New policy at work - what would you do / think about it?

Starting next month, the following has been mandated: I am responsible for monitoring my peers’ work. I must pick four peers per month, review a day’s worth of their paperwork, fill out a form to submit to my boss, and leave a note for each of the four pointing out any items they missed. I work with a large group of people, and each of us is expected to do this. I, of course, will be similarly monitored by my peers.

The review is spelled out in a form, with maybe a dozen different items to verify. It will probably take around 10-15 minutes for each.

This is being implemented, they say, because there are too many items not being done. We are pretty over-worked, and, generally speaking, if something is not done it is because we’re just too damn busy.

And this makes for some delicious irony: because of these reviews, we are going to have even less time to perform the paperwork that is required of us.

Be aware that I am but a worker bee; not at all any sort of manager/administrator.

I will withhold further thoughts for now until I get some Doper input.

I can think of about sixty ways that policy could go terribly, terribly wrong, and only about three in which it could help at all. Reviewing other workers’ work is what managers are for.

In my experience, peer review never goes well and almost always causes hard feelings. Good luck doing it though.

I think it’s terrible and is going to lead to a lot of hard feelings.

Another vote for your management having head-up-ass syndrome. It’s easy enough for the work environment to turn toxic without a mandated policy of peer (and possibly unqualified) criticism. Besides, evaluation of work quality is the job of your supervisors. That’s what they’re getting paid for.

Are they trying to cause friction between people or are they just stupid?

Good grief. There’s a reason why QA teams sit apart from the people doing the stuff being QA’d.

Oh, that’s some bullshit. I’d be screaming holy hell about that one, if I were you.

Isn’t a company supposed to have policies and measures in place that monitor the work of employees without having the employees monitoring themselves? What’s the word for that - metrics? I can see what management is aiming for, but I don’t think they’re going to hit the mark with this. I think it will mostly breed resentment on a number of levels.

Hmm. This is any interesting way to avoid having to lay people off - just piss them off enough that a bunch will get frustrated and quit.

There’s nothing worse than being given responsibility without the authority to back it up.

I loved it when I audited companies and my boss at corporate would tell me to do something and I’d go to the GM for the files and he’s say “no.” So he was my boss so I’d tell corporate, that the GM refused to cooperate. Corporate would say “he can’t.” I’d say “he did.” and then after 6 months the matter was dropped and nothing got done.

Peer review sounds like the bosses are too scared to their jobs. So they push the dirty work onto someone else.

If this were a “Dilbert” cartoon the “pointy haired boss” would be saying “I’m doing this peer review so when we do a round of lay-offs, I’ll have a justifiable reason to fire you and since you’re dismissed for negligence, that way we can fight and not pay unemployment.”


Get everyone at your job to miss every mistake and give nothing but glowing reviews. Such as “The use of semi-colons on this report was so amazing it caused me to reach orgasm.” Sure you might get fired but this does not sound like a company that will be in business very long anyway.

The people that don’t want to be responsible for this will wait to see who others review and what they say, and pick the same people and give the same results. The management will can those people, increase your workload, and blame you for getting them fired.

If The Powers That Be are bound and determined to implement this, at the very least no one should be choosing which four peers to review. You all should draw names from a hat or something!

If all you are doing is verifying that Joe Schmoe did indeed fill in line 23A on Form B, it seems relatively harmless. However, if you are expected to make value judgments regarding the quality of Joe Schmoe’s answers, then, yeah, no good can come of this.

Have The Powers That Be shared with you how these reviews will be used to improve performance?

I’m curious how far up your company’s hierarchy this goes. If it’s confined to just a level or two above you – that is, if it’s a particular manager’s pet project, but most branches or departments aren’t doing it – I’d take it up with HR pretty damn fast. If this is a company-wide initiative, then I’d start looking for another job while this one still exists. Which I can’t imagine it will for long.

OP here.

A few comments:
[li]The company ain’t going anywhere - been in bidness > 100 years.[/li]
[li]There will be no lay-offs.[/li]
[li]There are no judgment calls; it is merely ‘was this box checked’, ‘was this addressed in the report’. It’s all black & white.[/li]
[li]It is my manager (who I have a great relationship with) that is pushing it. Allegedly, other areas are doing it as well.[/li]
[li]It is unclear if this is a short-term or forever thing.[/li]
[li]Virtually everyone is against it, but very, very few will speak out.[/li]
[li]I’m not going anywhere either (job-wise).[/li]
[li]I don’t think the bosses are too scared to do their job, I think they have no time to do it like they want it done (as if we do).[/li]
[li]FWIW, I think it is TOTAL bullshit, and if I didn’t have so much to lose, I’d be screaming and/or walking. But I’d just be cutting off my nose to SMF. This, I’m afraid, is the bottom line.[/li][/ul]

At the very least, it should be double-blind (you don’t know whose work you’re evaluating, and you don’t know who wrote your evaluation). This of course, requires more work overhead for your management, but is the least repugnant way to pull this kind of thing off.

Best bet is for your department to hire one or two people for the sole purpose of QA if they can afford it. If this were happening to me, I would very gently suggest this to my manager.

You could have each person you’re reviewing submit their best jokes and rate them accordingly. (No, I’m not bitter that I have yet to achieve a perfect “10”!)

This sounds like the sort of busy-work I was given as an intern. I’m pretty sure none of my findings were ever acted upon or even noted by anyone. :slight_smile: It also kind of sounds like the sort of thing that will fade out with time. Good luck.

Clearly, what you should do is schedule a point each day when everyone reviews everyone else’s work.

And maybe you guys should adjourn to a meeting room to do it in, so you’re visibly not at your desks being productive during that time.

Make it clear exactly how much time is wasted doing this, by all doing it together and visibly. After a week or so, point out how everyone is falling behind due to this busywork.

The key is that everyone should do it at the same time, so it doesn’t appear integrated into your normal working habits. And schedule that time, so you can’t have meetings or get callbacks. You’re busy on this, and you can’t be doing anything else during it.