Peer Evaluations Hit the Factory Floor
ISE Magazine – VOLUME 49: NUMBER 01
By Merwan B. Mehta 

It is a common practice in companies for supervisors to do annual evaluations of their employees. It is an important event for the employees because most of the time it is a means to decide who get raises and who does not. However, is it effective? Doing evaluation only once a year, by supervisors who might be prone to favoritism does not spell adequate appraisal to Edwards Deming. He urged companies to drop the annual performance evaluation in lieu of constant and purposeful input about employee performance. He believed that annual evaluation put employees at odds with one another. Considering those notion, some companies now deem peer evaluations to be a better method to gauge employee performance.

To make sure the employees think they can safely voice their thoughts, anonymity is a must. Company should also ensure that the employees, now acting as the evaluator, put thoughtful and objective input by limiting the number of peer evaluations required to one person to 10 at the most. It is also advisable to make the employees do self-evaluation of themselves as an individual to see how they gauge themselves against their peers. Then the company can compare the self-evaluation and peer evaluations of each employee.

The company must be able to make questions that capture answers to these 4 important areas: companywide issues, team issues, personal attitudes and production issues. Here are the examples of questions:

  • Does the employee always come across as being proud to work at the company?
  • Does the employee listen to ideas from others to improve his/her work habits and attitude?
  • Is the employee pleasant to be around?
  • Is the employee responsible for the quality of the product he or she produces?