360 Survey

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360 Survey

What is 360 Survey?

A 360 survey is a method of gathering input on an employee's success from a variety of sources, including supervisors, colleagues, reports, and a self assessment. A 360 survey or 360 degree survey may provide input from customers, manufacturers, consultants, or distributors in situations where the employee engages with the public.

While some information sources show that 360 Surveys started in the 1950s and 360 degrees Performance Appraisal Systems in the 1940s, but other sources uncover that such a concept emerged the first time in the 1930s by military psychologist Johann Bapist Rieffert for selection of the recruits in officer cadre. Thereupon considering the feedback of colleagues, subordinates, and the higher ups in the chain of command reporting systems altogether to assess the progress of the most inimitable resource in an Organization that is commonly known as Human Resource. 360 degree methodological tool of the survey is also termed as multifaceted feedback due to its very nature. This is a systematic way of data collection from various sources. This type of tool is usually used for executive level personnel to gauge their performance by personnel forming a round around executive being reported upon or the feeder, thereupon it is termed as 360 degrees. The latest research shows that 360 survey feedback is the tool used for total quality management. The study in Economics World issue of Jan-March 2021 termed the tool as a feedback improvement instrument due to its nature of review from almost every corner concerned. However, it requires honest feedbacks and confidentiality of data followed by an improvement plan for the employee reported upon. The research world mentioned this type of survey having four paradoxes (Ref: Professor Maury Peiperl of Stanford’s General Management Department):

  • Role Paradox: Here the employee receives the anticipated positive feedback. But the raters face the challenge of being both colleagues and evaluators. In this first paradox, the strengths of a rate are focused.
  • Team Performance Paradox: This is rated as not individual work but the team. Here employee gets positive feedback which is not anticipated against the lower marks given to own self. In other words, the colleagues rate at the higher side to team their team members.
  • Measurement Paradox: Here the technique for change is accepted. Employee accepts the reality of a room for improvement hence the low rating by colleagues in accepted.
  • Reward Paradox: In this type, the reward to be given is more important to the ratters compared to the actual.

A surprising scenario may be created due to the employee her/himself giving more marks as self evaluation than the colleagues. This sometimes creates defensive behavior. Moreover, 360 degree feedback surveys are frequently utilized in organizations to evaluate employee performance at all levels of communication, though it may invite legal challenges due to discriminations might make because of conflicts within employees being humans or any.