Peer feedback: a company’s reality check

how to do peer feedback

Being part of any organization we all come across feedback. Feedback is a model by which we give or receive an evaluation that may be related to our performance or behavior. We are all aware of how important feedback is, but again we are embarrassed when we need to give it or receive feedback.

Although asking for feedback gets more difficult to overcome than giving it, being evaluated is as equally important as evaluating others. On the other hand, it might seem easy, but giving feedback is far from simple – it’s a skill that needs to be mastered to produce desired results. The peer feedback refers to comments and suggestions that managers receive from their coworkers. The idea is that coworkers give feedback on various topics in order for their managers to improve those issues.

The peer feedback can be done in two ways, online with the help of a survey or in person. However, due to the whole COVID – 19 situation here at RCMT IT Europe, we conducted it through a survey.

The survey contained topics based on skills that we believe are important that each of the Heads should possess. The topics that we included were: leadership, interpersonal skills, problem-solving skills, motivation, efficiency, productivity and quality of work, creativity and Innovation and management skill. The questions were conceived on two types of answers: a simple rating and a written elaborated statement. The numbering in the rating scale indicates the following: 1 – Not at all satisfied, 2 – not so satisfied, 3 – somewhat satisfied, 4 – very satisfied, and 5 – extremely satisfied.

We decided on these topics because we believe that these skills are essential in today’s business world and the skills that every manager should have. The group of respondents were colleagues who participated in this year’s BootCamp. We wanted to see their opinion since they belong to the younger generations.

Leadership

As one of the essential skills of 21st-century leadership is necessary in everyday business. Leaders help themselves and others to do the right things. They set direction, build an inspiring vision, and create something new. Leadership is about mapping out where you need to go to “win” as a team or an organization; and it is dynamic, exciting, and inspiring. 

Therefore leadership is a necessary part of peer feedback. A question we asked in our survey is:

  • Does your direct head/manager exhibit leadership qualities in the roles they play in the company?

By this question, we can conclude if our employees see their managers or heads of departments as a leader and in what do they have to improve to be better leaders.

Through a survey we conducted, our employees believe that their head is the leader which we can see on the chart.

Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills are traits you rely on when you interact and communicate with others. They cover a variety of scenarios where communication and cooperation are essential. These skills involve the ability to communicate and build relationships with others. Often called people skills, they tend to incorporate both your innate personality traits and how you’ve learned to handle certain social situations.

One of the questions we asked in our survey is:

  • When he/she works with co-workers, what interpersonal skills do they demonstrate?

In a work environment, strong interpersonal skills are an asset that can help you navigate complexity, change and day-to-day tasks.

Through a survey we conducted, our employees believe that their head demonstrates next interpersonal skills:

  • Communication 
  • Tolerance
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Strategic thinking 
  • Influence
  • Understanding

Problem-Solving

In nearly every career sector, problem-solving is one of the key skills that every employee should have. This skill is one of the essential skills that should be demonstrated on an every-day basis. 

Problem-solving is the skill of defining a problem to determine its cause, identifying possible solutions and choosing the correct solution for the problem that is presented. 

One of the questions we asked in our survey is:

  • Does he/she effectively solve problems?

Through a survey we conducted, our employees believe that their Head can effectively solve problems.

Motivation

Many people say – never motivation, just discipline. However, in today’s world, motivation is the key to success at work. The more motivated we are to progress and complete our daily tasks, the more our performance will grow. Managers and Heads should be there for their employees to support progress.

On our survey we asked:

  • How do the Heads demonstrate their motivation and commitment to success in the company?

Efficiency

It is essential for every employee to meet deadlines and deliver results on time. Managers/Heads should be role models for their people. 

On the survey we asked:

  • Are the Head’s work methods and approaches to accomplishing the job effective, efficient, and continuously improving?

Productivity and quality of work

It is essential that employees remain productive during work hours to contribute to the goals of the company while producing high-quality work. Productivity is also a good indicator of an employee’s engagement.

A question we asked in our survey is:

  • Does your manager/Head of department positively contribute to the overall performance of the company through consistent and high-quality work?

Colleagues gave numerical answers to this question on a scale between 1 and 5. The average grade is 4.81. Based on this we see that our Heads positively contribute to the overall performance.

Creativity and Innovation

There are two ways that creativity is essential in the workplace: creative thinking and creative problem-solving. We were wondering if our colleagues feel that their managers and Heads continuously suggest new ideas in meetings and on projects.

Colleagues gave numerical answers to this question on a scale between 1 and 5. The average grade was 4.63. Based on this we concluded that Heads continuously suggest new ideas in meetings and on projects.

Management

Management is the leading body of every company. For every employee to be satisfied with their managers/Heads it’s necessary to know the feedback in order to work on improvement.

We were interested:

  • What makes an ideal manager, and how does your manager resemble this ideal?

Through a survey our colleagues gave these answers:

  • An ideal direct Head is a person who is kind, talkative, good with people, a person who has discipline and great time-management skills. Also he/she is always well organized and knows what the tasks are beforehand, they listen carefully and not let their ego get in the way of problem-solving. 

They said that these are characteristic that one ideal Head/manager should have and agree that their head possesses these characteristics.

The benefits of peer feedback

Ken Blanchard wasn’t wrong when he said, “Feedback is the breakfast of champions”. In the same way that a good breakfast supplies us with the energy we need to get through the day, feedback is the fuel a team needs to perform at its best.

Feedback gives people the insight to maximize their strengths and build on their weaknesses so that they can become more effective. And if each individual is more effective, the team becomes more effective.

Peer feedback also helps to improve communication within the team. The strongest teams communicate well and often; they share ideas, ask for feedback, and are happy to be challenged when appropriate. And this kind of communication is especially important for the modern workplace, where teams aren’t always sitting together in the same room.

If people commit to giving ongoing feedback, it means they can get little things that are bothering them out in the open before they become a problem. And if people know they are operating in an open work environment, they are less likely to be offended when they are given constructive feedback. People will understand each other better and there will be less conflict as a result.

This article was written by Hristina Antić, HR assistant @RCMT IT Europe

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