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Empower the Workforce With A Culture of Peer-to-Peer Recognition

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People who work in an environment where doing their best is recognized have a better chance of feeling good about their work.
- Marilyn Suttle

Human nature has always gravitated towards seeking acceptance and appreciation in the surroundings that one works in. Despite this behavioral trait, peer-to-peer recognition is often ignored in favor of the more-popular top-down recognition. But how do you build a culture that focuses on 360-degree recognition?

The answer is simple, yet we tend to ignore it. And to shed light on this very critical topic, we will go through it in this article.

Let's delve in.

What is Peer-to-Peer Recognition?


Peer-to-peer recognition is the expression of appreciation for a job well done by colleagues within an organization. The major advantage of this type of recognition is its flexibility. The practice has no limitations, be it your team members or someone from a cross-functional team.

But how does it work?

In the simplest ways, you can show appreciation for a project the team members finished or help out colleagues during a difficult period. Even a tiny act of kindness, like thanking a colleague for assisting you with the presentation, can brighten their day. A culture that emphasizes peer recognition can eventually increase morale and employee engagement.

The Importance of Peer-to-peer Recognition


The idea of recognition starts from the leadership level. Being the leader, you have to take the initiative to inject the practice of peer recognition by acting on it and guiding the workforce. And you need to be consistent with it to understand the different dynamics. When you delve deeper into what peer-to-peer recognition offers, you see a vast pool of opportunities to uplift the workforce.

But how important is it?


When asked what leaders could do more to increase engagement, 52% said, "give recognition." Ensuring productivity remains intact while boosting the employees' confidence is crucial.

The bigger picture is that the need for peer-to-peer recognition will only increase with time. As a leader, you must strategize and keep changing your efforts to leverage the benefits.

You need to know this, and so does the workforce. The very idea of the program is to indulge them in appreciating each other instead of the usual top-down recognition.

What Are The Benefits of Peer-to-Peer Recognition?

There are numerous benefits of peer-to-peer recognition that one can explore. Here are a few that are the most important for an organization.


We will know more about these numbers in the pointers below.

1. High Morale and Motivation!


Keeping in the perspective of an employee, when their co-workers appreciate them, it adds value. It showcases an employee's importance among the team members.

In the long run, this helps to improve morale and motivation within the team. Moreover, it encourages them to go above and beyond for the team.

2. Good Employee Relationship


Peer-to-peer recognition is one of the main drivers behind building good relationships in the workplace. When employees acknowledge each other for their work, it develops trust and understanding. This is an essential factor that helps businesses maintain good team dynamics.

In the long run, it helps create a well-balanced team that performs well and delivers results.

3. Improved Job Satisfaction


46% of US workers leave their jobs because of a lack of appreciation. The figure demonstrates how important it has become to appreciate employees' efforts.

When employees do not receive the necessary appreciation from their colleagues for their efforts, it demoralizes them. It creates a lack of enthusiasm, and they do not feel the need to go above and beyond every time.

However, this phenomenon can be avoided with a good peer-to-peer recognition program. Employees feel satisfied with their work when they receive praise, specifically from their co-workers. It enables the employees to feel more connected with their job and enjoy their responsibilities. This ensures that job satisfaction remains on the higher end of the spectrum.

Read more: An All-In-One Guide To Boost Employee Job Satisfaction

4. Elevated Employee Confidence!


98% of employees say they perform better when they feel confident. And it's true. You might have experienced the same. You tend to perform better when you feel confident about your skills and responsibilities.

The problem is that people will not know "if" they are doing a good job when nobody tells them so.

But with social recognition, you can do that without any hassle. Ensure that you have a system that allows the employees to appreciate each other socially. With this, the employees will be able to acknowledge their peers for a job done well. This will also enable them to recognize their peers within the organizational communication channel.

In the long run, it will impact the employees' confidence who receive the appreciation socially. And also encourage the rest of the workforce to do well in their jobs.

5. Promotes Team Spirit


Approving peers' skills and competencies is essential to a functional team. This shows that they respect each other and acknowledge the capabilities of the team members.

