Get awesome marketing content related to Hiring & L&D in your inbox each week

Stay up-to-date with the latest marketing, sales, and service tips and news

4 Min Read

Simplifying 360 Degree Performance Appraisal Process

The Need for 360 Degree Performance Appraisal Process

Introduction of 360 Degree Performance Appraisal

Effective management of employee performance goes miles in achieving long-term business success. But the practice should not stay restricted to mere rewarding of high performers. Management also implies maintaining and further improving the performance of average employees. Keeping a tab on performance involves making unbiased decisions and treating everyone equally, even if it takes having uncomfortable conversations with the under-performing workforce. Striking this balance is what propels organizations to stay on track with their vision.

22% of employees have called in sick rather than face a performance review.

This was revealed in the TriNet Perform Survey conducted by Wakefield Research on 1000 millennials. The staggering number stands contrary to what performance review conversations are meant to do – help people express and reflect on how they have performed over the past six months or a year. Instead, the reviews become dreadful to the employees.

As the performance appraisal time nears, employees become nervous and prefer avoiding it altogether. In such cases, it becomes the responsibility of human resources to familiarize employees with the feedback software beforehand so that employees can rest assured that the feedback will be used constructively.

One such software that resolves your performance appraisal woes is 360 degree performance evaluation. A majority of companies that focus on employee development use 360 degree performance evaluation to analyze performance and latent potential of staff members. This lets employees map their career trajectory and undertake personal development based on the feedback received from multiple sources. On the other hand, organizations consider the results before taking major decisions regarding employees’ career, annual appraisal, or promotion.

What is the 360 Degree Feedback Appraisal and What is it Used For? 360 degree performance appraisal process is the most comprehensive appraisal where the feedback about the employees’ performance comes from all the sources that come in contact with the employee on his job. This method is being used in Maruti Suzuki Motors and HCL.Source: whatishumanresource.com

Originally used for L&D alone, the use cases of 360 degree performance appraisal method have significantly evolved over the past decade. The popular application of the tool can be found in using the feedback for half-yearly or annual performance appraisal. Whether one agrees with it or not, economic reality has caused an increasing number of organizations to begin using 360 degree performance evaluation for appraisal rather than exclusively for development.

A blog by ClearCompany reveals that 72% of respondents felt that their performance would improve with corrective feedback.

Read Our Blog Pros and Cons of 360 Degree Appraisal to Know More

How do you do a 360 Degree Evaluation?

Adopting 360 degree review other than for performance tracking can become a taxing decision for HRs, especially because of employee resistance. However, it should be remembered that reviews from colleagues other than managers shed light on the overall performance of an employee in relation with different stakeholders.

Research has shown that employee performance drops 10% when ratings are absent from the review process, largely due to the inability of managers to effectively manage talent without ratings.

360 performance reviews are a great way to collect genuine data related to employee performance. Since a number of employees are involved in the rating, the feedback results are reliable and unbiased. However, to further simplify things for you, we have created a short list to help you easily use 360 performance review for appraisals.

1. Reflect on the Culture

Before rolling out the survey in your company, it is very important to be mindful of the existing work culture. If your organization, along with the stakeholders and employees, have not used 360 performance reviews for appraisals before, they will not instantly trust the software. In such a scenario, it is best if 360 degree feedback tool is initially used for developing leaders. Once the staff begins to have trust in the system, you can roll the survey over a period of time so that the culture eventually gets used it with appraisals too.

2. Hold a Briefing Session

Even though this step sounds cliched, it is an important one for familiarizing the organization with something new. Before you expect employees to take up the survey, hold a briefing session where you give pointers as to how to use the tool. This will make the process simpler during implementation. As employees will begin to understand 360 degree performance evaluation software, they will be able to use it better.

3. Communicate the Purpose

You need to be clear in your mind before addressing your employees. Employees will have a number of questions regarding the use of a new tool for performance mapping. There will be apprehensions regarding the reliability of the 360 degree performance appraisal method. To shun all misconceptions away, HRs should clearly communicate the purpose of the exercise – employee development, identification of skill gaps, and data backed performance appraisals. The interactive session will act as an open forum where employees can ask questions one on one.

Read our Blog The Basics of 360 Degree Feedback & Why is it Important in 2019? To Know More

4. Keep the Survey Short

A pre-requisite of making your employees effortlessly and diligently fill the feedback survey is keeping it as concise as possible. Employees will not tend to delay filling the survey if they know that the number of questions that they have to mark candidates on is less. If the survey is a long one and takes an hour or so, there might be a possible delay or hasty and skewed ratings. This will ultimately impact the final report.

5. Pilot the Survey

Testing the survey on a small group of people is the best way to know the long-term implications of 360 degree performance appraisal method for the organization. This will be a chance to figure out the loopholes in the system which can then be improved before actually rolling out the survey at all job levels. As knowing the kind of water one is going to dive in enables swimmers to prepare better, understanding the impact of 360 performance reviews on employees helps employers in taking better employee decisions.

