Peer feedback! Let's Mainstream It

May 4, 2020

Peer feedback is increasingly gaining momentum at workplaces, as there are immense, demonstrable benefits of influencing behavior change and building collaboration within teams.  Recent research from Gartner* shows that peer feedback can have a particularly strong impact on employees, boosting performance by as much as 14%. Well, its not that easy because peers may dread giving or receiving feedback, especially if it’s negative.

So, now the more important aspect is to give constructive feedback correctly, without putting your co worker off and still maintaining that relationship.

Here are some quick tips to instill a positive peer feedback culture in your teams:

# Focus on the positives

Start with the positives; how has your peer's behavior impacted you and the team positively. Remember, the underpinning fact about providing feedback is that it has to be constructive and developmental.

# Make it regular

If peer reviews are like continuous and throughout the working relationship with peers, feedback doesn't seem to be an episodic event. Just like manager reviews, if peer reviews are part of an ongoing two-way conversation the impact would be much better.

# Be specific and actionable

Well, it may sound a bit clichéd. Most employees believe their performance would improve if they receive corrective feedback. Most employees prefer constructive criticism over praise/recognition. Not the feedback sandwich anymore! One way to incorporate positive comments into criticism is to highlight how to leverage your peer’s existing strengths.

# Learn from each other

How do we ensure that feedback conversations between peers are productive and leave both parties satisfied? One way of achieving this is to come prepared; even if it’s just a casual conversation. Even feedback given with the best intentions may sometimes not be received well. So, take the time to learn how the person you're working with prefers to receive feedback and package your notes accordingly.

When preparing for a feedback conversation with a peer, you can prepare some of these questions to ensure that the time is well-spent:


         - What are your goals, and how can you both work together to achieve them?

         - What are your developmental areas, and how can you support/complement each              other?

         - Why do you love working with them/ what have you learnt from them?

Let the goal of peer feedback be to ultimately foster a culture of team spirit and provide positive reinforcement from those who know them the best.

“We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” - – Bill Gates

The Fitbots Spotlight team asked Nithya Singaram, a globally experienced Organisational, Leadership and Talent development professional, who is passionate about leading organizational behavior and cultural change initiatives to share her experiences on implementing successful Peer Feedback Program.

Nithya currently works as a Business design and Change consultant with Surrey county council, one of the largest UK county councils in England.

* Reference: Peer Feedback Boosts Employee Performance - Smarter With Gartner May 11, 2018

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