Types of appraisal

180-degree appraisal (also known as upward feedback)

The ‘traditional’ annual appraisal, incorporating only the views of the appraiser and appraisee.

360-degree appraisal (or multi-source feedback)

This type of appraisal includes the feedback from a number of involved stakeholders, e.g. fellow team members, managers, internal and external customers affected by the performance of the appraisee. It can increase the appraised person’s self-awareness and involve others in leadership and development issues.

Typical aspects that might form the basis of questionnaires sent to others to rate the appraisee are: leadership, team work/management, self-management, communication, vision, decision-making, drive and adaptability.

Sometimes feedback is anonymous, but not always. The benefits of a 360-degree appraisal, if sensitively and properly designed, are roughly the same as any frank and constructive appraisal, but it provides the person appraised with additional insight into how they are perceived by others, what their strengths are and the potential areas of development.

Training for those operating the system is essential if the 360-degree process is to be of most benefit. These should seek to address difficulties arising from biased perceptions of appraisees and, occasionally, the honesty or integrity of subordinate feedback.

Team appraisal

Organisational teams whose members share specific goals and objectives, e.g. sales or project management teams, may be appraised together on how their team functions rather than on individual performances. Team appraisals may reveal problems such as lack of trust and confidence within the team, poor relationships between team members or confusion over roles and responsibilities, which can then be addressed through management development programmes.