The Use of 360-Degree Feedback in Performance Appraisals Essay

The Use of 360-Degree Feedback in Performance Appraisals Essay.


The focus of this essay will be “The Use of 360-degree feedback in performance appraisals”. My understanding of 360 degree feedback is that it gives employees feedback from the people they work around, including managers, peers, customers and even suppliers. It measures behaviours and competencies and provides feedback on how others perceive an employee it also addresses employers if employees are not up to scratch and if not what can be done to improve them.

From researching 360 degree feedback one can see what it is used for, one now can understand that 360 degree feedback is used to get full feedback for an employee by getting feedback from above, below and around the employee it can be a positive thing if carried out correctly it can help improve team work by seeing what other employees think and what the employee is doing wrong.

It can also be a negative thing if the employee takes it the wrong way as they might think other employees don’t like them which could lead to a lot of dentition.

There are alot of advantages and disadvantages of using 360 degree feedback in performance appraisals. Some of the advantages are combined opinions which gives a well rounded view which can be more accurate, skills such as leadership, are best judged by people below a manger instead of above, also if there is a problem with an employee it can be difficult to ignore when expressed by a number of colleagues, it can help improve a company’s performance.

While the disadvantages of using 360 degree feedback in performance appraisal first of all its time consuming and costly, the technique is often restricted to management levels, results can often be destroyed by organisational politics or culture, 360 degree feedback can be destructive unless handled carefully and sensitively, it can also generate an environment of suspicion unless managed openly. These are just a number of advantages and disadvantages which go along with 360 degree feedback.

This essay will focus on the advantages given to businesses from the use of 360-degree feedback in performance appraisals it will show how companies can improve their performance by using 360 degrees feedback. It will also show how 360 degree feedback can go wrong and have a negative effect on companies by making employees being paranoid if not carried out correctly.

Main Body

The key to successful business is talented staff members which can lead a business to high profits this is why companies use 360 degree feedback to find those employees in a company and reward them by promotion or bonus to keep these talented employees in there company. “We have been gathering information on our financial and service performance since day one, says Michael Weinholtz, CHG president and CEO. But we knew that overall business success is an outcome of more than just operational performance. We are a business that is based on people. Our ability to attract, motivate, manage, and retain talented employees is key to the company’s bottom line, and we knew that we needed a way to measure those factors.

CHG discovered that 360-degree feedback provided an effective way to measure individual strengths and areas for development. Coupled with regular employee engagement surveys, this overall feedback offered some enlightening information.” Maylett, T. M., & Riboldi, J. (2007). Using 360° Feedback to Predict Performance. Training + Development, September, 48–52. This shows us how 360 degree feedback is a very key tool to a business if carried out right it can find key employees in a business and make sure they are rewarded for there hard work. This is a great advantage to business in a competitive market.

Smither et al. (2005) suggest, “We therefore think that it is time for researchers and practitioners to ask, ‘Under what conditions and for whom is multisource feedback likely to be beneficial?’ (rather than asking ‘Does multisource feedback work?’) (p. 60).” This is another advantage to companies using 360 degree feedback as they are finding out what employees are best benefiting there company but this might not be an advantage for employees even though it might point out if an employee might not be up to scratch and what can be done to fix this but it might point out to employers that this person might not be fit for their job and should be replaced by someone else which could be a negative thing it could be a disinvite for employees to participate in 360 degree feedback.

The Use of 360-degree feedback in performance appraisals has been seen to help improve the performance of employees by identifying there weakness and putting in place the correct procedures to strenght their weaknesses and the companies performance. There has been “Several studies (Hazucha et al., 1993; London & Wohlers, 1991; Walker & Smither, 1999) indicate that the use of 360-degree feedback helps people improve performance. In a 5-year Walker and Smither (1999) study, no improvement in overall ratings was found between the 1st and 2nd year, but higher scores were noted between 2nd and 3rd and 3rd and 4th years. A study by Reilly et al. (1996) found that performance increased between the 1st and 2nd administrations, and sustained this improvement 2 years later.

