Why is Employee Peer Recognition Important?

Employee peer recognition is one of the most important building blocks in building a fantastic company culture. In most organisations, management oversees more employees and bigger departments.

These managers often run the risk of constantly finding solutions to every problem, taking on a heavy workload and leaving little or no time for employee development. When managers are focused on making sure nothing is going wrong, it can be difficult to see what is going right and employees tend to be neglected.

“Appraisals are where you get together with your team leader and agree what an outstanding member of the team you are, how much your contribution has been valued, what massive potential you have and, in recognition of all this, would you mind having your salary halved.”

– Theodore Roosevelt

This is why employee peer recognition deserves attention. Recognition is easy to give and employees love to receive praise for their efforts or moral support. The hard part about giving recognition is remembering to give them a ‘pat on the back’ when recognition is due.

Employee peer recognition can take many forms and does not always have to be in writing. It sets a positive tone for company culture as it reminds the employees of the company of what they are working towards and most importantly strengthens the bonds between colleagues and team.

The importance of employee peer recognition

Besides getting recognition from upper management, employees also want acknowledgment from the peers they work with every day. Recognition from peers may come as a surprise, which can have a very powerful impact.

“Motivation is a fire from within. If someone else tries to light that fire under you, chances are it will burn very briefly.”

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– Stephen R. Covey

There are many factors that are important when it comes to employee peer recognition.

  • It creates a sense of team spirit among the company. Employee peer recognition creates opportunities for departments and employees to come together and work in unison towards a common goal of the company.
  • Employee peer recognition motivates employees to do great work and perform even better in their next task. When working together as a team, employees tend to develop a new or more productive way to achieve the company goals.
  • It lowers employee turnover as employees tend to stay with the company that looks after them. The years of service that include co-worker participation, emotion and recognition yield more powerful result.
  • Employee peer recognition creates a sense of belonging among the employees as well as a sense of job security, knowing that the employee’s efforts or hard word is not wasted. This will drive them to work harder on the next task.

“People may take a job for more money, but they often leave it for more recognition.”

– Bob Nelson

An effective employee peer recognition program

Employee peer recognition allows employees to thank and reward one another for their contributions at work. Look out for peers who give recognition often as it shows great leadership qualities.

It motivates employee engagement and increases retention by encouraging meaningful workplace relationships.

There are 3 rules for a peer recognition program to be effective:

Be Authentic

Give credit when it is due and not because you have to. Recognition boosts morale and creates team spirit but it needs to be authentic. Employees need consistent and timely feedback. No employee wants to wait for months to hear that they did a great job.

Employees can provide immediate responses to things going well or performance areas that need a boost. Instant authentic feedback encourages employees to work with a purpose.

Be Respectful

So much as everyone loves the attention and being centre stage, there will be others who do not like to be part of the limelight. Respect your colleagues and their cultural differences.

This may be as simple as keeping the thank you that you give private, or low key.

Be Engaged

Thinking and waiting for someone else to recognise your colleague’s work and progress for you is not going to work. Be proactive and engage in your company’s peer recognition programme.

Look out for emails or notices and read about your colleagues’ achievements and the positive impact they are making to the company.

“It takes an engaged, motivated and committed workforce to deliver a first-class product or service and build a successful, sustainable enterprise.”

– Richard Branson

For other examples of ways to motivate your employees, read our post, How to motivate your employees in 12 easy steps.

In Summary

Employee peer recognition is important to any organisation, as peers know what their colleagues are going through at work on a day-to-day basis. So when they are being recognised for their efforts, the impact is much more meaningful.

Remember not to just go through the motions or make this a checklist to be completed every month. Put a smile on your employees’ face and make it relevant to them. Try to align your recognition with company values but do not just focus on the business goals.

Best of luck creating an environment of spontaneous gratitude!

Heryati R

Heryati R

Heryati is a member of the customer success team at 6Q, and is based in Perth, Western Australia. Heryati enjoys writing, reading and live music. She believes 6Q is awesome for employee engagement surveys.