Peer Review Examples: 50+ Effective Phrases for Next Review
Let's face it: giving feedback can be challenging, especially when it comes to peer reviews.
As a peer, you're in a unique position to provide constructive feedback to your colleagues. You want to help them grow and develop. But finding the right words to use is no walk in the park.
🙋 We're here to help you ensure your feedback is effective and actionable.
We collected a comprehensive peer review sample: 50+ effective review phrases to use in your next performance or skill review, helping you provide feedback that's supportive, constructive, and inspiring. You'll find peer review phrases for positive performance and constructive peer review feedback examples.
Plus, we've also included tips for giving peer review feedback (and how not to do it), supported by multiple peer feedback examples.
❓ What are peer review feedback examples?
Peer review feedback is part of an employee's development and performance process and an essential component of 360 feedback.
Performance reviews are a key of 360 degree feedback systems and can be the difference between a happy employee and one who is just going through the motions.
Think of peer reviews as a thermometer that measures an employee's performance, skills, abilities, or attitudes by their fellow co-workers and team members.
As part of a wider performance management system, peer reviews help an organization in the following ways:
- 🎯 Can be used as a goal-setting opportunity.
- 🔎 Peer feedback helps identify the strengths and weaknesses of individual employees, teams, and the company as a whole.
- 🌱 Suggestions from peers can help employees and team members develop personally and professionally.
- 🔗 Boost employee motivation and satisfaction and strengthen trust and collaboration within the team.
- 📈 Through peer reviews, employees can receive constructive criticism and solutions on how they can work to meet the company's expectations and contribute to its growth.
🌟 33 Positive peer review feedback examples
🗣️ Communication skills
- "You effectively communicate with colleagues, customers, vendors, supervisors, and partners. You are a key driver of our high customer satisfaction scores."
- "You are an excellent communicator, and you are adept at discussing difficult issues effectively and straight to the point."
- "Tom has excellent communication skills and always keeps the team up-to-date on his progress, ensuring the team is always on the same page."
- "John is an excellent mentor who is always willing to share his knowledge and experience with others, providing guidance and support when needed."
- "Your approach to giving peer feedback is exemplary. You have a knack for delivering constructive insights in a manner that fosters growth and understanding. Your peers, including myself, value the way you phrase your feedback to be actionable and uplifting."
🤝 Teamwork & collaboration
- "I appreciate the way you collaborate with your team and cross-functionally to find solutions to problems."
- "You're an effective team member, as demonstrated by your willingness to help out and contribute as required."
- "Sarah is a true team player who always helps out her colleagues. She consistently meets deadlines and produces work of a high standard."
- "Bob is an excellent collaborator and has built strong relationships with his colleagues. He actively seeks out opportunities to share knowledge and support others on the team."
🤗 Mentoring & support
- "I appreciate that you never make your team members feel belittled even when they ask the simplest questions. You're eager to help, and you're exceptional at mentoring when people need advice."
- "I appreciate how Julie is always willing to share her knowledge and expertise with others. She is an excellent resource for the team and is always happy to help out when someone needs guidance."
😊 Positivity & attitude
- "I appreciate how Sarah always brings a positive attitude to the team. She is always willing to help out and support others, and her enthusiasm is infectious."
- "I appreciate how Maria always takes the time to build relationships with her colleagues. She is friendly and approachable, and she has a talent for bringing people together."
- "I appreciate how you remain calm under pressure and greet customers with a smile."
🙏 Professionalism & work ethics
- "I admire how you uphold organizational standards for inclusion, diversity, and ethics."
- "I appreciate how John builds relationships with clients and colleagues. He is always professional and courteous, and he has a natural talent for making people feel comfortable and valued."
- "I appreciate how David always takes a thoughtful and considered approach to his work. He is always looking for ways to improve his performance and is never satisfied with simply meeting the bare minimum."
⭐ Quality of work & performance
- "Your copy-editing skills are excellent. You always ensure that all articles published by the content marketing team are thoroughly edited and proofed, which is very important here at (COMPANY)."
- "You've improved XX by XYZ%, and you've streamlined the work process by doing XYZ."
- "John has a great eye for detail and consistently produces high work quality. I appreciate the way he is always happy to lend a hand to others when needed and proactively offers ideas to improve processes."
- "Karen is a fast learner and has a keen eye for detail, making her a valuable asset to the team."
- "I can always count on you to give our customers the best customer experience, and I appreciate the way you go over and beyond for them."
