Why use a a 180 Degree Appraisal Process ?
A 180 degree appraisal process provides a formal opportunity for appraisers to discuss and record their views on an employee’s performance. A 180 appraisal process also has the added benefit of enabling employees to comment on their own performance. This invites a two way conversation and helps to ensure a more rounded and objective performance appraisal.
Ideally, appraisers should have the opportunity to consider their thoughts on an employee’s performance in the light of the appraisee’s comments prior to the performance appraisal meeting. An easy way to achieve this is to use a pre appraisal form.
As a key part of the appraisal process, this pre appraisal form should be completed by appraisees and handed back to the appraiser before the 180 appraisal meeting. Giving appraisers the chance to see an employee’s comments beforehand helps appraisers to compare and reconcile their own thoughts on performance with the appraisee’s thoughts.
If organised professionally, one of the greatest benefits of a 180 Degree Appraisal process is that it is simple to introduce and administer. If your process is to be of real benefit, it is essential that appraisers and appraisees have some knowledge of the appraisal process before they start it. For example, it is important that they understand their roles and the dates they’ll need to keep to.
Effective appraisal training for your managers should help to achieve this. Ideally, managers can pass on the appraisal tips they learn; they should be able to educate their staff on how to make the performance appraisal process meaningful and worthwhile.
Download this essential Performance Appraisal Guide. A handy list of the key actions to take when preparing for the appraisal, during the appraisal meeting and throughout the year.
A 180 Degree Appraisal Process enables two-way feedback on an individual’s performance
Some organisations do prefer an ‘appraisee led’ appraisal process which encourages appraisees to present their views on their performance prior to the appraiser commenting (using a pre-appraisal form as mentioned above). Others prefer an ‘appraiser led’ process where the appraisers present their views on the person’s performance before inviting appraisees to comment.
Whichever performance appraisal process you choose, an effective 180 Appraisal should provide the following benefits to both your organisation and your employees;
Benefits of a 180 Degree Appraisal Process to your organisation
- A professionally designed appraisal process with an appraisal form that suits your company culture will provide your organisation with centralised, structured and consistent performance assessment data.
- Personal performance data held confidentially by your HR team is an essential resource for succession planning or promotion discussions.
- If SMART objective setting takes place, the performance objectives agreed with employees can be linked to the team’s and ultimately the organisation’s goals.
- Investing time and resources in a comprehensive 180 Degree Appraisal shows a visible and tangible commitment by the organisation to developing individuals and improving performance. This is essential if an organisation wants to retain high performers. Talented employees tend to expect an organisation to present staff with opportunities for personal development and promotion. An effective performance appraisal process does exactly that.
- Organisations using 180 Appraisal processes notice an immediate improvement in communication throughout the organisation.
- Ultimately, the organisation reaps the benefits of higher motivation levels and staff morale which in turn leads to improved organisational performance.
Benefits of a 180 Degree Appraisal Process to employees
- A 180 Appraisal meeting provides a formal opportunity for managers to show verbal recognition and appreciation for an employee’s efforts. It might even lead to recognition in terms of remuneration if the appraisal process is linked to salary increases and bonus rewards.
- An open and honest discussion at the appraisal meeting enables appraisers to give objective feedback on performance. Ideally this feedback is fair and balanced in terms of good performance and areas that require development. Some managers also use the appraisal process as an opportunity to invite feedback from employees on their own performance as a manager.
- A well structured 180 Degree Appraisal ensures clear targets are agreed with employees for the coming year. It also invites discussion and assessment of the previous year’s targets. This is best achieved through the setting of SMART work objectives. Ideally appraiser and appraisee work together on the development of the appraisee’s personal objectives. If personal objectives are SMART objectives (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely), they are much more likely to be of real benefit to the individual.
- An up to date job description should be used during the 180 Appraisal for reference. This helps to ensure employees are crystal clear about their role and responsibilities. If the behavioural competencies required in the role are included on the job description and referred to on the appraisal form, there tends to be more clarity in terms of the individual’s performance requirements.
- Appraisees should feel comfortable to use the performance appraisal review to discuss any problems or grievances they have. Ideally this conversation doesn’t come as a surprise to the appraiser. The performance review meeting should act as a formal conclusion to such matters.
- A comprehensive 180 Degree Appraisal includes a discussion about an employee’s training needs and development plans. Any agreements made on training should be recorded on the appraisal form.
- If the appraiser conducts the appraisal professionally and appraisees are briefed properly on the benefits of the appraisal process, employees should feel more motivated to succeed, even when areas for improvement have been discussed.