How 360 Feedback Can Help Improve Your Annual Performance Reviews


Annual performance reviews have long been an issue for both employers and employees.

For workers, they sometimes experience anxiety and the feeling that they are under the microscope during the process, while managers struggle to manage the logistics of thoughtful, accurate, and timely evaluations to all of employees.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

An effective performance review process should involve timely, periodic checkups that help both motivate and inspire employees to improve their work and perform their best. So how can you utilize the 360 feedback process to improve your yearly reviews?

  1. Stop thinking of the annual review as a one-shot event

    Annual reviews often turn into administrative burdens, and that’s unfortunate because it overlooks the tremendous benefits that consistent, high-quality performance evaluations can produce.

    Instead of thinking of the review as a painful end-of-year administrative obligation, start viewing it as an ongoing process that will ultimately lead to better, happier employees, as well as a stronger workforce.

    By providing your employees with a detailed review of both their strengths and weaknesses, each individual can start exploring development opportunities that can help remedy any areas of concern. Through identifying their strong points, workers may feel more confident and capable of taking on projects that play to their strengths.

  2. Move away from the traditional evaluation

    Traditional performance reviews are usually time-consuming and stressful. Because they are formal, employees often feel as if they are on trial.

    The result is that the performance review rarely serves to inspire and motivate workers. Instead, they see it simply as an event to survive instead of a growth opportunity that can help them grow and excel in their job.

    Rather than waste time and money on unproductive annual reviews, consider using a 360 checkup process that can occur at multiple points throughout the year.

    This process involves inviting the employee to access an online form where they can then invite colleagues and supervisors to access an online survey. Co-workers and managers are then able to quickly enter their performance ratings. Once all of the responses have been submitted, the organization then received a detailed report that they can share with the employee.

  3. Utilize feedback to help employees improve

    So what makes the 360 checkup so much more effective than the traditional performance review?

    In a 360-degree review, employees receive anonymous and confidential feedback from the people that they work with the most -- both managers and peers. The feedback that co-workers submit via the online form covers a range of important competencies such as goal setting, listening skills, communication abilities, leadership, teamwork and planning.

    Annual reviews should be an opportunity to reassess, get constructive feedback, and form a professional development plan that will help each individual recognize his or her strengths and weaknesses. The 360 feedback process leads to comprehensive and helpful feedback that can ultimately help inspire co-workers to grow within their job role.

  4. Review employee performance all year long

    Because 360 checkups are so fast, convenient, and cost-effective, there is no need to feel tied to the once-a-year review cycle.

    The 360 checkup allows organizations to monitor employee performance and provide constructive feedback as often as desired. Not only that, because the tool is so quick and easy to use, more data can be collected from more people. By relying on collective intelligence, organizations can get a much more comprehensive look at how each individual employee is doing.

    Annual reviews can be an important tool for assessing the overall health and quality of your workforce, but an even better approach is to implement confidential 360 feedback that engages employees all year round.

    By keeping a finger on the pulse of your workforce, you can tackle problems before they begin and help your talented workers to grow and develop their strongest skills.

    How could 360 feedback improve your yearly review process?