🚀 Innovation & initiative
- "You are always suggesting new ideas in meetings and during projects. Well done!"
- "You constantly show initiative by developing new ways of thinking to improve projects and overall company success."
- "Jane has been doing an excellent job with her projects, and her creativity and innovative ideas have helped move the team forward."
- "Samantha has a creative approach to problem-solving, and I have noticed that she often comes up with unique and innovative solutions to complex challenges."
🌱 Self-improvement & learning
- "You are constantly open to learning and ask for more training when you don't understand XYZ processes."
- "You accept coaching when things aren't clear and apply what you learned to improve XYZ ability."
- "David is a role model for the rest of the team with his continuous self-improvement mindset and focus on developing his skills and expertise."
- "I appreciate how Karen is always looking for ways to improve her work and is never satisfied with the status quo. She is a great role model for the rest of the team."
💼 Leadership skills
- "You show great leadership signs by owning up to mistakes and errors, fixing them, and communicating with others (quickly) when you're unable to meet a deadline."
- "During our recent project, I noticed how effectively you lead the team. Your ability to listen to everyone's input, make decisions promptly, and delegate tasks was truly commendable. The team felt both supported and empowered under your guidance."
- "Your leadership during challenging times is admirable. You remain calm, focused, and provide clarity when most needed. This not only keeps the team aligned but also instills a sense of trust and security amongst us."
😥 23 Examples of effective negative performance peer review examples
All of the above are peer review examples for positive performance.
But it's not always that we only have good things to share.
So, what happens when you want to give negative feedback in cases of low or disappointing performance?
If handled rightly, negative feedback can improve an employee's performance. The key is giving criticism constructively.
📉 Overall employee performance
- "While your presentations are always well-researched and insightful, they can sometimes run longer than scheduled, which affects subsequent agenda items. For future projects, consider practicing time management during meetings or working on summarizing key points more concisely."
- "I've noticed that you often work late hours to meet deadlines. While your commitment is commendable, it's crucial to balance workload and ensure that tasks are spread out adequately. Perhaps adopting a more structured approach to project management or seeking delegation opportunities could help prevent last-minute rushes."
- "I've observed that while you excel in your core tasks, there's occasionally a delay in responding to emails or returning calls. This sometimes causes minor setbacks in our project timelines. It might be beneficial to set aside dedicated times during the day for communication or using a tool to manage and prioritize your inbox."
🧠 Mindset & perspective
- "You seem to focus more on what can't be done instead of offering solutions. I would like to see you develop an open mindset and work alongside our teammates on brainstorming solutions."
- "Jane has strong ideas but could work on being more open-minded and considering the perspectives of others to create a more collaborative work environment. I highly encourage her to actively listen to others' ideas and provide constructive feedback. As a result, I think she will become a better collaborator."
- "Lisa seems to stick to familiar routines and processes and be resistant to change. I think that she could benefit from being more open to change and new ways of doing things to encourage growth and innovation for the team. For a concrete suggestion, I would recommend for her to exchange ideas with new team members with different backgrounds or skill sets to broaden her perspective and challenge her existing ideas."
🗣️ Communication skills
- "I think your ideas are really creative and valuable, but I've noticed that you sometimes struggle to communicate them effectively in meetings. I think it would be helpful for you to practice presenting your ideas to a smaller group or one-on-one, and to ask for feedback from your colleagues on how you can improve your communication skills."
- "Greg tends to be unclear or vague in his messaging, causing confusion and misunderstandings. I encourage him to practice active listening techniques such as asking questions to clarify understanding, and summarizing the conversation."
- "I've observed challenges in your approach to communicating with remote workers. At times, there seems to be a disconnect or delay in relaying vital information, which has led to inefficiencies and misunderstandings. It might be beneficial to revisit your communication tools and strategies to ensure that everyone, regardless of their location, stays informed and aligned."
🤝 Teamwork & collaboration
- "I appreciate your attention to detail and your commitment to producing high-quality work, but I've noticed that you sometimes struggle to take feedback or suggestions from others. I think it would be helpful for you to practice being more open to feedback and to work on developing your collaboration skills."
- "Frank often puts his personal goals above the team's objectives, causing conflict and tension in the workplace. He could work on being more of a team player and prioritizing the team's objectives over personal goals to avoid conflict and tension and help the team meet our goals faster. For example, I would like him to attend our team-building activities or events to help build stronger relationships within our team."
