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Chapter 12. Measuring Performance > Discussing Performance with Team Members - Pg. 142

Measuring Performance 142 Peer evaluation: Every member of a team is rated by each of the other members. The evaluations may be discussed in private conversations between the team leader and the member or with the entire team. In some companies, all of the original peer evaluation forms are kept on file; in others only the team manager's compilation is retained. Peer assessments, along with other assessments, become part of the body of information on which the formal performance evaluation is based. Pros and Cons of Peer Evaluations As pointed out earlier, the chief advantages of peer evaluation are the neutralizing of biases by any one rater, obtaining a variety of opinions on each member's performance, and the opportunity for the entire team to share in identifying weaknesses in the team, and developing and implementing steps to correct them. By having several reviews of each member's performance, the team leader can write a more ob- jective and more comprehensive formal assessment report. But peer evaluations have a downside. Let's look at some of the problems: · Some members may consider others rivals for promotion or for more interesting assignments and rate them lower than they should. · Members may rate their friends higher than they should. · Members may take the easy way out and rate associates right down the middle of the scale. · Members may "trade off" assessments with others. "I'll rate you high and you rate me high." Following are some suggestions on how to overcome this: · Before each peer review period, hold a meeting to review the procedure and to reinforce the importance of providing fair, honest, and unbiased assessments. · If possible, using numerical ratings. Require members to answer specific questions about each associate's performance and give examples. For example: "When working together on a project, in what ways did the associate help move the project forward? In what ways did the associate hold up the project? In what aspects of the work did the associate excel? In what aspects of the work does the associate need to improve? Give examples of how this affected your work." · If a numerical system is needed, when compiling the results, if one review is significantly higher or lower than the others, delete it in making the compilation. Hold a private meeting with that member to probe the reasons for it. Discussing Performance with Team Members Whether the formal appraisal results from an evaluation by the team leader, a combination of ratings by peers, or a 360 degree panel, there is usually a one-to-one sit-down meeting between the team leader and the member to discuss it. In many organizations, the member is also asked to rate him or herself as a prelude to the formal appraisal interview. Prepare for the Interview Before sitting down with a team member to discuss a performance appraisal, study the evaluation(s). Make a list of all aspects you want to discuss, not just those that need improvement but also those in which the member did good work. Study previous appraisals, and note improvements that have been made since the preceding one. Prepare the questions you want to ask about past actions, steps to be taken for improvement, future goals, and how the team member plans to reach them.