360 Degree feedback gains wider circle

According to 360 Degree feedback, the global perspective, a Towers Perrin survey, 360 degree feedback is on the increase worldwide. The system, which helps to employers to assess employees’ behaviour based on feedback from a wide circle of colleagues and customers, is growing as a personnel development tool, and as an HR aid in decision-making in succession planning and promotion.

“The diversity and number of companies using the tool show it has taken a stronger hold than we realised,” said Towers Perrin consultant Jennifer Cable.

The survey found that of the 160 firms that use the tool, 94 per cent use it for training and development, 31 per cent use it to assess potential, 27 per cent use it for succession planning and 13 per cent for promotion.

Of the 148 intended users 71 per cent aim to introduce it to evaluate potential, 53 per cent to make decisions on succession and 36 per cent on promotion. One reason for the surge in its use is that firms have realised it crosses the cultural divide.

“What the survey has proved is that the tool will work in any country,” said Cable. “Companies have set it up in their home bases, other countries and continents.”

However, Cable warned that in certain countries it is not appropriate to use subordinates in the feedback processes; in Asia firms have to use competency measures rather than listing good, bad or adequate attributes.

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