A Brief Overview of 360-degree Competency Assesments

 Want to learn more about the history of 360-degree competency assessments, how to increase accuracy, improve results, and  how Centrestar associates might be of service?


A Brief Overview of 360-degree Assessments

Multirater AssessmentsHistory - According to Wikipedia, the earliest incarnation of a 360-degree assessment was used by the military during World War II, where feedback from multiple sources was gathered in order to evaluate performance of enlisted personnel. The Esso Research and Engineering Company have the earliest recorded use of surveys to gather information relating to employees performance and it is from here the idea of 360-degree feedback was devised and slowly gained momentum. By the early 1990s most HR professionals understood the concept, but due to the complex calculations and sheer amount of paperwork for an assessment of a single individual, they were rarely implemented in practice. It wasn’t until the rise of the internet and the use of online surveys that 360-degree feedback gained momentum and became a practical tool for HR practitioners. The accepted statistic today is, over 33% of U.S. companies use a form of 360-degree feedback, though it has been claimed this figure is closer to 90%.

Accuracy - The accuracy of an assessment generally improves with the length of time the rater has known the assessed indvidual and this is regarded as the most significant effect on the accuracy of a 360-degree assessment. The most successful assessments come when raters have known individuals for one to three years. Interestingly, assessments conducted where the rater has known the assessed less than a year are on average more accurate than those where the raters have known the assessed for three to five years, with the least accurate where the rater has known the assessed longer than five years. The accepted reasoning for this is that the 1-3 year group have got past first impressions but have not reached the stage of general favoritism.

Results - Studies have indicated that the use of 360-degree feedback assist in improving employee performance because it helps the evaluated see different perspectives of their performance. Additional studies have shown that 360-degree feedback may be indicative of future performance. When feedback was given to individuals, it has been shown that 84% were rated as demonstrating change after undergoing an assessment. Potential factors affecting behavior change include how raters are selected, manager approval and instrument quality. It has also been shown that 360-degree feedback is most accurate and beneficial when used as part of an overall appraisal system.

Centrestar Capabilities to Assist Organizations - As a leading provider of online short courses and with extensive experience in management and professional development, Centrestar is well placed to comment and assist in employee development. We offer Custom Programs and Services for clients that are tailored to their industry and organization. We also offer 360-degree competency assessments and you can register your interest by contacting and/or interacting with us.