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Successful peer to peer recognition ideas can provide tremendous value to a business. While many organizations have some type of manager-led recognition program in place, businesses are finding that individuals are equally motivated in the workplace by receiving recognition from their peers.

In basic terms, peer-to-peer recognition is the expressions of appreciation shared between co-workers within an organization. Peer-to-peer recognition can be as simple as one saying, “hey, great job!”, but many organizations have found that having a peer to peer recognition system in place encourages co-workers to recognize each other more often. In this article, we will explore how peer to peer recognition can be beneficial to your organization, and show you the best peer to peer recognition ideas that you can implement immediately.


Peer to Peer Recognition Benefits

Isn’t it enough to just give an employee a cool pen or watch after ten years of employment? Truth is, tenure is the basis of many current recognition programs. While recognizing work anniversary milestones is important, it is more important that performance and growth milestones are recognized. This type of recognition ensures that rewards are given more frequently and that employees are constantly reminded that they are on the right track. Peer to peer recognition is a mutually beneficial system that adds value to both the organization and it’s staff.

For staff members, peer-to-peer recognition systems:

  • Confirm their performance: Employees want feedback to know that their work is truly helping the organization. Being recognized by peers lets them know that their efforts are noticed and appreciated by everyone, managers and co-workers included. Additionally, it lets them know that they are on the right track and that their work is being viewed in a positive way.
  • Make them feel valued: When an employee knows that their work is appreciated, they feel valued by the organization and by the team that they work with. An employee who feels that their organization values certain and specific behaviors will be more apt to repeat those positive behaviors over and over again.
  • Improves confidence: Peer-to-peer recognition makes employees more confident in their work. When they know that their good work has been noticed in the past, they feel stronger about their performance and more confident in their abilities. As they build their confidence in their work, their output and performance will also increase.


For organizations, peer-to-peer recognition systems:

  • Improve organizational performance: As individual employees begin feeling stronger in their positions, performance of the entire organization grows. Peer to peer recognition lends a hand to better teamwork, more encouragement, and ultimately, higher revenues. While manager-only recognition can be powerful, studies show that peer-to-peer recognition is 35% more likely to have a positive impact on financial results.
  • Increases customer satisfaction: Employees who feel recognized are more engaged with their work, with the company, and with the organization’s clients and customers. A study by Globoforce concluded that 41% of companies that use peer-to-peer recognition have seen positive increases in customer satisfaction.
  • Decreases turnover: Peer to peer recognition not only builds employee job satisfaction, but it also results in more positive relationships being built throughout the organization. In a study by Bersin & Associates, it was found that companies with recognition programs that are highly effective at improving employee engagement have a 31% lower voluntary turnover than those without a program in place.
  • Motivates staff: Individuals have a natural desire to be socially accepted and socially recognized. While manager-to-employee recognition is also critical, 76% of employees said that they found peer praise “very” or “extremely”motivating.

More than anything, peer to peer recognition programs improve trust and teamwork throughout the entire organization. Although there is some level of expense incurred when installing any type of peer to peer recognition system, the return on investment can be tremendous.

Staff Recognition Ideas - Woman being appreciated by colleagues

The Best Peer to Peer Recognition Ideas

Today’s employees are highly tech savvy. Technology-based peer recognition systems that are accessible thru online and mobile devices have a heavy appeal, especially to a millennial workforce. There are many different categories of recognition ideas, but the most effective peer to peer recognition ideas of 2017 combine peer recognition and technology through:

  • Social Media Recognition: Social media has become a staple tool for communicating and sharing news. Brand profiles, company-only boards, and team communication platforms can be effective social arenas for employees to encourage and recognize one another. Not only is social media recognition one of the lowest cost staff appreciation ideas, it also allows the recognition to be broadcast quickly and for recognized employees to find gratification immediately. Effective recognition solutions, like those offered through ProformaSI, include a “wall of fame” feed where recognitions can be broadcast immediately throughout the entire organization.
  • Gamification: In general, gamification is applying gaming elements to non-gaming applications. For peer recognition, gamification can be introduced through different types of competitions, or by assigning quantitative milestones that must be met to receive a specific reward. While rewards are a great motivator, competition and gamification can bring a level of performance and excitement that other peer to peer recognition systems cannot duplicate.
  • Merchandise Malls: To manage the selection and distribution of rewards and incentives, many companies introduce merchandise malls into their programs. These online-accessed malls allow employees to browse and select rewards including but not limited to gift cards, brand name lifestyle gifts, experiences, dining, travel, and etc.


Peer to Peer Recognition DOs and DON’Ts

It can be a challenge to successfully integrate a peer to peer recognition system into your organization. Below are several tips that should be taken into consideration to make sure your program is most successful.

    1. Do implement a great system that ensures accuracy and simplicity, and allows for immediate gratification.
    2. Do clarify what types of activities should be recognized and encourage staff to be specific about why they are recognizing a certain individual.
    3. Do make sure that everyone is aware of the program and how it works, including new employees just coming aboard.
    4. Do offer an online company store where employees can easily choose branded rewards and merchandise in exchange for points.
    5. Do check your program regularly to make sure you are receiving desired results.
    6. Don’t introduce a program that is unfair or unequal, or one that benefits a certain person (or group of people) over others.
    7. Don’t forget to implement technology through social media elements and gamification.
    8. Don’t let your peer recognition program completely replace organic recognition.
    9. Don’t abandon your program or allow it to phase out. Keep it fresh and maintain your team’s excitement about the program!

Whether you are looking to improve team culture in your organization, looking for a way to increase the performance of your workforce, or simply just looking to introduce some fun amongst your staff — implementing great peer to peer recognition ideas can help you meet your goals.

Ready to put these peer to peer recognition ideas into action? Contact ProformaSI to see how our recognition programs can help improve engagement within your organization!

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