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Nov 7, 201809:03 PMOpen Mic

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Review your review process: 360-degree surveys can give you the whole picture

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Karen is always willing to lend a hand and patiently share the tips and tricks she’s amassed after years on the job. In fact, in the past year, she’s been so willing to help new employees that she’s frequently fallen behind on her own workload.

During her recent performance review, her boss mentioned some missed deadlines, and Karen got a less-than-stellar review. She couldn’t really articulate why she was not able to keep up with her workload.

This is a problem of perspective; Karen and her boss cannot see the whole picture. They have blind spots when it comes to Karen’s job performance.

Karen’s co-workers, however, could probably shed light on the situation by explaining how much coaching of others Karen has undertaken at the sacrifice of her own work. With that perspective, Karen and her boss might have been able to come up with a plan to utilize Karen’s training skills while minimizing the impact on department output.

Without the perspective of others, however, Karen and her boss may continue to be frustrated.

Shedding some light on the subject

All employees have blind spots — characteristics about themselves they just can’t see. It’s possible their direct supervisors can’t see the full picture either. That’s where 360-degree surveys can help.

A 360-degree survey process is a methodical way of gaining insight, through feedback, into how others in the workforce view an employee. Unlike traditional performance reviews, the feedback in a 360-degree survey comes from a variety of people who are familiar with an employee’s work — not just the employee’s immediate supervisor.

Using sources who provide a full circle of information — thus, the 360-degree designation — provides a wider view of how an employee functions. Not only do you get information on whether or not the employee completes his or her work, but how well he or she interacts with co-workers, other departments, outside vendors, and/or clients. The feedback comes from those above, below, and beside the employee, providing a fuller, more complete picture.


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