-raters which provides a comprehensive and balanced view.

The information is more valid, reliable, and credible because a provider regularly interacts with an employee at work. 360-degree performance appraisals help the Human Resource Department to have a better understanding of competitive disadvantages and advantages of a company’s current manpower resources so that they are tuned to achieve better performing excellence and productivity.

Whose feedback should be considered for 360-degree performance appraisals?

Following are the positions/authorities whose feedback may be considered while deciding 360-degree performance appraisal of an employee.

  • Subordinates.
  • Peers.
  • Managers (i.e. superior).
  • Team members.
  • Customers.
  • Suppliers/ vendors.
  • Any person who is in contact with an employee and is able to provide important insights and information.

Integral components of the 360-degree appraisal

A 360-degree appraisal consists of 5 integral components:

1. Self-appraisal

2. Superior’s appraisal

3. Subordinate’s appraisal

4. Peer appraisal

5. External Sources (Customers and Clients)

This method does not only provide feedback from various viewpoints but also minimizes the prejudice problems that are intrinsic to evaluations.

The number of appraisers an employee has, more likely the prejudiced nature of a rater will tend to revoke the other one out, hence providing the accurate, complete, and honest picture of an employee.

  1. Self-appraisal

Self-appraisal is a very crucial part involved in the process of Performance appraisal in which an employee gives him/herself feedback or his/her point and views related to his/her performance. More often this is done with the help of a form called self-appraisal form where an employee would rate him or herself on a number of parameters, also tells about her or his training needs, if required. This gives a chance to an employee to look at her/his weakness, strengths, weakness, his or her achievements and would judge his/her own performance.

  • Superior’s appraisal

A superior’s appraisal forms a traditional part of 360-degree performance appraisal in which an employee’s actual performance and responsibilities are rated by an immediate supervisor. 

A superior’s feedback is a great way of evaluating the performance of a subordinate. This is done as they have accurate and direct information about a subordinate’s work performance. This form is strictly restricted and relies on an employee’s supervisor’s judgment.

  • Subordinate appraisal

a subordinate’s appraisal gives a chance to judge an employee on the parameters such as motivating abilities, communication abilities, leadership qualities, superior’s ability to assign work, etc.

  • Peers / Co-workers

Co-workers, colleagues or peers also play an important role in evaluating each other’s performance.These people work together continuously with other and are well aware of each other’s performance. Peer evaluation is most used where teamwork is taken into consideration. Peers also help in finding an employee’s ability in a team, sensitivity towards others and co-operation.

  • External Sources (clients and customers)

A customer who interacts with the company may also assess an employee’s performance. This assessment is considered to be the best as it objective. A lot of significance is given to this evaluation because of the importance is given to the customers and clients for the business. Companies use client’s and customer’s appraisal to help improvise the strength and to remove the weakness of employees.

360-degree appraisals have high involvement of employees and also have the strongest effect on performance and behaviour. A 360-degree performance appraisal is usually found a lot suitable for the managers because of its help in evaluating their managing styles and leadership. Such techniques are effectively used over the world for performance appraisals.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of 360-degree performance appraisals?

Like all other things, this technique has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.


  • Offers a more comprehensive view regarding an employee’s performance.
  • Improves integrity of performance appraisal.
  • Feedback from colleagues helps in strengthening of self-development
  • Increase in an employee’s responsibility towards his/her customers.
  • A mixture of ideas can provide a precise assessment.
  • Gathered opinions from a lot of staff members are persuasive when considering 360 performance appraisals of an employee.
  • Not only managers but also the other colleagues must take the assessments on their staff’s performance.
  • Such feedbacks often motivate undervalued people.
  • The organizational culture of a company becomes honest because of this process of performance appraisal.


  • This process takes much time and is complex to administer.
  • Extension of feedback exchange may cause trouble and tension to various staff members.
  • This process requires some training and essential efforts to achieve competent work.
  • Figuring out results can be very hard sometimes.
  • If not dealt carefully and smoothly, feed backs can be useless.
  • Imposes environmental suspicion if the assessment is not open and managed honestly.


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