Disadvantages of 360-Degree Feedback

The 360-degree feedback also has some disadvantages, which are as follows:

1. Dishonest Feedback: Employees giving feedback are working together in the same organisation. There are situations of mutual needs, and one would not like to evoke feelings of bitterness by criticising peers.

This leads to guarding, and sometimes, dishonest feedback. There could be a fear of ruthless behaviour. Pre-conceived notions about others may make it difficult to obtain unbiased feedback.

2. Time-Consuming Process: This feedback process is costly and time-consuming when compared to other feedback methods, which rely on a single source.

The data is larger, so gathering and organising such data consumes a lot of time and money. In the process, the personal approach can get replaced by reams of paper.

Difficult to Select Efficient Raters: Persons who fit the bill may not be in a position to devote time for rating, and those who have the time may not be efficient raters.

Busy raters are likely to take a shortcut and rate the department as a unit instead of giving individual feedbacks.

Vast experience is a quality required to be an efficient rater, but senior managers find it difficult to take up added responsibility.

It is also difficult to find honest personnel for this task. Personal relations likes and dislikes may hinder fair rating.

4. Tendency to Defend: The 360-degree feedback system sheds light on the weaknesses of managers also. This puts pressure on them, and pressure situations are not conducive to bring about change.

The result is diminished morale of managers and a tendency on their part to defend and justify their actions,

5. Subjective Interpretation: The behaviour of a particular employee is seen differently by different persons.

For example, some managers are favourably biased towards an employee with academic brilliance, while some are favourably biased towards an employee with a practical and common-sense approach.

Some subordinates view their superior as taskmasters and dislike them, while others may view the same superior as a motivator for hard work in the interest of their career and hence like them different evaluations and different likes and dislikes for the same person.

Customers have different yardsticks to rate employees’ behaviour. With time, people change, and so do their ratings. All these factors make this system subjective and inconsistent.

6. Possibilities of Conflicts: It is difficult to be critical of oneself. Self-evaluations are mostly flattering compared to others’ ratings. If the feedback process is not strictly confidential, it can lead to bitterness and conflict between employees.

7. Unavailability of Clarification: The 360-degree performance appraisals are usually vague, wherein there is no communication channel between the feedback receivers and raters.

Hence, getting or giving clarification is not possible. Harsh feedbacks can, therefore, be given by raters without fear of answerability.

The responsibility of providing clarifications to receivers of feedback rests on managers and HR personnel.

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