⏰ Time management & meeting deadlines
- "I've noticed that you're having difficulty meeting your deadlines. I think it would be helpful for you to break down your tasks into smaller, more manageable pieces, and to communicate with fellow colleagues if you need more time or support to complete your work."
- "Alex could benefit from developing better time management skills to prioritize tasks effectively and avoid delays and missed deadlines. I think that with the right time management training and resources, he will discover time saving processes."
🛠️ Task execution & quality
- "I noticed you aren't meeting your targets. Let's get on a call in two days to go over your cold email strategy. Perhaps you can use an email verification tool to validate prospects' addresses."
- "Jim could benefit from working on his organization skills and prioritizing his workload to avoid missed deadlines and inconvenience for the team. He could work on creating a system to better manage his workload and set reminders for important deadlines."
- "Although he is very fast at handling customer requests, Tim is not detail-oriented and often overlooks important aspects of a project, leading to mistakes and oversights. One idea for improving his attention to detail while maintaining his fast response time could be to implement a system of double-checking or quality control."
📈 Explore 45 performance review phrases and extra tips and tricks for giving better performance feedback.
💼 Professionalism & attitude
- "Peter could benefit from improving his professionalism in the workplace and avoiding negative or gossipy conversations that create tension. I think that focusing on more positive and constructive interactions with colleagues could help create a better work environment and work relationships."
- "Samantha can be confrontational and abrasive, making it difficult for others to work with her. She could work on being more approachable and collaborative. One way to do so is by practicing active listening and binge more mindful of how she communicates with others."
🌱 Personal development & growth
- "I appreciate the effort you're putting in, but I've noticed that you're struggling with certain tasks. I think it would be helpful for you to receive additional training or guidance in those areas."
- "Sarah has great potential but there is room for improvement, especially with regards to seeking out opportunities to contribute and taking initiative on tasks. I think she could benefit from setting goals and creating a plan to take more ownership of her work."
💼 Leadership skills
- "During team meetings, it would be beneficial if you could encourage other team members (especially quiet ones) to voice their opinions. When a few individuals dominate the discussions, it might be stifling innovative ideas from others."
- "I've noticed you generally give feedback in group settings. It would be more effective and respectful to provide constructive criticism in private to avoid any unnecessary embarrassment or tension amongst the team."
- "When receiving feedback, I've observed that you sometimes become defensive or dismissive. Truly embracing feedback can catalyze growth and development. It might be beneficial to explore methods or strategies that foster a more open and accepting attitude towards feedback."
🌱 Use your peer's feedback to create a development plan to set the path for growth? First, set concrete professional development goals. Then, define the concrete steps that will make your goals a reality.
📝 How do you write a peer review: Does & don'ts for giving feedback to peers
The following steps will help you learn how to write a peer review for your co-workers.
For each step, we included positive peer feedback examples and negative peer feedback examples.
By following these guidelines, giving quality feedback should no longer feel like an intimidating task.
1. Think about their work
Before writing your peer review, think about your colleagues' contribution to the workplace.
Then, to get you started, ask yourself the following questions?
- What are their strengths? What are their weaknesses?
- How can they improve?
- What are their latest accomplishments?
- What do I like or appreciate about them?
- What do I wish they did less? What do I want them to do more?
- What are their expected competencies? (In case your company uses a competency model).
🔴 DO NOT make the peer review personal. Try to avoid using "I" such as "I don't like..." or "I'm not comfortable with..." when giving constructive feedback.
🟢 DO Tie your comments to the goal of the peer review and not your personal references.
👎 "I don't really pay attention to what John does, so I can't say much about his work."
This peer review example is not helpful or constructive feedback because it doesn't provide any specific information or insights about John's work or his abilities. The feedback is vague and non-specific.
This kind of feedback is not only unhelpful, but it can also be demotivating and discouraging for John. He may feel that his contributions are not valued or recognized.
Recognition is something that people need to stay motivated and engaged. Last thing you want is to disengage and demotivate your peers.
👍 "John has a great eye for detail and consistently produces high-quality work. I appreciate his ability to prioritize tasks and his willingness to help others when needed."
This peer review sample is a good peer review example. It acknowledges John's strengths and provides specific examples of his skills and abilities.
The reviewer highlights John's ability to produce high-quality work, his attention to detail, and his willingness to help others, which are all positive attributes that contribute to the team's success.
👎 "I don't like the way that Mary interacts with others on the team. She can be really abrasive and confrontational, which makes it difficult to work with her."
