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#326 – Peer Feedback at Parabol

Friday Ship #326 | December 2nd, 2022

Two penguins looking like they're talking

Good feedback, shared early and often, is essential to our culture at Parabol. We covet regular feedback from our customers, from our advisors, and from each other.

At Parabol we use our software to support a peer review process that we run at least every 6 months per employee. Here’s how it works in brief:

  • A team member and their team lead select a panel of peers who have worked alongside the member on a regular basis
  • Folks on the panel respond to a set of prompts to highlight the highs and the lows, offer suggestions for opportunities, or ask questions about the team member’s roles, accountabilities, and work
  • The team member reviews the topics during 1:1 time with their team lead. Follow-up discussions with the panel are encouraged
  • The team member develops a plan for how they want to improve based on the feedback and share that with the team

The steps of inviting a panel and gathering feedback are entirely async. Once the panel is in place we share a private Slack channel and private Parabol team. The team member chooses what prompts to share with the panel and kicks off the async activity. We have 3 templates to start with or they can customize their own:

Trust - What examples can you give that have helped or hurt you trust this Member’s ability to assist you with your own work?
In Focus - What appears to have this Member's attention over other efforts? Give some examples.
Out of Focus - What isn't getting as much attention as perhaps
it should?
Values - Share examples of a company value this person has brought to life.
Questions - What questions might you have about the work of the role(s) this Member performs?
Roles & Skills - What should this Member do more of or less of to grow professionally or better the company?
Collaboration - What should this Member stop, start, or continue doing when working alongside others?
People Matters - How has this Member best helped develop others around them, or built up our talent & membership? How can they do better? What should they stop?
Questions - What questions do you have about this Member’s roles, work, development, or performance
in general?
Remarkable - What does this Member do that you find remarkable? What do you brag about them to
other people?
Obstacles - What do you see getting in this Member’s way?
Challenges - Assume you're working with this Member for the next 10 years. What behavior isn't a big deal now, but will get challenging over that time?
Opportunities - What areas would you like to see this Member develop in? How could they be more helpful to you or the team?

We’ve been running reviews like this for the past year. The best part is that any Parabol employee can propose improvements to the process that can be sponsored by our leadership team. How do you gather peer feedback at your organization? We’d love to hear what works for you.


Website metrics continue a downward trend. User metrics are steady week over week. Meetings have slowed a bit this past week. Folks celebrating Thanksgiving might be getting back in the swing of things.

Parabol's metrics December 2nd 2022

This week we…

Next week we’ll…

…have a product squad retreat in Miami — our focus is exploring a new product area for Parabol

Terry Acker

Terry Acker

Terry specializes in front-end architecture, UX strategy, UI design, and brand systems. He has previously worked for Quirky, BoomTown, and Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, and has served as an advisor to several early-stage start-ups. Terry lives and works near Tyler, TX.

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