360-degree performance appraisal – what to expect

360 degree performance appraisal

You’re coming up to the one-year mark at a new company and your first 360-degree performance appraisal is looming. Whilst you may be familiar with traditional performance appraisals, you have no idea what to expect from a 360-degree review. What is it? And how does it work? Don’t panic, we’ve got you covered with our quick guide.

What is a 360-degree appraisal?

A 360-degree performance appraisal is a feedback process that involves gathering input from multiple sources, such as your manager, peers, subordinates, and customers or clients. The goal is to provide a more comprehensive and well-rounded assessment of your performance by inviting a range of people to feedback. Just like a traditional appraisal, it identifies strengths and challenges and forms the foundation of your plan for professional growth and development.

Why a 360-degree appraisal?

If you’re wondering about the why, then consider this. In a traditional appraisal, feedback will likely come from your manager only. That means your review is largely based on the opinion and evaluation of one person. With a 360-degree review, feedback comes from a diverse range of individuals meaning it’s less likely to be biased. It also allows others to champion your work and provides a more diverse overview of your performance.

The process

Each company will have their own specific processes but typically, you’ll have the chance to select several individuals (your manager, colleagues, subordinates and possibly clients) to participate in your appraisal. Those people will be asked to provide feedback through a survey, interview, or other platform. Questions are designed to assess your performance in various areas, such as communication, teamwork, leadership, and job-specific skills. To ensure you’re receiving honest and open feedback, the responses from those evaluating you remain anonymous.

The results

Once all participants have completed their feedback, it’s compiled, summarised, and put into a report, before being shared with you. You’ll have an opportunity to meet with your manager or human resources team to review and discuss the results. At that point, you’ll work together to develop an action plan that supports your development.

Things to keep in mind:

Know your company’s process.

Most companies will clearly communicate their performance appraisal process with employees but if you’re not sure – ask well in advance. It’s also a good idea to start thinking about who you’ll choose to evaluate your performance earlier rather than later.

Approach the appraisal with an open mind.

Facing your first 360-degree appraisal can feel daunting but it’s important to approach the process with an open mind. Be receptive to constructive feedback and view it as an opportunity for professional development. Keep calm during the appraisal and avoid being defensive.

Take ownership.

Once the process is complete and you have an action plan in place, it’s up to you to take ownership of it. Follow through on your commitments and check in with your manager if you’re unsure about something. If you’re struggling or feel like your plan may need to be revised, reach out for help.

A 360-degree performance appraisal can foster a culture of openness and transparency in a workplace. It’s a fairer and more objective view of your performance and your strengths and weaknesses, paving the way for professional development plan that’s more holistic.


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Filed under: Career Advice Resources
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