In an article for Harvard Business Review, Eric Mosley writes that formal, annual employee evaluations and rankings are giving way to more informal peer review systems.

“By providing instant and continuous recognition of positive behavior, typically via a public social platform, they yield more and richer data on employees,” Mosley says. “This offers managers a clearer picture of a team or company’s strengths and weaknesses and everyone a better sense of how they’re performing.”

Peer review programs encourage the sharing and immediate acknowledgement of an employee’s good work, and Mosley writes that this kind of program should be accompanied by privately delivered criticism.

To develop and maintain a successful peer review system, Mosley suggests making sure the program is measured by your company’s core values, such as passion, innovation, fiscal responsibility, etc.

Mosley writes that a successful program will also embrace new technology, while keeping the system intuitive and easy for all generations of employees.

“Peer review shouldn’t feel like work,” he says. “If they do, you’ll have a hard time getting employees to embrace the system and use it to its fullest capability.”

When you begin the peer review program, Mosely writes that it’s essential to explain what the program is and celebrate it’s launch.

“Managers and leaders need to be early adopters,” he writes. “Active support from senior executives communicates to staff that the program is worth their time.”

Lastly, Mosely says that for a peer review program to work, frequent and timely recognition should be encouraged and managers need to go the next step and track the results of the program.

“Effective, real-time peer reviews motivate people to perform well every day of the year, not just when a quarterly or annual evaluation is approaching,” Mosely concludes.

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