Coaching and Multi-Source Feedback

William Bergquist June 8, 2012 0
Coaching and Multi-Source Feedback

Though it is plagued with many problems, multi-source 360° Feedback processes for appraising the performance of employees are currently receiving extensive attention in corporate life. By the turn of the century, more than one quarter of the business organizations in the United States reported using a multi-source feedback process. The percentage has undoubtedly grown much larger over the past decade. This enthusiasm is accompanied by an equally impressive controversy concerning the appropriate use and potential costs and benefits associated with this process.

Expanding the Perspective

Multi-source assessment is about expanding the perspective of an employee regarding her own performance. It is also about broadening the base of an assessment and hopefully improving the validity of data gathered about an employee’s performance. This performance appraisal process begins with the self-assessment by the employee, along with the assessment by this employee’s supervisor. This is 45-Degree feedback. Then the expansion begins. The most common types of expansion are up, down and sideways in the organization. The assessment by a colleague (sideways) yields 90-Degree feedback, while additional upward assessment by subordinates produces 180-Degree feedback.

At a more ambitious level, the scope of this assessment might be expanded to include other people both inside and outside the organization. These are the so-called 360-Degree feedback processes. 360° feedback programs may include other employees in the organization who have been impacted by the employee’s performance. These are often identified as internal customers of the employee who is being assessed. A 360° feedback assessment might also include people outside the organization who are directly served by the employee or who benefit indirectly from his work. These are the external customers.

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