An Introduction to 360 Evaluations in SAP SuccessFactors

As year-end approaches, it is common for many companies to take a second look at their employee performance and goal setting processes. In the past few weeks, I’ve been helping multiple companies revamp their employee performance processes. While some are just tweaking current forms and processes, others are considering including a new and often enlightening process – 360 evaluations.

What is a 360 evaluation?

The idea behind a 360 evaluation is to get a picture of how others view your performance from all angles. This means that in addition to getting feedback from your manager (top down), you also get feedback from your own direct reports (bottom-up), peers (side), and even external sources (vendors, business partners, customers, etc.).

Why do companies implement 360 evaluations?

Receiving feedback from a variety of sources helps create a more complete picture of how an employee is performing and/or perceived to be performing from different angles. 360 evaluations can help uncover trends and gaps in these different angles. For example, a manager may consider an employee a top performer, but when feedback is asked from peers or external sources on an anonymous basis, the employee might get different feedback (“He’s always on top of his own tasks, but sometimes at the expense of the team as a whole when we need his support”). Similarly, an employee may not be considered a top performer by a manager, but feedback from others could reveal a lot of solid performance feedback into which the manager never previously had sight (E.g. “She’s been so helpful in getting my career on the right path and helping me with work tasks at the expense of her own!”). Allowing this feedback to come to light can help employees and managers work to truly improve employee performance. We’ll take a look in a moment at how SAP SuccessFactors 360 evaluations aid in attaining this kind of feedback.

Walk-through of a 360 form in SAP SuccessFactors

360 forms are launched just like performance forms are. However, it is important to note that 360 forms use a separate screen for launching (don’t worry, this screen pretty much works the same as the other launch forms screen you are used to. After picking a target population, the admin can launch just like a normal performance form.

Search bar showing separate launch screen for 360 forms

360 forms will also show up in the performance inbox like other performance forms, but with a different icon. It is important to recognize that 360 forms use a template type than regular performance forms and get treated slightly differently in these respects.

View of Performance Inbox with both 360 and regular performance reviews

Once the first person in the route map gets the form (in this case the employee), they need to choose who will be involved in the evaluation. The system can be configured to default in people for categories like direct reports, manager, and peers.

Employee nominates raters step of 360 review

Users also have the option to add external participants as shown below by simply providing a first name, last name, and email and then choosing in what category the person should be included.

Adding an external participant

Once the user is finished adding participants, there is usually an approval step prior to the evaluations being sent out. Evaluations can be designed using sections similar to those you are used to seeing in a standard performance review form. There are sections for objectives, competencies, as well as an introduction and a section for the subject’s information. Unlike regular performance forms that can be configured heavily on the online editor in “Manage Templates”, 360 forms can only be fully setup by partners or SAP (though much of the config is done in the online editor).

For internal participants, the evaluation is sent to the user’s performance inbox like the typical performance reviews where they can then open the form as shown below.

360 Review Form Sent to Evaluator

In the case of external participants, after approval of the evaluators, an email is sent with a link that allows external users to access the form. This can be a security consideration for some organizations since the link is only as secure as the receiving email system.

After all evaluations have been completed, the form is put in the completed status and the employee / manger / etc can view the results depending on permission settings. You can see an example completed performance form below.

Completed Review showing Anonymous ratings

One key advantage of the 360 form in SuccessFactors over the typical annual performance review is that the 360 feedback comments and ratings can be made anonymous. Obviously the user would know who their manager is, or they might be able to derive who the other evaluators are based on category if there are only one or two – so the forms allow you to configure minimum counts in each category as well as rollups to combine categories to help keep anonymity. The user can click on the link for each reviewer to see the details of each review and create an HTML or PDF printout of the details as shown below.

Printed Detail of Individual Review Feedback

The form also has a nice detailed report showing the combined feedback comments and overall ratings by category. This can help the employee and manager understand where any gaps between self and manager evaluation ratings may exist along with other types of ratings from other categories. For examplem we can see below there is a large gap between the manager’s perception and the employee and other’s perception of “Prioritizing and Organizing Work”. Perhaps the manager is getting too much priority and the employee needs to focus on the work the team as a whole needs completed!

Wrap Up

After this quick walkthrough, hopefully you can now see the advantage of 360 forms as an insightful tool to get employee performance feedback from a variety of sources and understand what a typical end-to-end 360 process looks like.

Do you need help implementing or changing your 360 form or other performance and goals processes? Contact us at info@worklogix.com.

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