How to give constructive peer feedback?
Feedback is an integral component of every organization. Companies must be designed and organized in such a way that all teams are integrated, and they must work together actively towards the company and employee goals. This unity helps in boosting business productivity. When we have this kind of structured workplace culture, employees must constantly try to help their fellow team members and strive to improve their abilities.
Since we are talking about helping each other, it is also important that employees give and receive continuous feedback. There are times when we would be open to criticism from our colleagues, but we cannot expect our colleagues to respond in the same positive manner. Peer evaluation is such that it is not contingent upon performance appraisals and salary revisions. It is just a process by which you could build an optimistic culture in your team.
Peer feedback is an activity by which employees evaluate the performance of their peers. Peer feedback has a positive impact on employee achievements. Peer feedback provides employees the opportunity to learn from each other. Peer feedback can be given in any form such as ratings, corrections, opinions, suggestions, and ideas.
- Diversity in the feedback process.
- Employees get more insight from working with their peers.
- Employees are less anxious with their peers and are hence motivated to learn more.
- Employees build confidence when they share their opinions with one another.
- Employees can clearly express their ideas based on their knowledge and experience.
- Apart from strengthening confidence, employees are more likely to take up more responsibilities to increase their learning.
- Peer feedback increases social skills while interacting with other employees.
- Communication is a two-way street and peer feedback improves collaboration among employees
- Employees can reflect on their performance, competencies, and skills
- Identifies missing details, issues, and concerns using constructive criticism.
Tips and tricks
Peer feedback is a fairly difficult task because you have positives and negatives in your feedback. It is important that you prepare well in advance because that way it becomes easier for you to put forth your arguments. This will help you in terms of helping your colleagues to improve themselves, their skills and their behavioral attributes. It is also important that you keep your team goals and objectives clear before giving your feedback.
For senior-level employees such as managers and team leaders, it is easier for them to give feedback. Peer feedback is slightly tricky though. There are times when we dwell upon what the person on the receiving end would think about us. How are they going to take it? Therefore, it is important to be specific in our feedback. We need to be precise about what it is that we want to communicate exactly.
Sugarcoating our feedback will not help the other person in any way. At the same time, we cannot give positive/negative feedback for the heck of giving it. We must examine why we are giving what we are giving.
One major mistake we do is feedback is always linear. Peers must be involved and encouraged to share their thoughts. We need to tailor our feedback properly and elicit their responses. When we are discussing issues, it is always better to give them solutions. In case your peers have to improve themselves, you can always ask them how they can improve their skills and competencies needed for the job.
Imagine yourself being in your peer’s situation and try to analyze their issues. How they can improve? While giving your feedback give them solutions and ideas for their improvement. Setting your expectations clearly before giving feedback can help your peers to meet those expectations.
Go over the comments discussed during peer feedback and show your colleague an action plan. Having an action plan will eliminate any room for misunderstanding since you are trying to help your colleague professionally. Creating an action plan for your colleague is not mandatory but it just clarifies expectations, issues and your suggestions for their improvement.
Remember that giving feedback has no value unless there is an impact on employee performance. It is your choice whether you want to follow up, but it is always good to go back and see if your peers need help. This way you can motivate your peers and boost their performance productivity.