Over the past twenty years, 360 employee feedback has become ubiquitous across multiple industries and sectors. Simultaneously, researchers have become increasingly interested in nuances of success and leadership, trying to divine what trends, techniques, even personality types are best geared toward success. 360 employee feedback is traditionally considered an integral tool and part of the professional development process. But while simple in theory, it is difficult in execution. After all, at the end of the day, you’re translating an individual’s work into quantitative numbers; this person scored a “4” in communication, this person scored a “3” in teamwork. But what exactly is a 4 or a 3? Are there any circumstantial biases to consider?
Researchers have analyzed 360 employee feedback data for managers across multiple industries and have discovered the following insights:
Common Trends in 360 employee feedback
- On average, supervisors have the most accurate gauge of an individual’s effectiveness. Supervisor ratings deviated less from the average score compared to peers and self-given scores.
- On average, self-evaluation are the least accurate gauge of an individual’s effectiveness. Self-evaluations often deviated the farthest from the average score, suggesting that people often had a poor understanding of their actual performance.
Key Industry Differences in 360 employee feedback
- In general, the public sector (government, education, military) tend to give higher ratings than the private sector (manufacturing, finance, health). The public sector employees, especially education, tend to be more lenient as a whole while the private sector trended toward lower scores. This suggests that public sector employees tended to rate other favorably, while
- In the public sector, managers tend to underestimate their own performance in comparison to the ratings given by peers and direct reports, while in the private sector, managers tended to overestimate their performance. Managers in public sectors tended to rate their performance lower than their peers and supervisor did, while in the private sector, managers tended to over-rate their performance. This suggests that private industries do not give their managers sufficient feedback and/or their corporate culture is particularly unforgiving for performance deficit, making employees unwilling to admit faults. Read the entire publication here.
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