Judging people’s work has occurred informally for centuries but as a distinct and formal management procedure used in the evaluation of work performance, appraisal really dates from the time of World War II – not more than 60 years ago. Appraisal, it seems, is both inevitable and universal, however because they didn’t have a carefully structured system of appraisal, people will tend to judge the work performance of others – is this really fair?
Modern performance management systems provide structured environments to help managers provide employee evaluations that are fair and accurate, and that adhere to local, state and federal regulations unlike the early performance-appraisal systems didn’t take morale and motivation into consideration – both are contributing factors to a happy work force!
Cruel But Kind
Ford Motor Company, are one of the most famous car companies in the world. In the late 1990s they implemented a system whereby they ranked their employees by performance and the lowest ranked were then sacked. This does seem quite barbaric nowadays but it actually forced people to do their jobs to the best of their abilities. Over time this rule became more and more lenient and nowadays they reward those who are ranking high and they assign certain employees mentors in order to improve on their weaknesses.
In today’s current climate most of us only know too well the hard struggle of getting a job, let alone keeping one! More and more employers can be fussier about who they hire and who they keep after their year appraisal. Managers usually conduct an evaluation for their direct subordinates, sometimes without even keeping a record of it! It can just be a chat about they feel they are getting on. Most of the time the manager has no clue what that employee does on a day to day basis, simply because they are either too busy or they have too many people to manage. Lots of people feel that these appraisals may not be consistent and therefore not everyone is getting a fair review, they may also feel that their manager doesn’t see all of the things they do and therefore they may be judged unfairly. Finally is it just going to be a meeting where they have a go at you or are they going to sit you down and talk through some targets with you in order for you to be the best worker you can?
Out with the Old and in with the New
360 degree feedback software includes direct feedback from an employee’s subordinates, peers and supervisors, as well as a crucial self-evaluation. It can also include, in some cases, feedback from external sources, such as customers and suppliers in contrast to the old appraisal system whereby it was only the view of their managers that counted.
The results from a 360-degree evaluation are often used by the person receiving the feedback to plan and map specific paths in their development. Results are also used by some organizations in making administrative decisions related to pay and promotions. When this is the case, the 360 assessment is for evaluation and improvement purposes, and is sometimes called a 360-degree review. If you have a company that you feel may benefit from this then take a look online and see if they are suitable for you company.