The Value of Peer Recognition in the Workplace

While top-down recognition is the most popular form of recognition, do not underestimate the power of peer-to-peer acknowledgment. Employees who receive recognition from a manager show feelings of gratitude and take pride in their work. However, recognition given by a fellow team member increases that pride and gives employees much-needed validation that they are doing a great job. It also helps them to feel noticed and appreciated in the workplace by the people they work alongside every day.

What is Peer-to-Peer Recognition?

Peer-to-peer recognition is praise given between colleagues of the same team or department. Peers directly working with another peer can provide recognition for work contributions, completed goals, and other accomplishments.

This type of recognition is a valuable motivational tool. Employees are encouraged to work as part of a team to do great work. Showing gratitude for each other boosts spirits encourages tight-knit relationships and creates a workplace culture that is supportive, open, and inclusive of everyone.

Through peer-to-peer recognition, employees can develop relationships with the people they are around every single day. Many employees spend more time at work than they do at home. In turn, they are spending more time with their coworkers than they spend with their families at times. Having an open and encouraging workplace is important for strengthening and reaffirming relationships with each other. Why is peer recognition so effective?

  1. Peers see more of what is going on day-to-day. Teams of employees who work closely with each other have better insight as to what each person is working on and how they are contributing to the workplace each day. Groups of employees are more effective at giving timely recognition because they see recognizable moments as soon as they happen.
  2. Peers relate to each other on an understanding level. Employees often share similar roles and responsibilities in the workplace. They can better relate to the challenges and accomplishments of their peers. Peers working alongside each other are more appreciative of the difficulties faced.
  3. Peers support and encourage each other daily. In many organizations, managers are not always aware of the daily accomplishments of their employees. There is nothing wrong with this as long as there is an active effort to give recognition frequently when an employee has done something monumental. However, employees thrive on daily recognition and need continuous validation that their work is appreciated. That’s where peers step in! Because they are in the same “trenches” as one and other, peers are the ones who know the intimate details of each other’s lives in and outside the workplace. They are the ones who can best give the daily encouragement needed to motivate and support a fellow employee through all of life’s challenges.

Encouraging Recognition

Providing employees a platform specifically used for giving recognition is a great way to encourage positive culture growth. Having a program that promotes peer-to-peer recognition can foster teamwork and healthy communication within the work environment.

Recognition programs that include a peer-to-peer component offer many advantages including:

  • Connecting employees to the organization and each other
  • Promoting team and individual success
  • Fostering innovation and collaboration
  • Improving communication with each other and customers
  • Creating a sense of loyalty to the organization and increasing retention
  • Boosting productivity, employee engagement rates, and quality work

Managers need to remain an active part of any recognition program, but having a program that allows for peer-to-peer recognition provides the team an avenue to express appreciation for each other. Receiving recognition from coworkers helps employees to understand each other's attitudes, the work they are doing, and provides them with the validation that employees need to feel valued.

Best Practices for Points-Based Programs