The Importance Of Peer Feedback Reviews

Peer reviews offer a less biased and more honest perspective of an employee as a whole, not just what one or two people notice, as is often the case with supervisory reviews

Articles » The Importance Of Peer Feedback Reviews

A peer feedback review is one of many different review methods your business could use to evaluate your employees and their performance. Peer reviews offer a less biased and more honest perspective of an employee as a whole, not just what one or two people notice, as is often the case with supervisory reviews. As a result, they can provide you with a better evaluation and understanding of your employees and their performance.

Evaluating employees within the workplace can be a difficult task, as it requires a comprehensive approach to evaluate everyone equally and fairly while also attempting to gather accurate results. While there are many methods of reviewing employees, one of the better approaches is through peer feedback review. Using each employee to evaluate the others will generate a clear image of how they think their fellow workers are performing while also eliminating the need for a confusing or biased evaluation method.

Anonymity and Honesty
The process of peer review inherently requires anonymity, as each employee should feel that they can provide open and honest answers about their colleagues' business behaviors. This can only be done if they know their answers will be kept safe from others. Anonymity encourages the clearest insight to employees, and it can bring to light some of the issues that others may be hesitant to say aloud.

Interviews can be done between an employee and Human Resources as long as the HR representative is able to convey that responses are indeed anonymous. If you can, supply your team with software that allows employees to review their peers without human interaction. People often feel that they are more anonymous when they are using a computer, so software like this may provide more accurate results than even discussions with an HR rep.

Motivates Workers
When employees understand that all of their peers, not just their bosses or managers, are watching their performance, productivity often begins to rise. Nobody wants to be seen as a slacker who does nothing for the office, but when a lunch buddy is suddenly one of your reviewers, you start to think twice about taking longer lunches or bragging about how you spent all morning on Facebook.

Less Biased Perspectives
When managers alone are responsible for determining whether or not an employee has been productive, it is difficult to get a complete picture of the worker's effectiveness. Managers can be extremely biased towards and against certain employees for reasons which have nothing to do with performance. Joe can slack off until he knows the manager is watching and get the same performance review as Bob who works hard whether anyone is watching or not. If Joe is particularly friendly towards the manager, Joe may even get a better review than Bob, despite the fact that Joe's productivity is significantly less.

By having everyone who works with the person under review considering their performance, you get a much more unbiased perspective. Admittedly, this perspective can be colored by the employee's interactions with others, but a larger pool of information is guaranteed to give you a better sense of a person's work ethic than a single perspective.

A Peer feedback review is an effective method of evaluating employees and the climate of the workplace, and it can provide honest and insightful perspectives regarding employee performance. Many employees will not be hesitant to point out weaker links in the chain or point out strong workers, especially if they know their answers are anonymous and safe. While a peer feedback review is just one option that can be added to a string of review methods, it brings a unique discussion to the table as it provides perspective from the eyes of the worker.


Last updated: Tuesday, August 28, 2012
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