Additional studies show that 360 feedback may be predictive of future performance (Maylett & Riboldi, 2007)”. This shows how 360 degree feedback can be a great advantage to improve performance in a company. While on the other hand some people think that 360 degree feedback does not work at all and does not improve companies performance. That it gives a bad vibe in a company by other employees ranking each other and every one acting different.”there is no data showing that [360-degree feedback] actually improves productivity, increases retention, decreases grievances, or is superior to forced ranking and standard performance appraisal systems. It sounds good, but there is no proof it works.” (Pfau & Kay, 2002)Similarly, Seifert, Yukl, and McDonald (2003) state that there is little evidence that the multi-rater process results in change.

Aonother disadvantage to 360 degree feedback is that the results of the 360 degree feedback might not reflect the employee at all and that there supervisor might have rated the employee different to what employees under the employee think of them. There has been additional studies (Maylett, 2005) found no correlation between an employee’s multi-rater assessment scores and his or her top-down performance appraisal scores (provided by the person’s supervisor), and advised that although multi-rater feedback can be effectively used for appraisal, care should be taken in its implementation (Maylett, 2009).

This research suggests that 360-degree feedback and performance appraisals get at different outcomes, and that both 360-degree feedback and traditional performance appraisals should be used in evaluating overall performance ( Tracy M, 2009). As some aspects of job perfomance such as work effort, work initiative and work quality these are difficult to assess objectively eg sales person might have high sale but might be to pushy and manipulative that customers are unlikely to return to the shop this is hard to measure in company unless getting a survey off the customers this is why 360 degree feedback is a good advantage to see how a business is doing.


After researching the use of 360 degree feedback in performance appraisal and after looking at both advantages and disadvantages it has showed that the use of 360 degree in performance appraisal is a great advantage to a business first of all it can improve a business performance by finding the weakness of its staff and identifying there strengths. This helps the performance of business by improving their weakness and using there strengths to business advantage. (Hazucha et al., 1993; London & Wohlers, 1991; Walker & Smither, 1999) This also finds out if employees are not up to scratch and need additional training or if an employee has a hidden talent which would benefit the business.

Companies may be predictive of future performance by using 360 degree feedback, there was studies done to prove this by (Maylett & Riboldi, 2007). This a great advantage for companies to be able to look into the future. A disadvantage to 360 degree feedback is that it can cause a bad vibe within a company but part from that one could think it is a very use full tool which a company can use in performance appraisal and would be well worth implementing 360 degree feedback in performance appraisal, to improve the performanceof a company.

Hazucha, J. F., Hezlett, S. A., & Schneider, R. J. (1993). The impact of 360-degree feedback on management skills development. Human Resource Management, 32(2–3), 325–351. Maylett, T. M., & Riboldi, J. (2007). Using 360° Feedback to Predict Performance. Training + Development, September, 48–52. Maylett, Tracy (2005). The Relationship Of Multi-rater
Feedback To Traditional Performance Appraisal. Doctoral Dissertation, Pepperdine University, Los Angeles, California. Maylett, Tracy (2009). 360-Degree Feedback Revisited: The transition from development to appraisal. Compensation and Benefits Review, September/October 41(5), 52–59 Pfau, B. & Kay, I. (2002). Does 360-degree feedback negatively affect company performance? Studies show that 360-degree feedback may do more harm than good. What’s the problem? HRMagazine, Jun 2002. 47, 6; 54–60. Reilly, R., Smither, J.W., & Vasilopoulos, N. (1996). A longitudinal study of upward feedback. Personnel Psychology, 49(3), 599–612. Seifert, C., Yukl, G., & McDonald, R. (2003). Effects of multisource feedback and a feedback facilitator on the influence of behavior of managers toward subordinates. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(3), 561–569. Smither, J.W., London, M., and Reilly, R.R. (2005). Does performance improve following multisource feedback? A theoretical model, meta-analysis and review of empirical findings. Personnel Psychology, 58, 33–66. Maylett, Tracy M., EdD, Pepperdine Univ, 2005 Abstract, Retrieved May 15 2009. Walker, A., & Smither, J.W. (1999). A five-year study of upward feedback: What managers do with their results matters. Personnel Psychology, 52(2), 393–423

The Use of 360-Degree Feedback in Performance Appraisals Essay