From the Section: Measurement and Appraisal
Design an implementation plan to align 360-degree evaluation processes with corporate culture and goals.
Companies that employ 360-degree performance evaluations offer key "lessons learned" on the development and implementation of such systems. The 360-degree system must be oriented to reflect the particular needs and culture of the company to obtain better performance information and increase employee development and accountability. Companies such as Digital and Ford have identified key factors that drive implementation success:
Communicate goals to all levels of the company.
Top companies stress the need for management to buy into and clearly communicate the goals of the 360-degree appraisal and how it relates to the company's business strategy and competitiveness. Top management should also appoint a committee of representative managers and employees to develop the appraisal forms and process.
Train all employees in the process.
Second, perhaps the single most important key is to provide training to employees on:
For example, employees at Ford received training on how to evaluate specific critical incidents and to give feedback before they took part in 360-degree performance appraisals.
- The specific details of the new appraisal process and
- How to give constructive feedback in a productive, noncritical manner.
- Learning to receive feedback.
Test the program with a small pilot.
The appraisal should first be pilot tested with a select group of employees before it is instituted elsewhere in the organization. Once instituted, it is essential that top management reinforce the goals and responsibilities of employees related to this new appraisal process on an ongoing basis — first to the employees involved in the pilot and then to the organization as a whole.