Management-to-employee recognition is one thing, but peer-to-peer recognition is a key part of any successful reward and recognition strategy.
A study by Globoforce found that peer-to-peer recognition was 37% more likely to yield a positive financial return than management-to-employee recognition.
Why is peer-to-peer recognition so popular?
Not only has it shown to have a positive effect when it comes to output, but it’s a helpful form of recognition in a number of situations.
For example, in large, busy teams where management-to-employee recognition might need a helping hand, recognition from peers is incredibly important.
For a remote workforce it is also key, while for multi-generational teams peer-to-peer may often be the most effective form of recognition.
Key benefits of peer-to-peer recognition
Peer-to-peer not only helps solve some of management’s worst recognition headaches, it can be incredibly beneficial for the business in other areas too.
Building a strong team
Peer-to-peer recognition can help bring a team together and build relationships between colleagues. This is something management-to-employee recognition can’t replicate, and so peer-to-peer recognition becomes even more important.
Appreciation from colleagues helps staff feel more a part of something and helps reassure them of their importance to the team. This is particularly important for new starters or those who might have doubts over the wider effect their work is having.
It also helps build a culture within teams of a positive attitude. If the team falls down in a particular area or underperforms, it gets highlighted so the problem can be fixed. Equally, when the team performs well and individuals contribute this should also be highlighted and praised just as much if not more!
Helps build a more confident, self-aware team
As mentioned, if a team underperforms it will usually be highlighted and often more so than any overperformance.
Highlighting underperformance allows the team to see where their weaknesses are and correct them.
Equally, overperformance or a job well done should be highlighted to show the strengths of the team and the individuals in that team.
So, if an employee is particularly strong in one area and they’re praised by their peers for it often, not only will it help build their confidence but they’ll become much more self-aware about not only where their weaknesses lie but what their strengths are too.
Boosted performance and reduced turnover
Not only will peer-to-peer recognition help provide that positive reinforcement needed to encourage repeated good performance, it contributes greatly to overall employee satisfaction.
If staff feel part of a team that appreciates them and are part of a recognition culture, they are much more likely to be happier in their role.
Happier employees are not only more productive, they’re much less likely to leave the business.
Peer-to-peer recognition helps create an environment that’s not only conducive to helping staff feel appreciated but it’s also conducive to consistent, high performing teams!
Peer-to-peer recognition best practices
Before diving into implementing peer-to-peer recognition, it’s important to consider some ‘best practices’ to ensure it is as effective as it can be.
Peer-to-peer recognition must be:
- Authentic: Peer-to-peer recognition should be encouraged rather than forced, but only when necessary! Any unauthentic recognition loses it’s effectiveness and it’s important to distinguish between praising a colleague when appropriate and recognition for the sake of recognition
- Timely: Peer-to-peer recognition should be instant. It should be encouraged as and when it’s necessary and appropriate. As with any form of recognition, the longer it takes to recognise someone for something the less effective it becomes
- Consistent: This form of recognition should be ingrained in the company culture rather than something that is just encouraged on a one off, therefore consistent review is necessary
For more, take a look at our full article on peer-to-peer recognition ideas.
How can you work peer-to-peer into your reward and recognition strategy?
Start by defining your goals. What do you want peer-to-peer recognition to help you achieve? To increase employee morale and satisfaction thus reducing staff turnover? Are you looking to motivate employees and improve productivity and output?
In short, how will peer-to-peer recognition help the business and its employees? When this is made clear, employees know exactly why peer-to-peer recognition is being encouraged and are more likely to buy into it.
Make sure you give peer-to-peer recognition importance. For example, when it comes to performance/compensation reviews, factor in peer-to-peer recognition alongside managerial recognition.
Giving peer-to-peer recognition weight will assure employees of its importance and employees are more likely to get on board.
Don’t forget to measure success of your peer-to-peer recognition. Again, this is why it’s so important to set goals so you can refer back to them to see how peer-to-peer recognition has benefitted the business.
For example, how might staff turnover have changed since you implemented peer-to-peer recognition? What effect has peer-to-peer recognition had?
Making peer-to-peer recognition easier for employees is key
So, how do you facilitate peer-to-peer recognition in the modern workplace?
This is where many companies adopt HR software to provide a way for employees to recognise their colleagues, which we’ll cover in the next section!