Following are the advantages of 360-degree feedback:
1. Provides All-Round Feedback: The 360-degree feedback gives all-round feedback from various sources like colleagues, supervisors and reporting staff.
This helps in bringing different perspectives into the feedback. The feedback report is formed by combining feedback from various sources to render objectivity to the feedback.
Apart from this, it saves the superior’s time that he would have spent while conducting appraisal alone.
2. Grants Greater Validity and Reliability: The 360-degree feedback is an in-depth analysis of performance. Thus, it has better reliability and validity.
Since there are various raters, on the whole, the feedback has a kind of ambiguity, and it can be considered to be objective. These factors are helpful when the feedback is challenged in court by an employee.
3. Builds Healthy Relationships: Since the feedback is between peers, as well as between superiors and subordinates, it helps to build healthy relationships.
All employees are aware that the 360- degree feedback is ultimately meant to improve organisational performance, which becomes a common goal and thus builds up team spirit.
As a result, organisational performance and productivity increases.
4. Enables Self-Evaluation: The 360-degree feedback gives a fair idea to employees about their strengths and weaknesses.
If it is accepted in the right spirit, the feedback serves as an excellent tool for self-evaluation – as an individual and as a team.
It can encourage the individual employee or the team to take steps to improve upon weaknesses, while the knowledge about strengths improves confidence levels.
Strengths and weaknesses of individuals in a team are known other individuals in that team; this knowledge can be used as an advantage while executing a project.
5. Helps in Planning Career Development: The drawback of the traditional feedback system is that a single person provides feedback.
On the other hand, the 360-degree feedback is more objective, bias-free, accurate and reliable. An individual employee can trust the feedback and focus on areas that need improvement from the career advancement point of view.
This helps in planning career development effectively.
6. Facilitates Cost Reduction: Being an in-house process, the cost of this system of feedback is lower as compared to the cost of hiring a consultancy or the cost involved in an assessment centre approach.
7. Improves Customer Service: In a 360-degree feedback process, inputs from internal and external customers are involved.
Hence, every employee has access to the feedback with regard to his quality of products and services; accordingly, he can decide upon ways and mean to improve his technique to enhance the quality of products and services.
8. Helps in Understanding Developmental Needs: The 360-degree feedback throws light on the needs of individual employees, which can be analysed vis-a-vis the organisation’s developmental needs.
This provides extensive information regarding the training needs of employees. Also, since the 360-degree feedback involves inputs from various individuals, it helps in determining training needs, keeping in mind cross-functional responsibilities.