Most organisations, whatever the type of appraisal, have a tick box rating system which is often only completed by managers. This short paper describes a paperless 360º appraisal process which is owned by the person being appraised.
First, responsibility for appraisal is given to the individual, they decide when, where, how and who should be involved. The basic model is that a group of up to about of ten people should be invited to a meeting, representing people the appraisee accounts to, people who account to them, customers, and suppliers. All of these can be internal or external people as appropriate. In the meeting room there should be a sheet of flip chart paper on each wall, one headed “stop”, and the others “start”, “continue” and “change”.
All the appraisers are given a different colour marker pen and put their thoughts on each of the sheets of newsprint. Then, under the guidance of a facilitator they discuss what is on each of the sheets of flip chart paper to gain greater clarity. Following this exercise the appraisee returns to the room, reads what is on the sheets and questions the appraisers about what they have put and why.
In facilitating this kind of appraisal we have found that people are more open and honest in this form of feedback, and because the feedback is coming from a number of directions it is more balanced and acceptable to the appraisee. But most importantly, we found that the appraisers are getting just as much from the process because what is actually being appraised is the relationships between all the people present in the room. We have also found that as confidence grows in the process the variations on the above basic model also grow so that the person being appraised gets the feedback that is most useful to them.