6. Keep the Feedback Anonymous

Keeping the ratings and comments anonymous will save you a lot of trouble. At times, while positive feedback is celebrated, negative feedback is not taken in the right spirit. If feedback seeker knows the opinions of his peers and subordinates, it may infest feelings of contempt between employees. To keep the office environment congenial and healthy, the administration should be careful in keeping the feedback ratings anonymous so that employees don’t take the review personally.

What are the Advantages of 360 Degree Appraisal?

Once used almost strictly for development, 360 performance reviews have proved to be a valuable asset for organizations. The 360 degree performance appraisal method gives an edge over traditional appraisal methods in the following ways:

  • Provides a comprehensive picture of employee performance
  • Measures effectiveness of employees with different sets of people
  • Gives unbiased data-driven reviews
  • Structures your appraisal process
  • Organizations already using the 360 degree feedback tool for development find it a logical step in assessing performance.

The key to the success of 360 degree performance appraisal process is to look at it as a tool to help employees reach their potential. Done right, they can make your workforce a highly motivated group of people who are ready to do whatever it takes to get better—including acknowledging their mistakes. Organizations that implement 360 performance reviews for their appraisal process report higher levels of completion, fairer evaluations, increased accountability, more personal growth, and a more open corporate culture.

How Mercer | Mettl Can Help?

Mercer | Mettl has a one-stop solution for all your 360 degree performance evaluation needs. It offers 3 effective tools to evaluate employee’s potential and abilities. They are listed below:

Objectives of 360 Degree Performance Appraisal

Performance Appraisal

The evaluation tool provides you overall employees’ perspective in the form of a seamless platform, intuitive reports, and customizable surveys.

  • Seamless Platform: Eliminates operational hassles from the 360 degree evaluation and appraisal process by the quick set-up, effortless administration, and automated reminders.
  • Intuitive Reports: Mercer | Mettl helps in preparing beautiful reports and dashboards with clear and actionable information. It consists of comprehensive feedback reports, group reports, and easy-to-understand dashboards.
  • Customizable Survey: It helps you customize questions to competencies to reports. Mercer | Mettl will help you build custom questionnaires, an exhaustive competency library, and multiple question types.

You can visit the link for more details on Performance Appraisal.

Training Needs Identification

The assessment tool helps in identifying gaps in the behavioral traits of an employee as perceived by other stakeholders.

It Is Divided into 3 Pillars:

Why to Train

Mercer | Mettl identifies and develop key competencies in employees to achieve business goals

Who to Train

It helps in identifying the skill gap for each employee based on the competency levels

What to Train

It helps in designing a customized training plan based on individual skill gaps and training needs

Apart from that Mercer | Mettl helps you in curating the right training program for your organization. It is divided into 3 parts:

Skill-based: It helps in identifying employee’s unique skill sets required to succeed in every job role and function.

Behavior-based: It identifies behavioral gaps that needs to be worked upon employees. They are basically the dominant predictor for most roles.

Future-Proofing: It augments the learning agility within the organization by identifying upcoming skills to develop in the workforce.

For more details on this, visit the link.

Succession Planning

This tool understands behavioral dynamics observed on-the-job and improves the developmental steps.

Mercer | Mettl can help you plan Succession Planning in the following way:

  • Identify: It defines key competencies required to succeed in critical roles and nominate candidates.
  • Assess: Valid and reliable tools such as Psychometric, Aptitude Assessment, Assessment and Development Centers, and 360 Degree Performance Evaluation is used to assess candidate readiness on key competencies.
  • Plan: Customized reports are used to shortlist the suitable candidates for succession.
  • Act: There is a check on the growth of selected candidates.


Implementing 360 degree performance appraisal method in organizations is a smart investment and a business decision as it promotes self-awareness and creates transparency in communications. The feedback tool creates transparency among the internal team via trust, sharing, and increased clarity towards expected behaviors and goals. A well-crafted 360 degree feedback tool and process can boost the overall team performance.

About Mercer | Mettl

At Mercer I Mettl, our mission is to enable organizations to build winning teams by making credible people decisions across two key areas: Acquisition and Development. Since our inception in 2009, we have partnered with 2900+ corporates, 31 sector skill councils/government departments, and 15+ educational institutions across 90+ countries.

Mettl was acquired by Mercer in 2018, a global consulting leader in advancing health, wealth, and career, and a subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC), the leading global professional services firm in the areas of risk, strategy and people.

For more information, visit www.mettl.com. Follow Mercer | Mettl on LinkedIn and Twitter @MercerMettl.

Source: https://www.decision-wise.com/10-tips-for-using-360-degree-feedback-for-performance-appraisal/

Originally published February 18 2019, Updated June 16 2020

Megha Singh

Written by

A writer at heart, Megha has been in the content industry for 4 years. Starting her career from print, her journey spans across IT, legal and consulting industries. She has been associated with Mercer | Mettl as Assistant Manager, Content Marketing for 2 years.

Would you like to comment?


Please write a comment before submitting


Thanks for submitting the comment. We’ll post the comment once its verified.

Related posts

Get awesome marketing content related to Hiring & L&D in your inbox each week

Stay up-to-date with the latest marketing, sales, and service tips and news