Published Apr 11, 2014
My department just distributed these peer review things. Basically, people anonymously criticized their co-workers, some rather harshly. I got some negatives, and some positives. Some of the comments seemed a little insulting.
The dept is in a bit of an uproar, I'm told. I'm going to try to take it constructively, but a couple of comments did sting a bit. One nurse got some scathing comments, I hear, and she is taking it to the union. She is one of the crustier nurses, not the greatest bedside manner, but a good person. I don't know why the manager would allow such insults that I hear were printed on her review. They just quoted people's, well, un-Christian comments.
It's supposed to be helpful, but I think it's divisive and demoralizing. Does anyone have experience with this? Was it helpful in the long run, once the hullabaloo died down?
xoemmylouox, ASN, RN
I HATE these. Too many people are petty and won't be honest in their reviews. If you are my manager I want YOU to tell me how I am doing. Nott the lazy co-worker who is jelous/petty/catty. More often than not they are not "anonymous" as they want you to think they are.
Well, we're doing them, but they aren't anonymous...we have to put our name on them. At each yearly eval, the person being evaluated fills one out, gives two to other staff to fill out (one on day shift, one on nights) and the director gives one to a person of his/her choosing.
I'm honest. If someone has a problem about what I say, they can bring it up with me. I feel like I'm fair. I've only gotten three (from solid nurses) to fill out; I suspect most people know I'm not going to mince words. However, I know most people won't be honest, because they won't take ownership of it.
I already know whom I will ask to complete mine; two great nurses, both of whom are secure to be honest in their criticism. Their feedback will be constructive and relevant and really will help me become a better nurse and coworker. I think these reviews can be helpful; frankly, I know how someone is doing more so than my manager. She works 8 hour days, 2 days a week on our unit. How can she possibly know who leaves a bunch of crap after every shift, who always has overdue meds, who gives a crummy report, who is completely disorganized, who has a crummy attitude, who can't seem to be found when it's time to do rounds, etc? When I fill these out, I'm very specific and honest. I'll own it, too. Most people don't, though, unfortunately.
Well, we're doing them, but they aren't anonymous...we have to put our name on them. At each yearly eval, the person being evaluated fills one out, gives two to other staff to fill out (one on day shift, one on nights) and the director gives one to a person of his/her choosing.I'm honest. If someone has a problem about what I say, they can bring it up with me. I feel like I'm fair. I've only gotten three (from solid nurses) to fill out; I suspect most people know I'm not going to mince words. However, I know most people won't be honest, because they won't take ownership of it.I already know whom I will ask to complete mine; two great nurses, both of whom are secure to be honest in their criticism. Their feedback will be constructive and relevant and really will help me become a better nurse and coworker. I think these reviews can be helpful; frankly, I know how someone is doing more so than my manager. She works 8 hour days, 2 days a week on our unit. How can she possibly know who leaves a bunch of crap after every shift, who always has overdue meds, who gives a crummy report, who is completely disorganized, who has a crummy attitude, who can't seem to be found when it's time to do rounds, etc? When I fill these out, I'm very specific and honest. I'll own it, too. Most people don't, though, unfortunately.
This is why this doesn't work. Your manager may not have any idea, but if you get to pick 2 out of the 3 people who do these reviews it isn't going to be accurate for most anyway. Most staff will just pick those people who they are buddy-buddy with and will give RAVE reviews regardless of how good a job the person actually does.
Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN
Popularity contests, and nothing more. Make it objective- everybody gets the same raise to start with, and it's affected by how many times you've been written up, either for good things or for bad.
Ruby Vee, BSN
Peer evaluations can be valuable if done by the right people and if those people are held accountable for what they write. All too often, however, that doesn't happen and they turn into nothing more than a popularity contest. My unit did them for awhile, anonymously, and then stopped when they got too nasty. Then they experimented with having people be accountable by putting their names on the peer evals they did. So no one did them. Now we're doing them on Survey Monkey -- still haven't worked the bugs out of that one!
ashleyisawesome, BSN, RN
We do them and there hasnt been a problem as far as I'm aware. I've been there 3 years, so I have gone through it 3 times and never had anything bad said about me!
