How to use peer reviews to improve employee performance
Every company should always seek ways to improve employee performance. The better the performance of its employees, the better the company will work as a whole. However, employees might find it hard to realise which areas they have to improve upon. Without any feedback, it's hard to improve. In addition, if they receive direct criticism from their managers, they can feel it's subjective or unfounded.
Valve uses peer reviews to give individual feedback to each employee, which can be valuable feedback to improve his or her performance. This is a big part of Valve's flat structure, with no managers or hierarchy. Once a year, employees give each other feedback about their work. However, not only are employees supposed to receive feedback from their peers during the annual formalised peer reviews, they are also encouraged to seek feedback whenever necessary. The more feedback they receive, the more valuable information they will receive to improve. And the fact that the feedback they receive comes from the sum of all of their peers they have worked with makes it easier to accept and view as unbiased opinions.
Determine a set of people to interview each employee in the company
This set of people is a group of employees randomly selected, and it changes every year.
Individual meeting #1: interview each employee in the company
The previously mentioned group of employees asks each employee in the company who have they worked with since the last peer reviews and what was their experience working with them like.
Focus on these categories when delivering peer review feedback:
These are the same used to come up with the stack rankings: skill level/technical ability, productivity/output, group contribution, product contribution. These are the guidelines Valve uses to determine the value of its employees.