AJO Blog

Step Aside Managers! Let Peer-to-Peer Feedback Drive Performance Management

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January 5th, 2017
Performance management is a topic that has spurned some radical debates in recent years. The once once-per-year performance appraisal is seen as a necessary evil by many employers and managers, but has shown to be largely ineffective. In fact, many companies feel their current performance management systems are a waste of time and that performance management needs to be reinvented.
 
While there are many problems with the once-per-year appraisal set-up, one of the major issues is that managers are often far-removed from an employee’s day-to-day performance. The appraisal is then seen as an outside and not completely fair judgment. Shifting to a system that relies mainly on peer-to-peer feedback for performance management is generally viewed much more favorably and can be more effective.
peer to peer feedback performance management

 

Make Feedback an Ongoing Dialogue

When feedback becomes an ongoing dialogue, performance development is continuous. GE rolled out a new performance management system that relies on touch points to update priorities on an ongoing basis and an app that allows anyone in an employee’s network to make suggestions. The new system has so far been seen to foster better teamwork between departments that has driven real bottom-line results.
 

Encourage Transparency and Trust

In the past, an air of secrecy has generally been encouraged in most workplaces. Employees are discouraged from speaking with one another about pay, potential promotions, and other important matters. This air of secrecy fosters a lack of trust and transparency that can be damaging to employee relationships, however.
When employees are not only allowed but encouraged to talk to one another about all important issues affecting their working lives, it can help to build more robust relationships between team members.
 
Instead of harboring resentment over another employee making more money or having perceived advantages, employees may feel that the door is open to a dialogue about the reasons behind the differences. This can encourage self-motivated development as employees see opportunities and understand what to do to progress within the company.
 

Capture Performance Management Notes

Peer-to-peer feedback is valuable and should therefore be tracked in some way. HR software can make it easy to attach notes regarding performance to employee profiles, which can help to form a rounded picture of an employee’s daily contributions and value within the company. Having all feedback in one place can increase the value of assessments and make it possible to spot patterns.
 
When it comes time for raises and promotions, being able to review these notes can be valuable in uncovering employees’ hidden talents and potential. The notes can also serve as documentation to back up decisions.
 

Make Feedback Easy to Give

While peer-to-peer feedback is great in concept and most employees will agree with it, it is important to make sure it is easy for employees to participate. Creating or implementing an app that allows employees to provide feedback to one another immediately and setting up meetings that allow everyone to touch base can make feedback easier to give.
perfromance management feedback
It is also important to set up a system for providing feedback. Setting up peer feedback deadlines or making it necessary for everyone to provide commentary after team projects may work to encourage regular peer-to-peer feedback.
 
By shifting your performance management systems to a peer-to-peer format rather than a top-down format, you may see great gains in productivity and perhaps even an improvement in company culture. Peer-to-peer feedback tends to encourage a friendlier and happier workplace while providing employees with actionable insights into their daily performance.

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