Child’s Play – Why Hostinger Uses Montessori Methods in Its Peer Reviews
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Child’s Play – Why Hostinger Uses Montessori Methods in Its Peer Reviews

Hello, my name is Arnas Stuopelis. I am the CEO of Hostinger, and I would like to tell you a very personal story about why we use a particular method adapted from Montessori schools in our peer review system.

First of all, I am a product of Montessori education. In terms of Hostinger as a business, I firmly believe that using the Montessori principles of independence, freedom, and personal development will help any professional to perform better day in, day out. We have applied some of these principles to our peer reviews in order to up our game of providing even better customer service to millions of people using our website hosting services around the globe.

The concept we borrowed from Montessori schools is the gradual introduction of team members to group feedback sessions for peer reviews, or ‘360-degree reviews’. Before we get to that, let me give you some background on why we chose this alternative method of employee evaluation.

In mid-2017 Hostinger introduced peer reviews for the first time. If implemented properly, they can drive employee productivity skywards, and managers can step aside.

To begin our peer review scheme, we asked 100 of our Customer Success agents to provide constructive feedback to each other regarding their work – in which fields they were doing great, and in which areas they could improve.

In line with our policy of being completely transparent in everything we do, I will admit that the initial results were chaotic – our staff was largely untrained in how to use objective evaluation methods.

Then I remembered my school days, and how the Montessori method was used to gradually introduce new children to our group to help them learn and adapt to their new surroundings. Instead of placing all the newbies together, they would be placed one by one in a group of children who had been attending the school for a longer time.

On the first day at school, one new pupil would be introduced to the group. The second day – two, the third – three, and so on. This progressive approach prevented the pack mentality setting in which would have made the new arrivals group together. Their behavior changed in accordance with their surroundings and the school’s learning culture was not altered.

In order to fix the problems we encountered during the initial rollout of the peer review, it made sense to build the peer review system based on the progressive introduction model I encountered at school. We scrapped the idea of grouping 100 colleagues together to provide feedback on each other, and initially trained just three with the necessary skills required to carry out effective peer reviews.

Each day we introduced a new member of staff to the group. Just like back in school, the newbie would adapt their behavior to their surroundings and learn how to carry out an effective peer evaluation. Every day we added more staff to the rapidly growing group.

Just six months later, we have managed to train almost 100 employees using this method. Most importantly, our group working culture has improved dramatically.

Like Hostinger, Google and Amazon combine “progressive ideas such as open-plan offices and fun with traditional methods like encouraging internal competition and measuring performance.” If that approach works for these two international giants, then it is certainly good enough for us!

If you have also tried an alternative learning method in improving your business, we would love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading!
Arnas

example of hostinger peer review

The author

Author

Arnas Stuopelis / @arnas888

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