The impact of peer-to-peer feedback
When done correctly, feedback from peers can empower and strengthen your workforce. Feedback helps us understand our strengths and weaknesses. Managers don’t always have a view into their employees’ daily tasks, whereas colleagues have a different perspective to offer. Peer-to-peer feedback provides more of a complete picture of an employee’s performance. Utilizing feedback from multiple peers also reduces the risk of bias and gives employees a chance to learn from one another.
There are two types of feedback: Constructive and positive. Constructive feedback is a crucial part of learning and growing. Positive feedback can be even more powerful! Especially from peers. SHRM research reveals that peer-to-peer recognition is 35.7% more likely to benefit your organizational financially than manager-only recognition. Plus, it engages, inspires, and lets people know when to keep up the good work.
When incorporating peer feedback into your review process, here are some best practices:
4 Best Practices for Peer-to-Peer Feedback
1. Provide a template
Build structure around giving feedback to peers. This might include putting together a standard questionnaire and giving employees examples of helpful feedback. It’ll be easier for you to collect feedback and easier for everyone to give it. It will also be more valuable and actionable this way.
Decide whether you keep the feedback anonymous. Most people are more comfortable – and more likely to be honest – giving feedback anonymously. Plus, you’ll prevent conflict and damaging peer relationships.
2. Remove the pressure
Ensure your employees that peer feedback will not affect their compensation. It should be more of an informal way to make the team better. This will stomp out fear that a negative peer review will impact annual salary and bonuses. Beyond that, some managers may be concerned that peer reviews replace or reduce their role in rating their employees’ performance. Explain that peer-to-peer feedback is simply meant to enhance the review process by bringing in alternative opinions.
3. Identify key players
Figure out who should be asked to provide feedback about each employee. Typically, a good place to start is with team members that work with that employee on a regular basis. You can even ask employees for suggestions on who should review them. Identifying the right people will make it more valuable and empowering, for both the giver and the receiver.
4. Utilize peer-to-peer platforms
Peer reviews will certainly contain great feedback that is both constructive and positive. But they will only come along every so often. It’s important to make praise from peers a regular occurrence. Enable all your employees to give positive feedback on any day and to anyone in the organization. A digital recognition platform is a great way to encourage this type of frequent praise – through eCards, social posts, points, etc. And it can put recognition on display for the entire organization to see and be inspired by.
Humans have an innate need for growth. Peer-to-peer feedback offers your people a focused, equitable way to continue growing in your organization. It also empowers and encourages all your employees!