You can further assist the employees in projecting that feeling with the help of peer-to-peer recognition. Give the employees the freedom to appreciate their peers when they see someone doing a good job or helping someone out.

This will improve their understanding of each other, promote team spirit, and help in improving engagement.

6. Increased Work Performance!


69% of employees say they would work harder if they were better appreciated. And numbers don't lie. With such a high percentage of employees, it becomes evident that appreciation is the key to improving performance.

Apart from the top-down recognition, when employees indulge in appreciating each other adds personal value. Doing so motivates the employees to do better and improves work performance in the long run.

Peer-to-Peer Recognition Ideas That Work

Peer recognition does not take much effort. It's the simple things that matter the most, and below is a list of some ideas that work.

1. Create a Video

One great idea under peer-to-peer recognition is creating a video for an employee. You can assign the responsibility to one of the peers. The assigned co-worker will ask the team members to say a few words of appreciation.

Once everything is done, send the video to the employees' mail or gather around the team and play it in front of everyone.

Make sure to include every team member in the video. You can also add memorable pictures of the employee.

2. Point-Based Peer Awards

Another great peer-to-peer recognition idea is to have point-based peer awards. For this, you need to enable a system that authorizes the employees to give away points while appreciating their peers.

And you can do it with the assistance of Vantage Circle's AI-powered recognition platform. With the platform, you can set the desired budget for your employees and assign specific roles within the team. Once everything is set, the employees can start appreciating their peers while incentivizing the awards with points.


3. Physical Display Boards

The idea of a physical display board will require a little investment. But it will enable you to recognize an employee that performed well socially.


This will also encourage other employees to congratulate the employee with the help of sticky notes or congratulatory cards. Thus, increasing the overall peer-to-peer recognition in the workplace.

4. Team Huddle

Take time to recognize the employees for a job well done by doing a team huddle. Give the authority to one of the employees of the team member to organize the huddle. It will make them feel more involved in the entire appreciation process.

Moreover, everyone on the team can contribute a small token of appreciation for their peer.

Ensure beforehand that everyone in the team knows about the huddle and prepare a few words of appreciation for the team-mate.

5. Cross-Department Appreciation

The cross-departmental appreciation is another great peer-to-peer recognition idea that works. Good relationships are formed when employees from different departments thank each other for their contributions.

And the employees can do it with the social feed feature of Vantage Circle. When a peer appreciates their fellow workers using the social feed, everyone in the organization is notified about it. This enables the other employees to join in and comment on the post, making the appreciation more meaningful and relevant.

How To Make Peer-to-Peer Recognition Effective?

1. Recognition Should be Immediate


When it comes to peer-to-peer recognition, timing is everything. It is only effective when done in the 'moment.' And that is what you have to educate the employees about efficiently. You need to tell them how timing is important while appreciating a colleague.

To make things easier, here is a simple example.

Assume a colleague or employee completes a difficult task after a week of hard work. They were recognized months after the project was completed. This does not have the same significance. As a result, the late appreciation loses its actual value.

However, when colleagues recognize their peers for a job well done, it has a positive impact overall. It boosts their morale and gives them a sense of accomplishment. The employees can practice it by-

  • Recognizing the employee immediately following a significant accomplishment.

  • Appreciating them for their efforts will boost their confidence.

2. Be Specific About Your Recognition


Every employee wishes to be recognized for their efforts. It gives them the necessary drive to go above and beyond in their next task. But why are they being noticed?

Specificity is a critical factor, and the employees need to understand that. They cannot just go about appreciating their peers.

While appreciating, when employees are specific about it, the receiver has a better grasp of why they are getting the appreciation. They will be able to comprehend the things they did right for the team.

The recognition should be straightforward from the peer's end. This makes it more meaningful and impactful. And in the long run, it assists a colleague in improving focus on their responsibilities. To be more specific, you can-

  • Mention the reason for the praise.

  • Display the report on the things that made a difference.

3. Maintain Consistency


We've all heard that 'consistency is the key' to success. The same can be said for peer-to-peer recognition.

