Giving feedback on your colleague's work can be challenging. On the one hand, you don't want to insult anyone, as you wouldn't want someone else to be harsh on you. On the other hand, only praising others without offering constructive criticism won't accomplish much and will even make the feedback look dishonest.
Although it is not easy, you can learn to do the peer evaluation correctly. In this post, we’ll share 20 peer evaluation examples you can use to encourage teammates’ good work and provide suggestions on what they should improve.
What's more, they will even look forward to following your concrete advice to ensure their performance improves in the future and will be glad that their colleagues appreciate their hard work, once they see your positive feedback.
Peer evaluation or peer review is a process where colleagues give feedback on each other’s performance and other skills. This is incredibly useful, as (higher) managers are often not in the trenches daily and usually focus on stats and numbers when evaluating performance. That's why peer evaluations can be more accurate than those managers give.
Colleagues can give more information about some less tangible skills, such as how pleasant someone is to work with, how they affect the atmosphere if they show up when needed, and similar. Those attributes rarely show in spreadsheets but can influence the entire team-wide success.
3. Interpersonal skills
In the following two sections, we will give you ten ways to leave positive colleague feedback and ten ways to provide constructive criticism without hurting anyone's feelings:
When giving positive feedback, it is a good idea to focus on specifics and make it genuine. Therefore, customize the sentences to your needs and include actual positive traits your colleague has, especially considering their position and assignments:
1. You are always diligent and have a good eye for detail, which is exceptionally important for our compliance team.
2. You are very analytical and a great problem solver, always approaching issues in a new way and highlighting solutions from a new perspective.
3. You are incredibly kind and polite, always willing to help and stand up for colleagues.
4. Your incredible sense of humor and upbeat personality refresh the work atmosphere, helping us go through tough stretches.
5. You learn fast, easily apply new concepts, and are always willing to listen and accept constructive criticism.
6. I am impressed by your accountability. You never shy away or hide your mistakes but are eager to overcome them and do what is necessary to push the project forward.
7. Your ability to take the initiative even when it gets tough is astonishing and show excellent leadership by example.
8. You are incredibly tolerant, always willing to listen and include everybody. Thank you for reminding us of the company's values we should follow.
9. You are an excellent communicator, always able to define issues without blame and map the best course of action to solve them.
10. You are a true expert and your knowledge and ability inspire the rest of us. I love how you are never arrogant but are always willing to show other colleagues how to improve.
Now, the hard part – criticism. If you do it right, you will be able not only to avoid hurting feelings but help your colleagues advance their careers:
1. You are very knowledgeable and a true expert in your craft. However, sometimes you rush to conclusions. Doing more research before making a call would make your results even more impressive.
2. I appreciate how you lead by example and are always a top performer on our team. It would be nice if you could share your knowledge with the team more often, to up team-wide averages.
3. You are very analytical and punctual, consistently delivering thorough reports. While comparing results is valuable, I would appreciate more information along the way and better communication to align our efforts during the project.
4. You are a real professional and your expertise shows in every step you make. If you could work on improving your coaching and leadership skills to help your colleagues strengthen their game, too, I have no doubts you would be offered a team leader or manager role in no time.
5. Taking pride in your work and giving your best in every piece you write is inspiring. That sometimes takes too much out of you, as you tend to take feedback a bit too personally.
6. You are very detail-oriented and always deliver top-quality work. If you could do a bit better job meeting deadlines, you would immediately become our top performer.
7. Creativity is one of your strongest traits, as you always find ways to break the mold. If you could match that by paying more attention to details, you would be even more valuable to our clientele.
8. You always try your best to think outside the box, which benefits our team tremendously. But, ensuring all of the guidelines are met should always be the priority, as we don't want extra creativity to go to waste and turn into revision requests.
9. You do a great job following instructions to the letter and making sure nothing goes unnoticed.
10. However, it would sometimes be a better choice if you could ask questions proactively instead of waiting for brief changes and revision requests.
11. Double-checking everything and ensuring no issues end up on clients' plates is something you excel at, but you could do a bit better job prioritizing and paying that amount of attention only to those tasks that are actual difference-makers.
The 20 examples from above will get you going, but it's essential to follow some basic principles when giving peer evaluation to make sure it produces the desired effects:
a. Be objective: Think about your colleague’s contributions and set aside personal conflicts or dislikes.
b. Focus on things your peers can improve: Highlight areas where the person can improve. For example, if someone is very analytical and detail-oriented but introverted, it would be too much to ask them to become the heart and soul of your team-building activities and start cracking more jokes during the work days. Instead, give suggestions they can apply without changing who they are.
c. Strike the right balance: Couple constructive criticism with positive feedback to make colleagues more receptive and less defensive about negative feedback.
d. Remain respectful: Always remember that you are giving feedback to another human, a person with life, feelings, and history. The worst thing you can do is insult or make them lose confidence, so act carefully and respectfully.
Peer evaluations are a significant way of improving employee performance, as colleagues know best what makes each of them special and what they can work on. They can even improve the overall team chemistry, as employees like having meaningful conversations with each team member.
But, it is often tricky to talk about other people objectively, fairly, and constructively. We hope our article and the 20 peer evaluation examples can help you leave a fair but impactful review, making your colleague feel respected and proud, but with specific things to work on.
Good peer feedback will highlight a person's strengths, simultaneously giving them something to work on and improve in the future. Giving good feedback to a developer would look like this:
"You do a great job testing your code and ensuring it works in every scenario, but it would be better if we could save some time by introducing automated testing frameworks in the workflow."
The best thing is to remain objective, balanced, and respectful, focusing on elements that are directly work-related. Besides performance, you can focus on other areas your colleague affects during work – team spirit, accountability, work atmosphere, etc.
Peer evaluation is something your employer will organize in a digital or written form, usually using a feedback tool. You will likely face a series of questions with room to leave comments.
Good peer evaluation focuses on objective things and gives concrete advice on what the person can improve. It is also balanced, as it doesn't only focus on negatives but also praises the strengths of each colleague. Above all, good peer evaluation is respectful.
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