While there are many options for employee performance appraisals, 360 reviews tend to be low on our list of recommended reviews. If you haven't heard of 360 reviews before, you may have heard of this review style as 360 feedback, peer feedback, or multi-directional feedback. In theory, 360 reviews sound like a great option, but realistically this employee review method isn't all it's cracked up to be as it relies too heavily on the opinion of others and doesn't take into account other factors that could affect the review process. If you need an employee performance review process that's reliable and objective, this might not be it.
In order to complete a 360 review on one or all of your employees, you need to be prepared to spend many hours creating your process, interviewing employees, and then spending time with them to explain the results of the review. If you do this for each of your employees, you will find it taking up a lot of your time.
When thinking about a review, many people think this is the time to point out everything that drives them crazy about that particular employee and they spend the majority of the time ranting about those particular issues. However, reviews don't always need to be bad. It's actually more beneficial to identify strengths and position weaknesses in a way that makes the employee feel as if they're being invested in instead of criticized.
If co-workers leave terrible reviews for the employee being reviewed and they're notified of this, it can cause more harm than good. Instead of developing workplace camaraderie, you may be inadvertently causing workplace rivalry. This can quickly turn into a toxic environment.
Though we like to think that petty middle school drama doesn't exist in the workplace, it can rear its ugly head under the right conditions. Employees could team up and collectively give terrible reviews if they don't like the person being reviewed. On the flip side, their opinions could be biased because they're close to the employee and consider them a friend. Either way, it's important to use discernment when sifting through 360 reviews.
Especially if co-workers and direct reports are giving someone a review directly to their supervisor, it can skew the data drastically. They may be afraid to "nark" on their coworker, resulting in apathetic reviews that don't provide any real information. If 360 reviews occur, they should be set up in a way that allows for the people reviewing to submit honest feedback.
With a review process as flawed as this, you may want to give 360 reviews some more thought before committing to it as your review process. If you think there may already be strife between co-workers, then you may not want to invest so much time into a process that would result in skewed data. Either way, Stellaris would be happy to help or point you in the right direction!