The women and men in whites are central to the Indian Navy’s ‘SHIPS FIRST’ approach and will continue to remain its greatest asset in the foreseeable future. Towards promoting their professional and personal development, the Indian Navy recognises that an agile, adaptive, and advanced Human Resource Management is imperative. In that regard, the Indian Navy has institutionalised a novel transformative initiative of ‘360 Degree Appraisal Mechanism’ for various promotion boards.

The present appraisal mechanism of periodic Confidential Reports by senior officers, has an inherent limitation of a ‘Top-down’ approach, as it does not cater for or quantify a leader’s impact on subordinates. The Indian Navy’s ‘360 Degree Appraisal Mechanism’ is aimed to address this shortfall by encompassing large-scale surveys from suitably identified peers and subordinates for every officer being considered for promotion. The survey comprises a spectrum of questions, encompassing aspects such as professional knowledge, leadership attributes, suitability in war/ crisis and potential for holding higher ranks. Inputs, thus obtained, are suitably quantified for independent analyses by a nominated Board of Officers, headed by a Flag Officer. This will also be provided as feedback to the officers to effect behavioural changes and improvements.

Similar appraisal systems are in vogue in various national and international learning organisations. The Indian Navy takes pride in imbibing such ‘best practices’ and this initiative is in continuation of other endeavours towards remaining a ‘Combat Ready, Credible, Cohesive and Future Proof Force’.