We conduct in-depth 360-degree surveys in which our associates evaluate their team members. Each associate has the benefit of knowing, on an annual basis, how at least seven of their peers, with whom they work on a daily basis, view their contributions to the team and to the agency. It allows associates to confront common criticisms or concerns about their performance that others seem to share.
As a group, we've learned how to get more out of these surveys. In the beginning, review comments were written as if the writer was complaining to "management" about the other person's performance. As a group, we agreed that it's best to write as if you are speaking directly to that person and, assuming that the recipient has good intentions, believes they're making a good effort and wants the best for the agency.
This has improved the spirit of the survey and the return on our investment of time.