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What do You Recommend Regarding the Use of 360s in Peer Reviews?

Question

Our area recently decided to incorporate peer review, sometimes called a “360,” in our review process. Do you have a list of questions to use in this type of process?

Answer

Ironically, I was just interviewed by a reporter on 360-degree evaluations. My feeling is that people may be rushing too quickly to the 360 as a review tool. I believe it has merit for feedback for development, but should be seen as just one aspect of an individual’s development process. Most organizations are already doing a 270- degree review:

1. The supervisor reviews the employee, often incorporating other aspects of a 360. This is the first 90 degrees.

2. Most organizations do some employee satisfaction surveys. They reflect the employee’s perception of the supervisor—the next 90 degrees, putting us up to 180.

3. Most organizations have some type of feedback from customers—that is, patients, physicians, and interdepartmental staff. This brings us to 270 degrees.

4. 360 offers peer-to-peer feedback—the only piece missing. I feel that this last piece is not worth the tremendous financial investment it takes to produce the data.

Most importantly, I believe an organization should look at its review process and ask if an objective evaluation is in place. That said, a 360 can have value. But that value is more developmental, and shouldn’t be part of the evaluation.