Everything to Know About Peer Review Templates in 2021

Tai
October 21, 2021
8 Min Read
Photo by
Simo Liu

Table of Contents:

Definition of a peer review template

If you aren't familiar with what a peer review template is, it's merely a document that is used to define the criteria of what peer review feedback should entail. You can print and use an employee evaluation form from these templates to rate an employee's performance. 

Although the definition for one is simple, the benefits they bring are powerful and should be a part of any company's employee development plan. 

Having the standards already defined for the template allows people in different roles or departments to provide uniform responses that increase consistency across all areas of an organization. It also makes sure everyone is on board with how improvement efforts are going to be monitored and tracked.

How to get the most out of peer review templates

Once your company has implemented an effective peer review template, it's important to make sure people are using them. This means focusing on things like making time for reviews (i.e., not during a time of high stress), rewarding those who give good employee feedback, and acting on the advice that is given. 

Peer review templates are not only useful for companies, but they're also beneficial to individual employees as well! Everyone benefits from constructive criticism, whether it's from their peers, manager, or an industry expert. This type of feedback can help you improve your work and feel more motivated to do better. 

Why do peer review templates matter?

Peer reviews are an important part of any business or industry that values quality work and feedback from their team members and clients alike. They give everyone involved a chance to discuss improvements and suggestions while also allowing people who weren't able to contribute in the initial discussion an opportunity to do so. Making templates for this is important, bringing us to our next question: should you be creating one of your own?

There are boilerplate templates you can use that we will go over in the following sections. However, all businesses are different, so it's often best to create one that works for you. First, reference and take what you need from samples of templates online and benchmark how other businesses are doing them too if you can. Then, brainstorm and take the best key points from each one for the best results.

Creating peer review templates for your company

There are numerous ways that you can create a peer review template, but the easiest way is by using an online document creation system like Google Docs or Microsoft Word. There's no need to download special software or purchase expensive templates! You can also find peer review examples, and examples of great templates online. A quick internet search will provide you with a number of them that are free to use and edit as needed. 

Remote teams and peer review templates

Since remote teams have a lot of freedom, it's essential to be clear in your expectations. Having peer review templates upfront is a great way for everyone in the company to understand what you need from them and when. If someone isn't meeting those standards or expectations, this can help identify that quickly, so you and they know where they stand within the team.

Peer review feedback template strategies

A large part of making peer review feedback templates work for your business is putting effective strategies in place. Here are three key strategies to consider when drafting the template: 

  • Make it actionable: The best way to write a good peer review is by making it specific and actionable. When people make recommendations in a peer review, they want to know their feedback will make an actual difference.
  • How it should be structured: The most important thing is that you structure the template so people can easily upload files, download peer review forms and collaborate on different projects. This provides transparency for everyone involved—while also making things easier when someone needs additional information later down the road.
  • Software options: To get started, you need peer review software (more on that later). These can be found online and make things much easier for everyone involved in creating the template.

Peer review feedback template metrics

There are a few key metrics that you should always have in mind when creating any type of peer review template. These include: 

  • Specificity: The more specific your language is, the better feedback people can give and receive from one another on projects they've been assigned to work on together.
  • Stakeholder expectations: What do your stakeholders and your client want? How can you make a template that makes everyone happy? This is one of the biggest questions to ask yourself when creating a peer review feedback template.
  • Company expectations: You also need to look at your own company's standards and requirements, as every business has different needs depending on their size and how they operate day-to-day.
  • KPIs: Other metrics to think about include key performance indicators or KPIs for short. They'll gauge how the whole peer-review process is doing, including improvement levels. The results put into graphs and displayed around the facility can really give a lift to the whole initiative and also show you what's working vs. what is not. 

Peer review feedback templates

There are several examples of peer review templates you can find online that will give you a good idea about what's possible. Here are three to check out:

  • Jotform: This first example has a review form that provides easy-to-use employee peer review templates, along with employee peer review report templates. The template is broken down into a four-quarter frequency, and it can also be used for an annual performance review. Additionally, you can add elements and your business logo to the peer feedback template.
  • 123FormBuilder: 123’s 360-degree Feedback Template can be used for giving peer reviews. Add templates to your account and customize them as you'd like. You can add, remove and edit its fields. They also provide a guide where you can learn to manage the template’s fields.
  • PLOS: The peer review form PLOS provides is an upside-down pyramid model that details how to structure a peer evaluation template for your company. You can download the PDF from the website, and it has key points, such as a summary of the research, examples, and evidence, and other essential points. You can opt to keep the structure one on their web pages vs. adopting your version solely to your company’s needs if you want. 

Peer review feedback template software

Besides templates, there are also several tools and software that you can use to help streamline the peer review process for your business. These include:

  • Adobe: This tool helps you learn how to build an employee peer review template for your company. Once you create and customize your template, you can save it as a PDF. In addition, a person can send an evaluation form to an employee electronically without sweating any formatting issues as a PDF. It also simplifies the peer review process by digitally sending and signing reviews.
  • EtQ Performance Suite: Although large companies often use ETQ’s document control software for giving performance reviews and peer reviews, the tools can be used by any size of business. The suite helps managers create and implement an effective employee evaluation program by providing a comprehensive suite of tools and other resources that can help make the process smooth as possible for the peer reviewer and others.
  • Quantum Workplace: Quantum provides peer review templates that support frequent, continuous feedback as part of the feedback part of their software. You can use this template to allow the employees an opportunity to give and receive constructive feedback. The main sections concern how well the reviewer does with project execution, role fit, and team collaboration.
  • Matter: Matter is now integrated with Slack, making it a game-changing tool for giving feedback directly and quickly. The tool allows you to rapidly share any feedback, kudos, and send feedback requests anytime and anywhere in Slack. You can use shortcuts to help you give the timely feedback that’s needed today in your existing workflows.

There are many different ways to implement employee review templates into your company's workflow, and it comes down to what kind of business you're running as well as how much time and money you can invest in them. The most important thing to remember is that you want your peer review template and process to be effective, so it's worth spending time researching different options.

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