Peer Feedback: Advantages and Disadvantages

May 7, 2020
4 Min Read
Photo by

By now you know there are many types of feedback. We we walked through employee feedback and 360-degree feedback. But, have you ever thought about exchanging feedback with your peers solely?

Peer reviews are a growing practice of assessing a professional's performance. It's another way to reveal blind spots or areas of improvement. Part of our ultimate Matter feedback guide, we'll give you the rundown in all things peer feedback-related.

What is peer feedback?

Peer feedback, also known as peer-to-peer feedback, is between colleagues that perform the same duties. These are people who work closely with you on day-to-day tasks and have a better perspective on your overall performance. Compared to managers who typically have a high-level, bird's-eye-view of your performance.

Peer reviews tend to fall into the informal feedback category as they aren't typically structured. Informal peer feedback takes place in casual settings with spontaneous suggestions. Whether it's how to give feedback or receive it from your peers, it's a powerful practice in the workplace.

Peer feedback sources colleagues on your team for performance reviews. They have insight into your day-to-day tasks that your manager may not have (Courtesy of Behance)

Advantages of peer feedback

Your peers are a great source for concrete feedback. This is your opportunity to explore fresh strategies and tips that can contribute to your overall performance in the workplace.

🛠 Builds teams. Getting feedback from your manager is a great strategy, but receiving feedback from your peers is a little better. When colleagues are consistently giving each other feedback they are cultivating relationships on the foundation of transparency and radical candor. In time, you start to understand each others’ strengths and blind spots.

👀 Fresh perspective. One of the biggest benefits of peer feedback is that your colleagues provide a unique perspective to your professional performance. We mentioned how your peers work closely with you on day-to-day tasks. Your colleagues are a great source to get accurate and detailed feedback about your overall performance.

😰 Alleviates fear. Getting feedback from your manager can be scary, especially if you fear that it may impact your position, salary, or reputation at the company. That’s why peer feedback is a great way to target your areas of improvement without the fear factor. This your chance to actively make improvements to your performance before meeting with your manager.

With each type of feedback comes with pros and cons. But, it's still important to get from all parts of your professional career (Courtesy of Dribbble)

Disadvantages of peer feedback

Disadvantages of peer feedback can skew the professional’s performance or paint them in a negative light. Before sourcing out your peers, be aware of these peer feedback cons.

📣 Differing opinions. Your team may have varying opinions, attitudes, beliefs, and approaches. And sometimes, opinions can clash with other each other. Peer feedback, in this case, may not be the route if colleagues don’t fit well together. You may not be captured accurately which can lead to negative feedback.

❓Confusion. While having a bigger team means more hands on deck and brainpower, it can also lead to confusion. When it comes time for peer feedback, there is a chance that roles, positions, and tasks may get mixed up in peer reviews. This hurts your opportunity to receive constructive feedback.

🏋️‍♂️ Lack of training. Another disadvantage of peer feedback is the lack of feedback training. Feedback comes with the idea that suggestions are objective and focus solely on observations rather than opinions. If a peer who doesn’t engage in frequent feedback reports opinions, it can impact the professional performance and stake at the company.

Peer review is just part of the feedback pie. While you may find one method effective over the other, we encourage you to seek out all types of feedback to enhance your professional development. That's why feedback is so important. This insight is fuel to your professional transformation. Every suggestion, tip, or praise counts.

Make employee recognition & rewards fun with Matter!
Free To Try. Easy Setup. No Credit Card Required.
Awwards cat
Awwards cat paws
Awwards ball purple
Awwards ball blue
More in
Performance & Feedback