Peer recognition is more than just a single day of praise and appreciation. It should be done repeatedly and consistently. And this is what the employees have to acknowledge in the long run.

When employees recognize their peers just for their sake, it undermines the entire concept of recognition. That can have a negative impact on the outlook of the recognition program.

To make things interesting, you can incentivize the entire recognition program. For example, when an employee appreciates their peer for a successful marketing campaign, you can give them points. This will maintain the enthusiasm of the employees, and they will be more involved in the program.

Ensure that you use a program that is available virtually, which makes it easily accessible and customizable. You can try out Vantage Circle's AI-driven rewards and recognition program that will provide all the needs of a cloud-based platform. Moreover, it is highly customizable and includes features that elevate employee experience in the workplace.

4. Go Virtual!

The need for a virtual peer-to-peer recognition system has become critical in today's ever-changing and constantly evolving business environment. One of the prime factors that increased the need for a virtual system was the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic changed the entire scenario of how workplaces operated with the immediate implementation of work from home. This sudden change raised concerns like-

  • How to praise fellow employees?

  • What can a manager do to improve engagement while working remotely?

  • What is the scope of a leader to opt for a virtual engagement system with easy accessibility?

All these concerns had one simple yet effective solution: a cloud-based employee recognition software. These recognition tools are easily available and provide simpler functionality that anyone in the organization can use.

And one such system is Vantage Circle's Rewards and Recognition platform for all your employee engagement needs.

This particular platform focuses on the rewarding process and enables employees to practice peer-to-peer recognition. Its recognize functionality allows the employees to instantly appreciate their colleagues for their contributions with just a few clicks. Furthermore, the platform enables an organization to improve its work culture and increase workplace recognition.

5. Get Creative With The Recognition Process

A peer-to-peer recognition process must be fun and should encourage employees to keep practicing it. But if the process becomes monotonous with time, then chances are that the employees will lose interest. And being the leader, you do not want that if implementing peer-to-peer recognition is your goal.

You must make things interesting for the employees so they love acknowledging their peers. And some things you can opt for include-

  • Use of customizable badges.

  • Option to personalize the recognition with messages.

  • The functionality to wish colleagues during a special occasion.

  • Ability to give redeemable points, which can be converted into gift cards.

This keeps the engagement level high and enables the employees to become open to ideas while recognizing them.

And to assist you with such ideas, Vantage Circle, with its varied and flexible functionality, allows the users to get things going. The platform enables the user to-

  • Wish their peers on time with its wish feature.

  • Recognize their peers instantaneously with its mobile accessibility.

  • Navigate through the platform with its simplified user interface.

  • Advocate the work culture with its social media sharing feature.

This ensures that everything runs smoothly and the team's engagement levels are intact.


Recommended Article: 50 Rewards And Recognition Ideas To Boost Employee Recognition [2022 Update]

Pointers for Leaders to Manage the Peer-to-peer recognition Program

  • Ensure that everything related to the program is well-maintained beforehand, so there are no hiccups in the long run.

  • Check for any bias that might occur during the recognition process. This is important to keep things balanced.

  • Ensure that everyone is well-informed about the program so that employees can indulge in it fully.

  • Conduct an orientation of the peer-to-peer recognition program where employees can grasp how everything works.

  • Explain the program's long-term benefits and how it will positively impact the organization's work culture.

Recommended Read: 25 Leadership Qualities That Makes You A Good Leader

Summing it Up!

We all know that employees are an integral part of an organization. In any high-performing company, peer-to-peer recognition forms an essential factor. It also helps build strong bonds in the workplace, which is vital for teamwork success.

Peer recognition positively impacts employee morale and helps them focus on their work. It has much more impact and becomes meaningful when employees get appreciated by their peers for their effort.

The bottom line here is that leaders and HR professionals need to place a robust recognition and rewards program. It will improve employer branding in social media and increase the reputation among the target audience.

Mrinmoy Rabha is a content writer and digital marketer at Vantage Circle. He is an avid follower of football and passionate about singing. For any related queries, contact editor@vantagecircle.com

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