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Peer-to-peer recognition: the unique benefits

We all know that it’s important for managers to recognise and reward their direct reports but the responsibility for recognition shouldn’t solely reside with managers. Peer-to-peer recognition can often have an even greater impact on recipients and by encouraging your employees to show appreciation for each other’s efforts, you could revolutionise the way your teams work together. Here, we examine the key benefits of peer-to-peer recognition can have for a business.

The fact that recognition schemes encourage employee engagement with their employer is a fairly established idea nowadays. However, schemes that enable and promote peer-to-peer recognition can be so much more effective at achieving this as employees are more actively looking for opportunities to reward their peers based on company goals and values. As well as keeping these goals and values at the forefront of employees’ minds, this sort of active recognition encourages a positive culture of recognition to develop within the organisation, where people are constantly looking to appreciate and celebrate the achievements of their fellow co-workers, creating a productive and welcoming place to work.

Nowadays, many managers have their workload spread thin and are responsible for supporting many direct reports. As such, it can be difficult for them to recognise and reward every achievement of their employees. However, by working together daily, others may have a more unique insight into what their peers are working on, the challenges they face and the hurdles they overcome. By opening up recognition to everyone, it is no longer solely dependent on managers to notice these occasions as everyone can recognise such achievements and milestones. This makes recognition and reward instantly more scalable within an organisation.

What’s more, whilst people may expect feedback from our managers as part of their role, peer recognition is perceived to be much more powerful and meaningful as it isn’t necessarily required of colleagues to give each other feedback. When a person recognises a colleague, the recipient knows that they have gone out of their way to show appreciation which makes the feedback seem much more authentic and heartfelt. Recognition in this form provides the recipient with a feeling that they really are doing meaningful work and having an impact. In turn, this has an amazingly positive impact on an employees’ confidence and self-esteem levels.

Peer recognition can also have a positive effect on how teams work together in a company. By encouraging employees to recognise each other’s work, employee relationships are strengthened, and this improves employee satisfaction overall. Another benefit of this is that employees find it much easier to work together as a team and collaborate with others on tasks. They’re more likely to support each other when someone is struggling and this sort of “one for all” approach can then be linked to more positive output for the company as creative minds are pooled together to solve problems and challenges.

Implementing peer recognition in a company is not always the easiest task as it requires buy-in from all employees across the business, many of whom are not used to proactively giving recognition or feedback to others. To start off on the best foot, ensure that you clearly define your recognition criteria to give employees focus and motivate all your managers to promote the scheme. It may take a few months before recognition becomes ingrained into your employees’ everyday work routines so make sure to keep up the keep up the reminders, words of encouragement and motivation.

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