The word peer is often defined as a person of equal standing. However, in the context of peer review it is generally used in a broader sense to refer to people in the same profession who are of the same or higher ranking.
Even trial by jury is a form of peer review.
Peer evaluations give team members an opportunity to assess the performance of their co-workers, usually from a perspective supervisors can’t always observe. The benefit to using peer evaluations is that they are introspective from a collegial perspective. Employees usually are honest about their assessment of team member performance, especially as it relates to interpersonal relationships with other team members and with customers and clients.
One of the simplest ways to evaluate team members is by using graphic rating scales. Graphic rating scales are useful for fast-paced, production-oriented work environments. Team members receive ratings based on a scale that describes competency, proficiency and productivity. On a graphic rating scale evaluation, you evaluate team members in specified areas on a scale of 1 to 5, tally the numbers for each section and calculate an average. In many cases, employers use the average score to determine the amount of the team member’s annual raise, bonus or incentive.
Example of a five point scale for a peer evaluation.
5 = Superior;
4 = Above Average;
3 = Average;
2 = below average; and
1 = weak.
Next: Project Evaluation