We have to choose two people, so most people choose coworkers that they know will paint them in a positive light, but our manager also chooses two people. They have you fill one out for yourself too, then they compile it all together and go over it with you and determine if you deserve a raise. They also take into account tardiness/call outs, any write ups, any awards or extracurricular things like being on committees/councils or participating in research. Afterwards we come up with goals to reach for the next year based on the feedback.
I am honest without being completely harsh when I fill them out. I make sure to go into detail about the good things the coworker does, but I also don't lie about the not so good things. I think most people are decent about it. Some negative comments I might make could be, "Jane Doe consistently leaves overdue meds for the next shift, her time management skills could be worked on." or "Jane is often late for report by 15+ minutes." I would not say something like "I hate following Jane because she is so lazy. She's always leaving meds and tasks for me to do. She strolls in here all happy go lucky and spends 10 minutes in the break room making coffee instead of getting report from me. She doesn't even deserve to have a job, let alone a raise." Even if that's what I really think! I don't want to make people cry!
jadelpn, LPN, EMT-B
If you are a union facility, and the language of the contract doesn't say that raises are merit based, then I am not all together sure why peer reviews are even warranted. Or any review for that matter.
Sometimes, a manager will in fact do a performance evaluation. Under the assumption/guise that this talks about setting goals. (which is a story for another day!)
It all depends on the language of the union contract whether or not that means much of anything--other than to be sure that any manager generated evaluation that has less than stellar comments and improvement needs are addressed promptly--per progressive discipline, or whatever it is the contract language says. Otherwise, if one is a thorn in the side of the manager, that evlauation can come back to bite one. (as an intended "written warning", whether the nurse is aware of that or not).
It is like a popular game show "the points don't matter" --unless of course it is part of a merit based pay system, which the answers can be found in your union contract. Otherwise trashing one's co-workers can be slanderous.
I would love to know what the goal of this little passive/aggressive exercise is.....
I just had my first ever peer review. Thought I had the best job ever but now I discovered that several of my coworkers don't trust my decision making. I've worked other jobs and always got high reviews and offers to come back. Believe me, these reviews aren't anonymous. They told me exactly who said what. I'm so hurt that I don't know if I can get over it. Considering leaving the profession altogether. I also have numerous critical care certs and over 30 years of nursing experience.
Gooselady, BSN, RN
We did them at my last job. We had to hand out five peer review forms, which were filled out and turned in to the manager directly. The info on them was included in the yearly eval.
They were handwritten and everyone had a pretty good idea of everyone's handwriting, but they could be submitted anonymously or signed.
Here's the clincher -- only once in a great while would some be given a 'negative' peer review to look at (during their yearly eval that is). If I handed out five peer reviews, my manager might only hand me three, and they were all constructively positive. Perhaps not all five were handed in? Or perhaps the manager kept back the less-than-glowing peer reviews, and used that information as part of their constructive feedback for improvement?
I don't know.
I do know that what happened on your unit was a disaster, and there are some issues with coworker . . . um, relationships :)
Who would want to even vaguely insult one of their coworkers? I just don't get that. Constructive criticism? You betcha. But if I don't really like someone, what does that have to do with their nursing performance? I handed in 'critical' peer reviews for one nurse that I genuinely liked, left it anonymous, and told the manager in a note to please not share it directly with the nurse. It took me about an hour to write a small paragraph because I wanted to word it just right, this poor chick was one scary new nurse. Perfect personality for a nurse, terrifying lack of priority setting and critical thinking. I hear she's caught on and doing great since I've left :) But anyway.
Someone mismanaged this little experiment, I'm afraid, Emergent. And now, what a mess!
dream'n, BSN, RN
The only way that I feel coworker reviews work well, is if the manager uses them only as a general guide during the evaluation process. The manager should look for common themes in the coworker reviews and then use it as a launching point to identify/examine areas of growth through their own personal observations and experiences.
In a past job, the manager would just take out direct quotes from the coworker reviews. Some were very catty. It created an atmosphere of mistrust and backstabbing. And that is not what a supervisor should want to do as it negatively impacts the team and its cohesiveness.
dudette10, MSN, RN
Peer reviews have been around as a management tool for decades, and they have NEVER worked out right. My first one was in the mid-90s in a different career. Lasted one review cycle and never happened again. They are usually disastrous. I can't believe that they are still being pushed in management circles, regardless of industry.
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