The Difference Between Upward Feedback & 360-Degree Feedback
Feedback is an extremely useful tool for assessing an employee's performance, identifying areas for improvement and making managerial decisions. Employees can improve substantially from both formal and informal feedback, as well as open communication between team members. Of the various forms of feedback systems, each offers valuable tools and data to assess the functions of individuals and groups. Some organizations choose to use multiple forms of feedback.
One type of feedback system is called 360-degree feedback, based on the idea that anonymous feedback from multiple sources is more well-rounded than direct feedback from a single source. A full-circle system involves multiple colleagues in an employee’s sphere of influence. Input can come from co-workers, team members, customers, direct reports and cross-functional roles. The data is collected confidentially by designated administrators or a third party and later shared with an employee and his direct supervisor.
The 360-degree feedback system motivates employees to work toward corporate objectives. Employees are encouraged to perform at optimum levels at all times, knowing that people in various roles contribute to their performance assessments. This method is helpful for managers who have many people in their group. Collecting feedback from multiple sources alleviates blind spots in performance reviews. Because feedback is confidential, contributors can be candid about their assessments, and forthright information is an excellent resource to identify relevant issues and areas of opportunity.
Upward feedback is a variation of 360-degree feedback that focuses on managerial effectiveness based on the input of subordinates collected via anonymous surveys and questionnaires. When management offers employees the power to hold supervisors accountable, it shows the importance company leadership places on continued personal and professional development. Feedback from subordinates can be difficult to receive, but it is through these employee assessments that managers can identify areas to improve upon as leaders that they may not have realized on their own. Employees then are much more likely to effectively receive feedback themselves.
Upward feedback is an excellent tool for promoting leadership throughout a company. Managers set an example by opening themselves up to critiques. This system also tends to enhance job satisfaction as employees believe their input is valued. Employees develop a sense of enhanced commitment to a firm with the knowledge that their opinions help shape their work experience. The overall process reinforces team building and improves the unit as a whole.