What is 360 Degree Performance Appraisal? Methods, Advantages & Disadvantages

360 Degree Performance Appraisal
Reading Time: 4 minutes

You must have already heard about appraisal management at enterprises for effective employee management. But do you know the benefits and best methods? Do you know what is 360 degree appraisal?


This blog will help you learn definition of 360 appraisal management and unique methods to perform. Let’s start with definition of 360 degree performance appraisal.


What is 360 Degree Performance Appraisal?

In its simplest, 360 degree performance appraisal is an advanced form of providing appraisals to employees at organisation. It involves feedbacks from different associated groups of organisation and outside (clients). The group of people or reviewers may include manager, HR, colleagues, and client they worked with.


The feedback is collected in the form of reviews from people and provides data for appraisals accordingly based on reviews. In other words, 360 degree appraisal method includes multi source feedbacks for the employees affected by their performance throughout the period.


Also Read: 4 Tricks to set-up a Fair and Transparent Appraisal system!


Importance of 360 Degree Performance Appraisal

When we talk about business performance and growth, what most important? Definitely your employees, their well-being and what else?


Now, what could be better than feedback appraisal for employees based on their performance. The activity helps motivate your employees to perform better every time. Accurate and fair 360 appraisal system makes it very popular asset when it comes to effective employee management at organisation.


360 Degree Appraisal Method

  • Rating scale method
  • Ranking method
  • Free form method
  • Confidential reporting method
  • BARS method


Rating Scale Method

Rating scale is one of the most common methods of assessing an employee’s performance. This method includes a scale of 1 to 10 points. The parameters of the scale rating are delivery, attitude, attendance, regularity, and accountability, which are rated for the employee accordingly.


Many performing companies are using this method to have an effective and simple activity at place. The reviewing people are selected based on the employee’s role and nature of the job. The number of points scored for all the columns are finally added. Employees are therefore recognised and given a raise based on the performance and ratings.


This method makes the 360 degree performance appraisal management easier and fool proof.


Ranking Method

This traditional method includes comparison of performance of the employees with other employees at same tier and with same rank. Here a manager is allotted to provide the comparison report based on numbers and graph. A fixed percentage of employees are allotted different performance categories like excellent, good, average, below average, poor etc.


Ranking method is generally used when the manager has to make decision as to which person is the best worker for a given period of time. When someone has to be promoted or needs to be laid off, ranking methods is the best and quick way to rank.


The biggest advantage of this method is that it comes handy to HR manager and makes the complicate reviewing process easier.


Free Form Method

It is also called the ‘Essay appraisal method’. This is because the superior provides a detailed description of the selected employee’s performance. This includes supporting documents and examples of his/ her performance. This method could be highly biased at providing feedbacks.


The reviewer under this method also uses the rating scale method (described earlier in the blog) to rate the weaknesses and strengths of an employee to validate the essay report. This method is very time consuming as the reviewer is required to collate all the documents and submit a brief.


Free form method is considered to be one of the non-quantitative evaluations for performance appraisal.


Confidential Reporting Method

This method is very popular among governmental organizations. Here the superiors need to write a confidential report on the subordinates, who needs to be reviewed, with respect to his/ her behaviour and duties at organization. The report prepared here would not be exposed to anyone.


This is only referred by the top management or the human resource. In India this method is being used by most of the government organizations like the Armed Forces, Police department, CBI etc. The main factors assessed here are:

  • Temperament
  • Promptness
  • Attendance
  • Sincerity and trust-ness
  • His/her behaviour with the subordinates


BARS Method

BARS (Behaviourally Anchored Rating Scale) method is one of the new age methods to provide accurate feedback. The method consists of a set of behavioural statements that explain the performance of an employee towards a particular job.


This method acquires a set of parameters and decided points for each. The performance parameters could include good, bad, average, must be laid off, and so on.


Also Read: How to Ensure Constructive Feedback for Managers?


360 Degree Performance Appraisal Advantages and Disadvantages

Appraisal management system could be very powerful asset for businesses. Yet, every resource has its own advantage and disadvantage.


Advantages of 360 degree appraisal

  • Self-development of employees
  • Fair and accurate reviews
  • No biasing with 360 degree feedback
  • Motivated workforce
  • Provides a comprehensive view of employee performance
  • Persuasive opinions from participants
  • Better morale of employees
  • Positive work environment


Disadvantages of 360 degree appraisal

  • Process could be time consuming
  • Data mix concern
  • Tracking concerns
  • Too much data at place
  • Data is not available to everyone. Can create a suspicious environment
  • Needs proper training to execute



Committing to performance appraisal on your own without any software assistance could be difficult and error prone. Data handling could be the biggest hurdle. Instead, dedicated software like appraisal management system can help conclude with yearly appraisal skilfully and easily. Pocket HRMS is one such integrated HR solution!


Visit Pocket HRMS to get cloud based HR solutions today. Also, follow our recent blogs to learn new HR strategies and HR solution. Write to us at sales@pockethrms.com. You can also reach out to us on our Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or Facebook page.


Also, do not forget to ask for a FREE demo!

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