Peer reviews in the workplace is a trend steadily on the rise. Although the earliest known uses of a multi-rater feedback system in companies dates back to the 1950s, the current growth of 360-degree styled reviews has been fueled by online surveying technology. As a result, more and more major corporations, such as Microsoft, GE, and The Gap have let the traditional year-end review fall by the wayside, according to Inc.com
If your company is considering moving to this type of feedback system, do your homework first. Google “360-Degree
Feedback” or “Peer Reviews” and you will find a ton of articles singing the practice’s praises. You can also find just as many warning against it or at least highlighting pitfalls. But amidst all the scholarly research and thought leaders pontificating, what can easily get lost is the answer to the question: How do employees really feel about giving and receiving peer reviews?
Blytheco has been using a 360-degree review process for the last two years, powered by Custom Insights. Overall, it has been a transformative experience for our team members and our organization. We can’t lie; the process hasn’t been without its growing pains. We have made adjustments based on our team members’ feedback and we continue to evolve.
But instead of giving you a pasteurized summary of their feedback, here is what a few of our team members have to say about our peer review process – in their own words!
Have you ever been in a work place that used Peer Reviews/360 Degree reviews?
“Yes, this is the second company I’ve worked in that did 360 reviews. “ – Kathy McCoy, Demand Generation
“While I have been in a work place that used manager reviews along with self reviews, I have never been in an organization that did a peer review/360 review.” – Billy Balser, CPA, Sage 100 Consultant
“This is the first place that I have ever worked at that used Peer Reviews/360 Degree reviews. “ – Amber Hubbard, Solutions Specialist
“Yes, on a few occasions.” – Jaime Salvat, Business Solutions Manager
“No I have not. In my past jobs I only received reviews from my direct manager.” – Shaina Canlas, Executive Assistant
What do you think is the most unique aspect of Blytheco’s review process?
“It includes a variety of team members (not just your own department), peers and management.” – Kathy
“The ability to see your review results with or without your supervisor and to see how you stack up against the company as an average. Also, I appreciate that we are then put into groups with “like-challenged” individuals in order to overcome our issues.” – Billy
“I think that one of the most unique aspects of the review process is that fact that it is anonymous.” – Amber
“The desire for detailed descriptions, and not just scores.” – Jaime
“I think that doing the assessment online in our intranet is unique. I also think our ‘EXCEL’ attributes are unique because it is something that the company created to make the 360 assessment fit our culture.” – Shaina
What do you like most about getting and/or receiving 360 reviews?
“It’s interesting and helpful to find out how your co-workers feel you’re contributing.” – Kathy
“It’s a chance to get REAL feedback on how I’m doing from a broad perspective of people. Like any review, it gives me a chance to compare how I think I am doing against how others think I am doing.” – Billy
“One of the things that I like most about receiving 360 reviews is the feedback. I love feedback and see it as an opportunity for growth.” – Amber
“The ability to see where and why I need to improve.” – Jaime
“What I like about the 360 is that rather than getting feedback from only my direct manager, I get to also receive feedback from my peers who I work closely with. It is nice to see views from other people’s perspective.” – Shaina
What do you dislike the most about getting and/or receiving 360 reviews?
“It’s difficult when you’re asked to review someone you don’t work with that closely. I think it might make sense to ask employees who they work with the most so they can review those people.” – Kathy
“I get a little nervous before receiving them in anticipation of finding out something about myself that I didn’t know. I worry about discovering areas of improvement previously unknown to me.” – Billy
“I think that the thing that I dislike the most about the 360 review last year was not having enough comments to understand the rating.” – Amber
“The time it takes to be detailed.” – Jaime
“I don’t necessarily dislike it, but it is challenging to rate my peers and manager. I want to help them improve, but at the same time, I do not want to offend them.” – Shaina
Article reprinted from the Spring 2017 issue of Bellwether.
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