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360 Degree Feedback is a system or process in which employees receive confidential,

anonymous feedback from the people who work around them. This typically includes the
employee's manager, peers, and direct reports. A mixture of about eight to twelve people fill
out an anonymous online feedback form that asks questions covering a broad range of
workplace competencies. The feedback forms include questions that are measured on a rating
scale and also ask raters to provide written comments. The person receiving feedback also
fills out a self-rating survey that includes the same survey questions that others receive in
their forms.

Managers and leaders within organizations use 360 feedback surveys to get a better
understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. The 360 feedback system automatically
tabulates the results and presents them in a format that helps the feedback recipient create a
development plan. Individual responses are always combined with responses from other
people in the same rater category (e.g. peer, direct report) in order to preserve anonymity and
to give the employee a clear picture of his/her greatest overall strengths and weaknesses.

360 Feedback can also be a useful development tool for people who are not in a management
role. Strictly speaking, a "non-manager" 360 assessment is not measuring feedback from 360
degrees since there are no direct reports, but the same principles still apply. 360 Feedback for
non-managers is useful to help people be more effective in their current roles, and also to
help them understand what areas they should focus on if they want to move into a
management role.

Performance appraisals are essential for the effective management and evaluation of staff.
Appraisals help develop individuals, improve organizational performance, and feed into
business planning. Formal performance appraisals are generally conducted annually for all
staff in the organization. Each staff member is appraised by their line manager. Directors are
appraised by the CEO, who is appraised by the chairman or company owners, depending on
the size and structure of the organization.

Annual performance appraisals enable management and monitoring of standards, agreeing

expectations and objectives, and delegation of responsibilities and tasks. Staff performance
appraisals also establish individual training needs and enable organizational training needs
analysis and planning.

Performance appraisals also typically feed into organizational annual pay and grading
reviews, which commonly also coincides with the business planning for the next trading year.

Performance appraisals generally review each individual's performance against objectives

and standards for the trading year, agreed at the previous appraisal meeting.

Performance appraisals are also essential for career and succession planning - for individuals,
crucial jobs, and for the organization as a whole.

Performance appraisals are important for staff motivation, attitude and behaviour
development, communicating and aligning individual and organizational aims, and fostering
positive relationships between management and staff.

Performance appraisals provide a formal, recorded, regular review of an individual's

performance, and a plan for future development.

Job performance appraisals - in whatever form they take - are therefore vital for managing the
performance of people and organizations.

Managers and appraisees commonly dislike appraisals and try to avoid them. To these people
the appraisal is daunting and time-consuming. The process is seen as a difficult
administrative chore and emotionally challenging. The annual appraisal is maybe the only
time since last year that the two people have sat down together for a meaningful one-to-one
discussion. No wonder then that appraisals are stressful - which then defeats the whole

Q1 Must an agency use all of the sources of rating information to be considered using a
360-degree or “full circle” program?
Ans No. These terms (360-degree, full circle, etc.) mean using the variety of sources that
provide the best picture of performance. Therefore, for example, an agency may use
supervisor, self, and customer input to supplement the rating official’s appraisal in one
division’s program. Another division of the same agency with “self-directed teams” may
use peer, self, and subordinate ratings to obtain the most useful input.

Q2 Can an agency guarantee confidentiality and protect privacy? How should an

agency respond to a Freedom of Information Act demand for a specific peer or
subordinate rating in a program that assures anonymity?
Ans If the tool used to collect appraisal input from multiple sources contains the names of the
appraisers with their comments, and that information is filed into the Employee
Performance File (EPF), the employee is entitled to see that information, even if the
program assures anonymity. If, however, the tool used does not retain the names of
appraisers with data and only the final, aggregate results are filed into the EPF (e.g., a
computerized program is used that averages appraiser input and provides the results
only), anonymity can be guaranteed because there is no data retained that is identifiable
per appraiser.

Q3 Can employees file a grievance against a peer or subordinate appraiser?

Ans Employees can grieve many aspects of the appraisal process, including the process
used to determine the final rating of record and the appraisal of individual elements. If
the tool used to gather the multiple-source input retains appraiser names with their
rating or comments, the employee can file a grievance against a peer or subordinate.
If, however, the data is anonymous and an average rating is derived from the
aggregate rating of all appraisers, the employee cannot file a grievance against only
one of them.