How To Write a Peer Review

Most companies will perform an annual review on their employees.  As a part of the annual review, a manager may also require an employee to provide a peer review.  A peer review can help a manager determine how well an employee interacts within his department or with another department within the company.  Writing a peer review doesn’t have to be complicated or even tedious.  Following the steps below will help you stay focused on writing a proper peer review.

The first step in writing a peer review is to review the document that is provided.  An employee peer review will usually ask for evaluations in several areas, including but not limited to: management skills, employee initiatives, ethical issues, quality, and timeliness.  Most employee reviews will be set up on a point scale and will ask the reviewer to provide a rating.  You'll also be asked to make additional comments when possible. If there is no prepared evaluation paperwork, then contact the employee or his manager to determine what part of the job function needs to be evaluated.

The second step in writing a peer review is to make sure you understand the employee’s role in the company.  You need to understand what his job function entails as it is related to your department.  It is okay to leave a section of the peer review blank if that area is not related to your part of the organization.  For example, if the peer review lists financial skills and the employee does not provide financial information to your department, leave this section blank on the form.  Only focus on the areas of the peer review where you can provide information to the manager to help complete the employee’s evaluation.

The third step in writing a peer review is to remain unbiased.  Don’t let your personal feelings, whether positive or negative, influence your ratings on the employee.  For example: when writing a peer review, if you rate the employee a one out of five (with one being the lowest), on quality, then explain why.  Give examples of project(s) that were returned or not completed, or explain where you feel the employee is consistently coming up short of your department’s expectations, such as: consistently providing data late, having to follow up with the employee for additional information, and any other issues.  On the other hand, if the employee consistently meets or exceeds quality, then explain why you feel the employee excels.  Remember you are writing a review about the actual work, not on whether you personally like or dislike the employee.

The fourth step is the most important step in the peer review.  Review what you have written.  Think about what it is stating about the employee. Does it give the manager a better overview of how the employee performs for the department?  Does it offer a view of areas that can be improved?  Does it let the manager know in which areas the employee is well balanced?  Remember: the point of a peer review isn’t just to rate an employee; it is also to help management set goals and future agendas for the employee. 


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