3 Steps for Implementing a Peer Review System to Replace Your Annual Performance Review

Cartoon business man climbing 3 steps to success in a performance review

Is the annual performance review dead? If not completely gone, this old-fashioned system, universally acknowledged as painful, seems to be on its way out at many companies like Adobe, Deloitte, Gap, Accenture and even GE.

Once upon a time annual performance reviews served the purpose of giving employer and employee an opportunity to talk one-on-one and take a measure of performance. But we’ve come a long way since then. Global competition has forced employers to “up” the game…they can no longer wait a full year to boost performance and then slowly feel the results. And employees, if they are not engaged fully in their job and recognized for their contribution, are apt to jump ship and go where their talent will be appreciated.  In addition, we have learned a lot more about what it takes to improve individual and team performance.

So what’s the answer? Many companies are adopting a peer review system. Done right, the advantages are many:

  • the feedback is as close to real-time as possible
  • positive behavior is immediately recognized
  • managers have more information on the strengths of their teams
  • employees have a better picture of how they are doing and where they stand

The key words are “done right.” Many peer review plans have not panned out and are fraught with defects. But if you follow these three steps, you have a better chance to be among those who rave about the system and rejoice that the annual performance review that used to plague us has been abandoned.

  1. Include key stakeholders in the design and make it easy and engaging.
    Work with your managers to explain the benefits and your goals. You will need the active and enthusiastic support of leadership to pull this off. Everyone from the C-level on down should participate. And they will, once they understand how the program aligns with creating a high performance culture by recognizing and celebrating positive behaviors that matter most.Take advantage of the social media technology that is at everyone’s finger tips. Use a program that is simple to use and interactive. The more complex the interface, the less participation. You want any employee to be able to salute a peer without having to work through multiple steps. For recognition to be swift, the means of spreading the praise needs to be accessible, uncomplicated and user-friendly.
  2. Link the behaviors that you want recognized to the core company values.
    For improved performance to be meaningful, it should have a clear connection to what the company stands for as well as real business results. If, for instance, a key value is collaboration, there should be a category of recognition that emphasizes teamwork. So if an employee observes a situation where a peer works effectively with a team mate to solve a long-standing problem, this should be publicly recognized as an “Atta-boy” on the system.
  3. The feedback should be frequent, timely and earned.
    When positive feedback is given almost on the spot, the link between the behavior and the encouragement is strong and it is more likely that the desired behavior will be repeated. This is why a peer review system works. But recognition should be earned. Undeserved praise can have a negative effect. Not only will the praise seem empty to the employee, but others will also be de-motivated observing that praise can be too easily earned. Many proponents of a peer review system follow the mantra of “praise publicly and criticize privately.”

What would work best for your unique organizational culture?

Comments are closed.

I had been working with LSA for many years with my prior company. Currently, I’m with a company who hadn’t done much basic management skills training. After identifying and presenting a program recently, our managers are excited and talking in the halls about the great experience. LSA saves us time in delivering the right training for our needs.

Phyllis Moracco
HR Director

JSR-large-gray

LSA’s consultant designed and delivered a half-day team building solution for our recent conference. It included careful customization to integrate the design with our new mission and values. Everyone had fun and identified key issues with our teamwork. Altogether a great program!

Bob Ward
Director of HR

Pa1mOne-large-gray

We value our relationship with LSA Global. We came to LSA because we wanted to improve overall behavioral based interviewing capabilities of our managers to increase the probability of both hiring top talent and future leaders. LSA designed a highly customized solution for our business and culture. We are currently rolling out this solution to our leaders. I would highly recommend LSA Global as a top quality resource.

Rae Phillips
HR Project Manager - Training & Development, PHR

Polycom-large-gray

We recently partnered with LSA Global to offer our Supervisors and Managers a customized two-day management training program. Everyone who attended said it was by far the best management training program they had ever attended. The content was rich and highly interactive. The case studies were relevant. Each participant walked away from the training much better equipped to lead their teams.

Jeff Coon
Director of Human Resources

Cobham-large-gray

The Managing Virtual Teams program was extremely valuable. Your consultant/ facilitator’s fundamental knowledge of Synopsys as a company provided an incredible base to build upon while tackling the complications of managing and working with globally distributed teams. My team walked away walked away with highly useful practices and tools. It was an excellent use of our time.

