There is no better way to prepare for your next mutual coworker evaluation than to read through a peer review example or two. As a means of monitoring workplace productivity and employee satisfaction, many companies will employ several methods of performance reviews to exchange feedback between employees and managers. These feedback gathering sessions could be one-on-ones between management and employees, employee feedback surveys, stay or exit interviews, and even peer reviews between coworkers.

peer review example

Peer review sessions are unique in that instead of involving an exchange of feedback between subordinate employees and their leaders, peer reviews involve a feedback exchange between coworkers. It can be refreshing to participate in a performance evaluation that doesn’t make you feel like you’re under a microscope by your team leaders. After all, you’re simply exchanging feedback with a peer with whom you may have a lot in common if you hold similar roles in the workplace, but peer reviews can bring their own set of challenges.

Positive or praising comments are relatively easy to both give and receive, but it’s negative criticism that can be more difficult. For instance, how do you word your constructive criticism in a way that doesn’t create animosity in your working relationship with your coworkers, with whom you probably must collaborate on projects, or at the very least, see in the break room on a regular basis?

If you’re aware of an upcoming peer review session at the office, it can be helpful to consider some peer review examples. This way, you can see examples of different verbiage in practice and brainstorm ways you could apply them to the feedback you have for your coworker. In addition to giving constructive criticism, reviewing peer review examples can help you be more prepared to receive constructive criticism. Both you and your coworker should come out of the review feeling like it was a positive experience.

How to Write a Peer Review

One component of a peer review session is to give your coworker performance feedback. It might be easier said than done, but there are ways to work through the anxiety and create something positive from the session. Not sure what to write about? Start with a few of these tips.

Consider their job performance. What are their strengths and weaknesses? If they possess any strengths or skills that they might not be entirely aware of, but as their coworker, you notice how those strengths benefit the team, a peer review is a perfect time to mention them. Do you recognize weaknesses in yourself that you also see in their performance? Presenting these weaknesses to them while noting that it’s also something you struggle with makes the criticism feel more relatable as opposed to feeling like an attack. Highlight the accomplishments that have stuck out to you during your time working with them. Is there anything you’d like to see them do more or less of? Emphasize their contribution to the team and how it helps not only you but the entire workplace as well.

You need to find a way to maintain honesty in your feedback while being considerate of your coworker’s feelings. Avoid being rude or condescending, even if you have a grievance that is particularly bothersome to you. Peer review examples are great for learning how to talk about frustrations constructively. Getting angry and launching your criticism at them from a place of frustration is a sure way to ensure your feedback will fall on deaf ears. You also don’t want to focus solely on their weaknesses and make sure their strengths and positive qualities are given the attention they deserve. If you have suggestions on how they could utilize some of their strengths to improve upon their shortcomings, they will probably appreciate the insight. Also, write about any weaknesses you may have noticed in the past that they actively approved upon at work. It will remind your coworker that they can make positive changes.

Use as much detail as possible, making sure not to just focus on one project or day on the job. Make sure your review includes how they perform daily and how they contribute to the overall dynamic of the team. Creating a clearly written review that comprehensively outlines your colleague’s performance will be the most effective in helping the management team to identify patterns and offer solutions when necessary.

Peer Review Example Phrases

If you’re hoping to learn about ways to deliver your peer review feedback, we’ll cover a few phrases to help you get used to the verbiage so that your thoughts are concise and effective.

Positive Peer Review Example Phrases

  • “Our team can always depend on you to…”
  • “You have a strong affinity for customer relations, and you always make sure our customers have a positive experience regardless of what’s happening behind the scenes.”
  • “You’re exceptional at integrating new hires and your training approach helps bring on more effective team members.”
  • “You always make yourself available to answer questions of team members which is helpful for those of us who need some pointers from time to time.”
  • “I notice that you are always the one showing up early and putting in extra time at the end of the day when there is a backup of work tasks that are approaching their deadline.”
  • “I notice and appreciate when you do things around the office that help with productivity, such as staying on top of supply inventory, that help everything continue to run smoothly.”

Positive feedback is relatively easy to talk about because you’re just telling someone what you appreciate about their contribution to the work environment. No matter how insignificant it may seem to you, always let your colleague know they are seen and appreciated for what they add to the team.

Negative Peer Review Example Phrases

  • “You’ve seemed distracted at work lately and it’s affecting the quality of your work. Has there been something on your mind or in your home life that is taking away from your focus and productivity?
  • “There are times I notice you seem to be idle or even bored when other team members are backed up with their task list. Would you be open to assisting other workers when your task list is complete? Would more responsibility improve your job satisfaction?”
  • “We’ve had a few complaints lately from customers who have worked with you. Is there anything going on from your perspective that is making customer service more challenging with certain clients?”
  • “Some of your work has been inconsistent with company guidelines. Would a policy refresher help you to feel more confident with your work?”
  • “You have seemed extremely overwhelmed with the workload placed on your position. Do you feel that having a partner on your tasks would help you to feel less stress at work?”

The goal of constructive criticism isn’t to shame the person, but instead to help them find solutions that will make them happier and more effective employees. Notice how each of these peer review example phrases offers a solution or suggestion to move towards improvement. It can be difficult for anyone to hear constructive criticism regardless, but chances are most employees are already self-conscious of their shortcomings. Offering solutions can help them see a way to resolve them.

Important Benefits of Peer Review Examples

If employees, both coworkers and managers alike, were just left to continue in their work tasks while never receiving any performance feedback of any kind, it’s easy to imagine how many issues would go unresolved, employee dissatisfaction would fester, and company productivity would suffer. Workplace feedback is essential to the long-term success of the business. It helps give employees a clear picture of their strengths and weaknesses from perspectives other than their own. When issues are brought to their attention concisely and effectively, it makes room for any problems to be solved, and teams who can effectively help each other improve will have better coworker relationships. Everyone will feel more confident in their performance on the job.

Managers or team leaders who review the feedback may discover traits about some employees they didn’t know before, and even the workers receiving the feedback may learn something new about their performance tendencies. All team members can use the feedback information to help cultivate strategies or solutions to make any necessary adjustments to the current standards of the workplace.

While performance reviews such as peer evaluations can be intimidating, they’re only meant to help increase overall employee satisfaction, and reading peer review examples can help you prepare for a peer review session. When giving or receiving feedback, it’s important to remember not to overthink it. Simply be honest, and never take constructive criticism too personally. It’s meant to be for your benefit. Happy employees are better workers, and what business does not want to maximize productivity? However, team leaders are well aware that they cannot achieve one without the other and gathering feedback from their employees is the best way to get both satisfied and productive workers.

The eLeaP continuous performance management system provides organizations with powerful options to attract and retain high caliber team members.