A 2022 Comprehensive Guide to Peer Feedback

October 17, 2021
7 Min Read
Photo by
Andrey Kopyrin

Table of Contents:

What is peer feedback?

Peer feedback is a method of providing performance assessments for employees without the need for direct manager involvement. Through the use of constructive feedback, peers evaluate each other either through peer feedback forms or through verbal evaluation. This peer review style of assessment is thought to be more effective feedback, as it promotes encouraging and constructive criticism more so than standard feedback which can instead sometimes be harsh or unhelpful.

Why peer feedback is important

Peer feedback is an important part of your employees' yearly appraisals as they help them to grow their skills and develop within the company. In a peer assessment, an employee can receive constructive feedback from a peer, which can help them resolve any ongoing issues in order to improve their own performance. 

For example, peer feedback helps employees who need more experience with a task or role before being fully competent at it by offering advice and helpful tips for future success.

How peer feedback boosts employee performance

There have been many studies done on the peer feedback process showing how it boosts employee performance by promoting team bonding, developing trust between colleagues, and improving overall employee engagement through creating informal networks between co-workers.

Studies show that employees who go through a peer review process on their performance as part of their yearly appraisal are often more motivated to continue performing well within the company, as they feel supported and can rely on their peers for help whenever required. If done properly, effective peer feedback can provide a great source of motivation and encouragement for a fellow student or worker throughout the year.

How to write peer feedback

The key to writing effective peer feedback is to stay impartial when analyzing and learning of a peer's performance. Sometimes the difference between bad and good feedback is simply having the ability to detach oneself from one's peer when writing a peer assessment, in order to focus on their performance rather than their own preconceptions. 

The feedback process is about giving constructive criticism and offering useful feedback in a positive manner, which can help your employees perform better in a future peer review by utilizing the peer feedback they have received.

Peer feedback examples

Here are some examples of different types of peer feedback to give:

An employee receives peer feedback on his presentation skills; he must then follow up with his peers within three days. These employees should rate him on four different aspects of the presentation (navigation/organization/voice/attitude). He will get an overall score out of ten and must improve by at least one point (making his peer feedback score 9/10 or 10/10) in order to present again.

Employees are given peer feedback forms to complete after performing a task or watching another employee perform it. They must provide positive encouragement throughout the task, but also be mindful of the employee's mistakes and where they can change for improvement. The peer will reply with peer feedback once completed to ensure accuracy and satisfaction between both employees.

A peer points out that three of her training courses have been rated 'average' by students, which is lower than the company average of 3.5 stars on each course page within Google Play Store (their internal system). She suggests making small changes in order to bring these ratings closer to their ideal rating of 4.2 stars (for example, peer feedback). Her peer agrees and suggests creating a peer assessment form, or peer appraisal form to distribute to students at the end of each course in order to collect their thoughts on what can be improved.

Peer feedback templates

Quite often, businesses will use peer feedback templates in order to standardize peer evaluation forms and assessments. These can come in the form of a peer feedback rubric, or just simply a list of questions. Having a standardized template can help a company keep its peer reviews consistent across the board by establishing a feedback protocol, as there will be a set of peer feedback questions which employees must answer when completing their peer review forms.

Peer feedback questions

The following are great examples of peer assessment questions that you could use:

Appreciation Questionnaire: Tell me one thing you appreciate about your peer? What would you like to do more with/to them?

Competency Assessment: Rate your peer on each skill below according to how well they used it during their recent project. 

  • 1 = not at all
  • 2 = needs work
  • 3 = meets expectations
  • 4 = exceeded my expectations

Difficult: How easy is it for you to give feedback to your peer?

Encouragement: How can I help my peer grow and do even better next time? What is one thing that you admire about them?

Group Assessment: Rate your peer from 1 - 10 with ten being the highest score on each competency below.

Peer Appraisal Questionnaire: In an ideal world, how would you rate your peer in terms of skills? What is one thing they could improve upon in order to get a higher score within this category? What have you learned from working with them?

Peer feedback in the workplace

Peer feedback in the workplace is an important tool for providing meaningful feedback to fellow peers. Often, a peer review can include both peer feedback and peer appraisal, but it's essential to outline what each review will entail when asking employees to complete a peer review at work.

Peer evaluation is defined as 'an organizational process in which employees assess each other's performance'. A peer review can be either formal or informal. Informal peer reviews occur through casual conversations between peers who work with one another, whereas formal peer reviews involve more structured assessment of behaviors, skills and knowledge via written forms sent out via email or online.

Overall, peer feedback is incredibly important when it comes to developing a positive company culture, and when done right can do wonders for improving relationships among employees and increasing productivity within your organization.

If you found this guide interesting or helpful at all, then consider trying out Matter. Matter is a free Slack app, and allows team members to offer feedback to one another. Try it today for completely free.

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