Debra Martucci
Vice President, Information Technology

synopsys-large-gray

Over the years, both at 3Com and now at Redback, I’ve found LSA Global to be a valuable resource. The recent compliance program that they delivered for Redback’s executive and management team was the right solution, of the highest of quality, and customized to our business and culture. I would highly recommend LSA to any company looking for top quality solutions.

Gina Fulton
Vice President of Human Resources

Redback-large-gray

Understanding and conforming to legal compliance was very important to our company. We turned to LSA Global to provide a quality and cost effective way to ensure that we were AB 1825 compliant. Their interactive eLearning program was top-notch. It allowed our managers to learn at their own pace, and on their own time. The program was tailored to include our logo and our internal harassment policies. It was interactive and met all federal and state legal requirements. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company looking for an efficient and effective and top quality way to train their managers to be in compliance.

Kelly Warren, SPHR
Director, HR & Compliance

aeroprecision-large

LSA provided top notch solutions right when and how we needed them. They exceeded my expectations from a speed, quality, and cost standpoint. I recommend them to anyone looking for a true business partner in the Learning and Development arena. The breadth and depth of their expertise has helped us hit tight deadlines across multiple projects.

Fortune 500 Financial Services Company
Director of Infrastructure & Technology

Working with LSA Global has proven to be extremely valuable and worthwhile. LSA understands our business, has deep expertise in content areas, and tailors the programs to deliver great results. The facilitator was extremely knowledgeable about Working Globally with India and her energy and passion made the session interesting, fun, and enjoyable for all that attended. The participants walked away extremely pleased along with highly useful practices and tools. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company that has partners or offices in India.

Glenn McGillivray
Human Resources Business Partner

Intuit

LSA’s Employee Engagement Consulting and Survey work has provided critical visibility into: how well our people are holding up under the general economic environment, as well as, the specific challenges that face biotechnology companies in their efforts to discover and develop new medicines; their level of alignment and commitment to XOMA’s Vision and mission critical strategies; how leadership practices and management systems support an environment that engender commitment, and the specific actions that our leaders can take to improve on areas that are important to our people. I highly recommend LSA’s employee engagement solutions.

Chris Wells
Vice President, HR and IT

Logo - Gray - Xoma

LSA’s approach and ability to bring the best resources to eBay has been a great asset. They really focus on helping us succeed in any way they can and are very flexible in meeting our management and talent needs.

Mike Normant
Learning & Development

ebay

I have worked with LSA Global at previous companies and welcomed the opportunity to bring them in to support my new organization. We worked closely with LSA to design a solution for our Client Partner Teams and Management Training on both coasts. LSA designed a customized solution for our business and organizational culture. LSA is a quality organization, one that I’d recommend to any company looking for a first class training and consulting partner that makes an impact.

Laurie Torres
Chief People Officer

WCG-large-gray

LSA helped us design and deliver a blended learning solution for our leaders to help drive our growth plans in a way that aligned with our specific culture and values. LSA understood our business, had deep expertise in the content areas, tailored the programs to fit our specific needs, and delivered great results. They constantly strive to deliver business impact and align their solutions with our business initiates, culture, and performance management systems. I highly recommend them to anyone looking to take their leaders to the next level.”

Beth A. Taylor
Vice President of Human Resources

Thoratec

On behalf of Roche and my staff I would like to sincerely thank you for your help with this. The English as a Second Language (ESL) assessment and coaching that you provided for our team was a great success.

Cam Greig
Associate Director

Roche

We have been able to utilize LSA’s extensive network of top-notch resources to leverage our investment in employee development. The result has been the cost effective and highly efficient delivery of quality educational and management training programs.

Steve Feller
Vice President, Human Resources

demandtec-large

Evaluate your Performance

Toolkits

Toolkits

Download key published insights and tools from industry experts highlighting best practices in the areas of talent, strategy and culture.

More

Health Checks

Health Checks

Want to know how you stack up against leading organizations?  Receive a complimentary benchmarking analysis courtesy of an LSA Expert.

More

Whitepapers

Whitepapers

Get up to speed on timely solutions critical to your business. Published by LSA Experts based upon client feedback and key industry trends.

More

Methodology

Methodologies

First we identify the key metrics you want to improve. Then we assemble a dedicated team of elite experts who have successfully solved similar problems with similar clients.

More

icon_expert-blog

Blogs

Stay up to do date with the latest information on how we help high growth companies align their culture and talent with strategy.

More

Case Studies

Client Case Studies

Real world consulting and training approaches from LSA projects, providing insights on how your company can outperform the competition.

More