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Multi-Rater Feedback: How to use it? What are the benefits?
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Multi-Rater Feedback: How to use it? What are the benefits?
February 17, 2022 at 10:33:00 AM EST   By Cassandra Stiltz

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It's that time of year again, when the review process takes hold and it's time to plan out how one does their quarterly reviews, biannual reviews, or yearly reviews. Choosing the right review process can be challenging. In today's work environment, there is no shortage of review processes to choose from, so which option should you choose?

When you do your research, you may find that the words Multi-Rater Feedback are mentioned a lot. However, with this tool also comes a lot of set-up and preparation that may not be available to you. HR Avatar has the solution: We offer a surplus of pre-hire assessments as well as Multi-Rater Feedback tools.

What is Multi-Rater Feedback?

In Multi-Rater Feedback (MRF), coworkers, supervisors and subordinates share their observations and perspectives about an individual. MRF dates back to 1920, became increasingly popular during the 1990s, and continues to be utilized today. MRF is called by many names: 360 Degree Feedback, Full-Circle Appraisal, Multi-Source Feedback, Group Performance Review, All-Round Feedback, etc. (Bracken, Rose, & Church, 2016).

What are the benefits of MRF?

Multi-Rater Feedback is a great source of meaningful feedback and developmental advice from the people an employee cares about most - their peers, managers, and subordinates. It's easy to argue with one person's opinion, but when 3 or 4 people say the same thing, you have to listen.

Listed below are 8 important and common benefits for MRF.
1-7(Kanaslan & Lyem, 2016) 8(Bracken et al., 2016)

  1. Strengthens the contact between the raters and ratees.
  2. Gives employees the experience of power and the right to speak.
  3. Feedback from various sources provides more reliable information in order to inform the receivers about their level of performance.
  4. Leads to a clear frame of employee strengths and weaknesses.
  5. Can enhance intrinsic motivation.
  6. Can lead to more team interactions.
  7. Allows the opportunity for employees to evaluate themselves in comparison to the way others view their behavior.
  8. Given the right technology MRF tools provide highly accurate feedback to high volumes of people.

How to implement MRF:

  1. Decide if your organization is ready to use MRF.
  2. Be clear about the purpose (typically for developmental use).
  3. Provide proper anonymity.
  4. Collect ratings at regular intervals. At least twice a year.
  5. Train all organizational members on how to use MRF properly.
  6. Use results to create a development plan for the ratee.
  7. Provide the ratee with resources to promote developmental change.
  8. Track results over time.

When should you use MRF? How is it useful?

It is recommended to use MRF primarily as a development tool.

MRF provides the capability to show ratings from the employee's coworkers as well as self-rates. Self-ratings are beneficial in that they act as a reflection tool. Individuals can use self-ratings to identify similarities and differences (blind spots/hidden strengths) in their own competencies. The blind spots can be used as discussion points for improvement, while the hidden strengths can be used to identify specific talents of the employee. Self-ratings also help the individual interpret their scores easier by allowing them to be familiar with the contents. (Bracken et al., 2016)

HR Avatar's MRF Tool:

If you're thinking about starting MRF in your organization, take a look at HR Avatar's new Multi-Rater Feedback tool. It can be found under the "Reference Checks" header menu option or at https://www.hravatar.com/ta/help/multi-rater-feedback.xhtml. Here we provide the basic tools you need to start your MRF process, as well as templates for popular roles and the option to create your own template for your organization.

Final Thoughts and What You Should Do Next

When looking into performance evaluation methods it's important to determine what tool will be the best fit for the capabilities within your organization. No performance evaluation method is known to be a perfect fit for the masses. Please reach out to HR Avatar to discuss MRF further at support@hravatar.com. An Industrial Organizational Psychologist will be able to assist you in determining whether MRF is the right fit for your organization.

References:

  • Bracken, D. W., Rose, D. S., & Church, A. H. (2016). The evolution and devolution of 360 feedback. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 9(4), 761-794.
  • Kanaslan, E. K., & Iyem, C. (2016). Is 360-degree feedback appraisal an effective way of performance evaluation. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 6(5), 172-182.
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