At some point employees have to be evaluated to determine whether they are working at the required level of competency, or even exceeding it. Indeed, while recognizing an individual's strengths is a vital component in unleashing human potential within organizations, any good organization will want to know with a degree of certainty that its employees are developing in some way and that any improvements they display are contributing to the bottom line. Appraisal and performance evaluation systems therefore serve to ensure that employers' expectations are being met in terms of employee skills and abilities that may have been fostered or trained, and that objectives set as key determinants of organizational effectiveness are being, or will be, reached.
The whole point of an effective appraisal or evaluation system is that the assessment of an employee is conducted systematically and that the assessment doesn't fall prey to personal bias or a superior with an axe to grind. Performance review statements - as the end result of a traditional appraisal - are, in fact, notorious for providing the opportunity for humorously biting comment; although not at all humorous for the individual concerned. Legendary statements culled from a variety of organizations such as multinational companies and the armed forces include:
'He sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them.'
'She and her CEO have something in common: they've both gone as far as they can in this company.'
'His men would follow him anywhere, but only out of morbid curiosity.'
Bias of this type from other employees is thankfully rare. Nevertheless, it is always vital to ensure that an appraisal and performance review system is implemented that not only attains its objective but that is systematic and fair. In practice, Psychonomics accomplish this with 360-degree feedback. Essentially, this is a method of collecting data on an employee from a variety of sources such a supervisors, colleagues, managers, peers, subordinates, customers, and self, Hence, it is unlike, the traditional top-down appraisal where a supervisor alone appraises the performance of their subordinate,
The results of this type of feedback process provide an understanding of how the employee is perceived from different perspectives, and this helps an individual understand how others perceive them.
360-degree feedback is essential in facilitating performance improvements. It allows employees to utilize their strengths to their advantage, and informs them which actions create problems for others and to know what changes may be needed. Frequently, therefore, it is a way of helping individuals gain self-insight into their strengths, potential and development opportunities. It may also be used as part of an employee development plan, as a method of establishing a baseline following training or coaching, as part of a performance management program, or even as part of a customer satisfaction survey, besides many other applications. Perhaps most importantly, the process can also be a motivator of performance since it shows the employee that their opinions and views are considered important.
A 360-degree feedback process requires a coordinated effort to collect hundreds, or even thousands, of pieces of data; although this depends on the scale of the intervention. It can, therefore, be time consuming and highly complex administratively. Throughout the process, Psychonomics works in the least intrusive way possible whilst at the same time providing clients with an end result that satisfies the requirement set. Often, whilst denoting occupational attainments as a standard performance review, this end result is a confidential, and highly specific, action plan constructed by the individual in consultation with us. It may emphasize goals yet to be reached and the detailed means by which these will be obtained. Overall, 360-degree appraisal systems of this type are a joint enterprise of many different people with the aim of furthering the effectiveness of the organization through the development of important individual employees.
Additionally, we are able to consolidate data across the organization, taking the results of many 360-degree feedbacks. This can provide sharp insights into collective organizational strengths and weaknesses, and can be the basis for formulating a range of development plans and needed training programs.