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360 Degree Performance Appraisal: Helping to Achieve Organizational Productivity

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The challenging and a highly interesting financial year is almost coming to an end! Consequently, the buzzwords of ‘Need Improvement’ and ‘Met Expectations’ are circulating in most of the organizations thanks to the season of the performance appraisal. One quite often notices that at some workplaces, the atmosphere is quite reminiscent of the school days. In those days children, after collecting their report cards or mark sheets, returned to their seats. Some got down in their enthusiasm and others elated.

It is without a doubt that the appraisal season sustains tension. Several evaluators and participants notice this floating in the air. It is more than what you experienced when getting report cards from the school. For all concerned parties, the entire process is extremely stressful. But the aim is to make the experience all the better, less stressful and more worthwhile for them. Hence, there needs to better knowledge pertaining to the key elements, processes, and objectives of the performance appraisal.

Regarding Performance Appraisal

Performance Appraisal amounts to a well-structured and formal method of evaluation to elucidate and understand the performance of any individual. Moreover, probably a team/group also falls within this purview.

The Objectives of The Activity of Performance Appraisal

Several objectives may be present to conduct the performance appraisal. This appraisal is based on the difference in organizational objectives, employee profile, job profile, etc. Given below are few of the common objectives to implement the latest 360-degree feedback software. These objectives also carry out the task of performance appraisal.

Employee Compensation and Promotions

Through employee appraisal, a company’s higher management can get a clear insight into the overall performance of the individual employee. They also view his/her strengths and weaknesses, capabilities and potentialities for further development. They also view his/her readiness to take upon bigger responsibilities and complete the assigned tasks on time. This way, individual performance links with the competition percentage increase.

Employee Confirmations

It involves the evaluation of employee performance against set expectations of the seniors during the joining of the employee. Furthermore, through it, these seniors identify if he/she is ready for getting a confirmation. They verify his/her competence for enjoying the perks and benefits offered in the role of a permanent employee.

Employee Grievances and Feedback

Also, authorities use this appraisal as a platform for the individual, to understand different aspects contributing to his/her deviation. This deviation may be the one from his/her targeted performance. It also helps the evaluators to understand the kind of support provided to the employee till now. Furthermore, evaluators also get an allusion towards his/her requirements to meet all future expectations.

Need for Development and Training

Performance dialogues and Performance Appraisals tend to identify those areas which require proper and complete improvement in the group/individual. Simultaneously, it should come up with an appropriate action plan which help address the weakness present in the employee. This can be achieved through proper training & development.

The Simplistic View of Performance Appraisal Objectives

  • Feedback on performance
  • Individual understanding
  • Identifying improvement areas
  • Identifying areas that need further strengthening
  • Better organizational understanding
  • future expectations
  • HR system evaluation
  • Salary revision
  • Promotion, termination, confirmation, and retention
  • Documentation
  • Identifying gaps which might hinder business objectives

Performance Appraisal Procedure

  1. Decide and Define Appraisal Objectives

The authorities and seniors implement the Performance Appraisal, to have a clear understanding and knowledge of the achievements.

  1. Set Up Clear Job Expectations

Authorities achieve proper clarity about the expectations from the entrusted job, quantitatively and qualitatively.

  1. 360 Appraisal Program Design

Come up with a plan with regards to how, where and when to conduct the appraisal. It should include the future usable tools.

  1. Evaluation

The concerned authorities evaluate the collated information about individual performance after gathering it. The authorities administer it by comparing the same with the already established job expectations.

  1. Performance Dialogue

This step involves meaningful conversations, where the appraisee and the appraiser need to discuss action plans. Moreover, they need to have a better understanding of the evaluation process.

  1. Getting Final Data

Authorities finally document the results of the appraisal to carry out further and appropriate action(s).

Therefore, the key to the success of the performance appraisal is termed to be the performance dialogue quality. The performance dialogue determines the future relationship of the team/employees with the company management. It is very much crucial for teams/individuals to stay motivated all the time for achieving the set business objectives in the forthcoming financial year.

Few Performance Appraisal Methods Used Currently

  1. 360-degree Feedback: All stakeholders such as customer, departmental staff, peer, subordinate, manager, including him/her itself, administer this method of individual performance feedback. It proves to be a fabulous technique as it offers a broader perspective with regards to the individual’s developmental plan. It also provides them with a well-crafted 360 performance appraisal. Few areas which could be appraised by using this particular tool are meeting timelines, customer service skills, interpersonal skills, etc.
  2. Assessment Centres: Countries like the UK and USA first developed this performance review technique way back in 1943. The method’s objective is to place employees within simulated environments which require them to display patterns and behaviors, typical of any working environment. This is to gauge their performance level. The well trained and qualified evaluators would then observe the displayed behavior, and on set parameters, rate them accordingly. The results derived from such analysis and observation actually provides valuable information to the company management to determine employee readiness to accept new assignments and challenges, higher responsibilities as well as to address the improvement areas and complete the task within the set time frame.

Getting to understand the real essence offered by 360 performance appraisal, every manager and supervisor will be in a position to serve his/her organization well and to meet the set objectives. It needs to be understood clearly that the appraisals are not designed to intimidate or destabilize the employees, but help them to know themselves much better and show further room to improve.

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