The US military looks set to adopt the principles of 360 degree feedback in an effort to improve the selection of future leaders.
According to the military’s top officer, reviews offering an insight into how military officers are viewed by their subordinates may be used by command screening boards.
Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, is leading a new initiative that will require all four services to adopt some form of 360-degree reviews.
The assessment tool was first developed by the German army in WWII and has since become popular in the private sector across the globe.
In the US military these evaluations – also known as multi-rater reviews – will initially be limited. Feedback gathered will only be seen by the officer under review as a tool to help them better understand his or her shortcomings.
However, as time passes and the force grows more comfortable with 360-degree reviews, they may ultimately be integrated into the command screening process.
Gen Dempsey’s spokesman, Marine Col. David Lapan is reported as saying the 360-degree assessments will initially be used for self-awareness or developmental purposes but will likely evolve into tools for appraisals of some type.
However, Dempsey does not envision those 360-degree reviews being used in the traditional promotion process.