This peer review example is overly negative and vague, providing no specific information or insights that could help the colleague improve. It also uses emotionally charged language that can be interpreted as a personal attack rather than constructive feedback.
The feedback is also specific and actionable, which can help John continue to excel in his work and contribute to a positive work environment.
👍 "I've noticed that Mary sometimes comes across as confrontational or abrasive in team meetings, which can create tension and make it difficult to collaborate effectively. I think it would be helpful for Mary to work on developing more positive and collaborative communication skills, such as active listening and empathy, to build more positive relationships with her colleagues."
This is another good peer review example because it acknowledges Jane's strengths and accomplishments while also providing specific and actionable feedback on areas for improvement.
By focusing on specific behaviors that Mary can improve, such as organization and task prioritization, the feedback is constructive and helpful for Jane. It also provides her with specific strategies for growth and development in her role, which can help her to continue to excel in her work.
Overall, this kind of feedback can be a powerful tool for helping colleagues to grow and develop in their roles, and for promoting a more collaborative work environment.
2. Be mindful of your colleague's feelings
While it's okay to give constructive feedback and share your honest thoughts on a peer review, you should communicate your opinions professionally without being rude or insulting.
Also, instead of constantly reiterating their weaknesses, let their strengths shine and think of solutions that could motivate them to do better.
🟢 DO be mindful of the tone of your feedback. Using harsh or judgmental language can damage relationships and create a negative work environment.
🔴 DO NOT use condescending language when evaluating your colleague's performance.
Let's look at some peer feedback examples.
👎 "I don't believe my colleague can function effectively in this job."
👎 "I'm not really sure what Mary does around here. She seems to just be coasting and not really contributing much to the team."
👎 "Mary's work is consistently subpar and it's frustrating to work with her. She needs to work harder."
These are poor example of peer feedback because they are overly negative and do not provide any actionable steps for the person receiving the feedback to improve their performance.
Words like "subpar" and "frustrating" can be hurtful and demotivating, and don't give any specific information on what exactly Mary needs to improve on or how to do so.
👍 "While there's room for improvement, I appreciate the effort Mary puts into her work. I think she could benefit from more training and guidance on how to prioritize tasks."
👍 "I think Mary has the potential to be a great team member, but she could benefit from improving her communication skills. I would suggest that she work on being more clear and direct in her interactions with others."
These are better examples of constructive peer feedback because they acknowledges Mary's effort and provides specific steps for improvement. The reviewer uses more positive language to acknowledge that Mary is trying, and suggests that training and guidance could help her prioritize tasks more effectively or her communication.
The positive examples are more specific, actionable, and solution-focused, and are more likely to lead to improved performance and a more positive work environment.
By focusing on specific areas for improvement and suggesting a way forward, the feedback provides Mary with a clear path to success and encourages her to continue working hard to improve her skills.
3. Explain in detail
While your goal, when given a peer review form, is to focus solely on a particular area of your co-worker's performance, it won't help them in the long run.
🟢 DO share a comprehensive review helps your manager identify their areas of improvement and helps your colleague understand how others view their overall performance at work.
🔴 DO NOT focus on a single event or project. Discuss how they operate daily and their attitudes to work.
Do they have excellent communication skills?
Are they great at communicating with people?
How do they approach brainstorming sessions or when asked to handle complex tasks?
🔴 DO NOT critique every tiny detail about your colleague's performance. For example, a colleague's approach to handling a difficult task may be to take some time away from everyone or work and come up with answers than yours.
🟢 DO Understand and appreciate that everyone has different working styles, and it makes up their personalities and who they are.
Let's analyze some concrete peer review feedback examples.
👎 "Samantha's work is good."
👎 "Jane is a great teammate. Great work."
For the negative examples of peer review comments, the feedback is too vague. It doesn't provide enough detail for the recipient to be actionable or meaningful.
👍 "Samantha has great communication skills and is always willing to step in and help others. She excels at problem-solving and is able to stay calm under pressure."
👍 "I really appreciate Jane's ability to stay calm under pressure and help us problem-solve when things get tough. She's always willing to pitch in and go above and beyond to make sure the team succeeds, whether it's taking on extra work or providing a listening ear when someone needs to vent."
For the positive examples of peer review comments, the reviewer provides specific examples of the colleague's behavior and how it positively impacts the team. As a result, the feedback is more meaningful; the receiving peer can use to continue to be a great teammate in the future.
👎 "I can't believe how poorly Tom handled the client meeting last week. He was disorganized and unprepared, and it was clear that the client was not impressed.
