A peer review is a form of performance evaluation that you give for your coworkers who are not your subordinates, so it is critical for you to provide a clear, objective and reasonable assessment of your coworker’s performance. Here are some tips on how to write a peer review.
- Your company should come up with a peer review guidelines to make the basis for assessment uniform among the employees. Get a copy of the peer review guidelines and read it thoroughly. If it is your first time to do a peer review, consult the staff in charge of the review to assist you and provide you with clarifications if you have questions.
- If possible, ask for a sample peer review from the staff in charge. It is better if you can see an actual peer review done during the previous years in the same company. This will give you an idea on how the peer review is done in your company, since there may be differences between companies.
- Get to know the person who is the subject of your peer review, from a distance. This means that while you know your peer personally, do not ask him details about himself like in an interview. It is best to observe him and find out which major projects he has been involved with. Be discreet in asking information from your other colleagues. Ask for his specific job description from the peer review staff in charge so you can thoroughly assess whether your peer has been doing his job according to what is assigned to him.
- Peer reviews are supposed to be objective and should only concern your coworker’s work performance. There may be questions regarding attitude and other subjective matters. In this aspect it is advisable to be very objective as possible. Personal conflicts with your coworker should not appear in your peer review as this will raise questions on your integrity and attitude. Focus on your coworker’s professional achievements and shortcoming, if any. If you are compelled to write something negative about your peer because you think it will be helpful to the company’s growth, then include it using a positive approach. You may write it in a way that you are providing constructive criticism, and end that portion in a positive note, for example, you believe that your coworker will improve and help the company achieve its goals.
- Be truthful in your review and avoid being overly positive or extremely negative. Put yourself in the shoes of your peer and ask yourself if it is fair to give the kind of review that you are giving him.
- Review your work thoroughly and make sure you stick to the guidelines provided by the company.
- Make sure you have ample time to do your peer review so you can do the research and assessment in a relaxed mood. Rushing a peer review will result to a poor review that will not help the company at all.
- Keep the peer review confidential. It is not advisable to discuss it with other coworkers. You may confide in one trusted person, but avoid talking about it with the others as though you were gossiping.