This example of peer review feedback is overly negative and strictly refers to a single event. There is no indication that John always displays the same behavior. It also does not acknowledge any strengths or positive attributes that Tom may possess, which can make the feedback feel overly harsh and unfair.
👍 "I think Tom has a lot of potential, but I have noticed that he tends to struggle with giving presentations. I think it would be helpful for him to work on his preparation and public speaking skills, perhaps by attending a workshop or training session. With some additional support and training, I believe Tom could continue to grow in his role and make a positive impact on the team."
In this example, the reviewer does not refer to a single event but to a recurring behavior. By providing specific feedback and actionable steps for improvement, the feedback is more constructive and helpful for the colleague.
It also focuses on growth and development rather than criticism and negativity.
This is what we call an effective peer reviewer.
4. Write clearly
Summarize what you've noticed about your co-worker's performance.
🟢 DO mention areas of improvement you've noticed and highlight areas you hope you see their work on in the future.
🔴 DO NOT beat around the bush with your answers during peer reviews.
Ensure your answers are clear, concise, and easy to understand.
👎 "Brian is fine, I guess."
This peer review doesn't provide any specific information or insights about Brian's work or his abilities.
There is a clear example of non-effective feedback. There is nothing actionable for Brian. Even if, on the surface, the reviewer did not share anything negative, there is no take-away for the reviewee.
👍 "I've noticed that Brian has been taking on more responsibilities lately and doing a great job. I think he could benefit from more opportunities to showcase his leadership skills and contribute to larger projects."
This peer review sample is a good example of constructive feedback. It acknowledges Brian's growth and contributions to the team, and suggests opportunities for him to further develop his skills and take on more responsibility.
By acknowledging that Brian has been taking on more responsibilities and doing a great job, the feedback is specific and provides actionable steps for Brian to continue to excel in his role.
👎 "I think Mary is a good worker overall, but there are some things she could improve on. Maybe she could be more organized or something."
👍 "I have noticed that Mary tends to struggle with prioritizing her tasks and meeting deadlines. To help her improve in these areas, I think it would be helpful for her to work on creating more detailed to-do lists or setting reminders for herself. Additionally, I think Mary could benefit from some additional training or support in project management skills."
📜 Templates you can use for you next peer review
Employee peer review templates for annual performance reviews
While there are different ways to create a peer review template, we recommend using Google Docs or Microsoft Word. Not only are they easier to use, but they are free too. With these two online document creation tools, you can say goodbye to purchasing expensive peer review templates or downloading special software.
Here is our free Google Forms template you can give colleagues to send each other meaningful feedback.
- 🌱 Make it as easy as possible for people to give each other meaningful feedback.
- 🧩 It's 100% customizable so you can truly make it your own.
➡️ Download your free peer review feedback form here.
You could also use Zavvy's feedback tool to collect peer reviews.
With Zavvy, you can create peer review forms that are relevant to the department or job.
For example, peer review forms for sales representatives, customer support specialists, or receptionists should focus on soft skills. In contrast, a Cybersecurity engineer or software developer might focus on technical skills.
This means that you'll need some kind of sheet that outlines your peer's competencies.
Don't forget to leave blank spaces on your peer review forms to allow the reviewers to add important yet overlooked topics.
If you're using Zavvy, you can either have reviewees choose their peers themselves - or have managers do it for them.
➡️ Facilitate feedback and growth with Zavvy
When implemented and done right, peer reviews can offer insights that you might never have otherwise discovered and increase an employees' performance.
Zavvy makes collecting feedback a breeze. With just a few clicks, you will have recurring feedback cycles.
- Select the types of feedback you want to collect - any combination of self-review, downward, upward feedback, or peer reviews.
- Customize the survey forms for each feedback type (Or use one of our ready-to-use templates).
- Define your anonymity settings (Should all feedback be anonymous?)
- Decide if you want to include a performance calibration step.
- Select the participants for your review cycle (For example, Taktile automates feedback cycles for their new hires at the 6 week, 12 week, and 18 week of their new hire journeys).
- Define the timeline for writing, nomination and feedback sharing tasks.
- Double-check all the details and activate y cycle 🏁.
But, it's one thing to collect peer review feedback, and it's a different ballgame to use it to propel employee growth.
Don't leave your employees wondering what comes next.
Instead, roll out learning and development programs to improve their skills and put them on the right career path.
📅 Want to ensure a cycle of continuous development and grow your people? Book a demo today.