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Peer Recognition: How to Promote this Culture in Your Team

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An image of an employee at the center with some hands appearing in the corner while doing the oh signal

What is peer recognition in general?

People tend to think that that recognition only comes from a boss to their employees, but peer recognition is of grave importance in the workplace. Peer recognition means employees acknowledge fellow employees’ abilities and skills.

Why does peer recognition matter in the workplace?

  1. Enhances engagement between employees and makes employees feel more appreciated and confident.
  2. Makes your employees feel a sense of belonging in the workplace.
  3. Decreases turnover rate: lack of recognition makes employees leave their jobs.
  4. Fosters diversity in the workplace: Peer recognition in the workplace will lead each employee to increase their productivity in their own authentic way so this will lead to diversity in the workplace.
  5. Increases productivity and performance of your team.

Tips to promote peer recognition culture in your team

1-Put a peer recognition program

You can include in your employee self-service a feature that lets employees chat with each other and send recognition. This will give them the opportunity to recognize each other from any place at any time. Make the recognition platform a fun one, make your employees write their custom recognition messages, and add fun gifs and emojis. Make the recognitions public on the platform to let other employees react by liking or commenting on the same recognition, this will make the employee being recognized feel more valued and appreciated. Creating an online recognition platform will make your employees excited and ready at any time to recognize their peers . Publicize your peer recognition program at your workplace to make your employees aware of it and use it more.

2-Make recognition immediate

Make peer recognition immediate, when an employee completes a task that was taking longer due to being a challenging one. Peer recognition will give them a great boost. Peer recognition can be just words of praise that will give a great boost to the employee in the next tasks. At your workplace you can reward your employees with bonuses or any kind of reward when completing a hard task or when doing something amazing in their jobs, also words of praise from their boss will be of great value.

3-Make it authentic

Recognizing peers must be done in an authentic way and sincere way, your employees must put in mind that peer recognition is not a task that must be done, because if they think like that peer recognition will lose its value.

4-Be specific when giving recognition

Train your team to be specific when they recognize their peers, and make them describe in detail what they liked about their peer’s work or what they did. For example one of your employees sends recognition to one of their employees for sealing the deal with a very important client in a professional yet authentic way.

5-Celebrate anniversaries and birthdays

Recognizing and celebrating work achievements is of grave importance, but also celebrating personal achievements is important. Buying a new house, completing a diploma or course, and getting married all are personal achievements that peers can congratulate each other on. A birthday celebration can be a great way to increase engagement between your employees and make your employees feel valued and more appreciated in the workplace, you can include a birthday schedule in your employee self-service software to remind each employee of their peers’ birthdays.

6-Create a reward system

Set your employees’ eyes on a reward for getting a difficult task done so that when they complete this task they are rewarded immediately and feel recognition at the same time. Make the reward an immediate one, don’t make it an annual reward because it will lose its meaning after a few months. Keep the competition healthy, make your employees challenge their peers and recognize their achievements, and not create an environment full of hate and jealousy.

7-Be kind at the workplace

Letting your employees form a connection in the workplace, for instance when one of their peers has taken a leave or sick day. Make your employees check up on each other to strengthen the bond between them. Recognition comes in many ways, as the boss of a workplace you have to keep a close eye on every employee.
When one of your employees completes a hard task or makes an achievement recognize their work immediately, and when you feel that one of your employees is stressed due to work and personal issues, give them some PTO and make them feel that they are irreplaceable in your team and value their work. This form of recognition will avoid burning out your employees and reduce the turnover rate of your team. You can use PTO management software to organize employees on PTO and make it easier for yourself and HR.

8-The power of the leader’s words

Employees appreciate praise words from their bosses, you can give your employees words of appreciation on the smallest task. You don’t have to wait for them to make an accomplishment or a great achievement or make a gigantic deal. When you find your employees working extra time appreciate them and tell them that they are doing a great job. Every now and then you can order food to reward your employees for their efforts and appreciate them for what they do.

9-Check the success rate of your recognition program

You always have to upgrade your recognition program, so every once in a while, measure the success rate that your recognition program has reached. The metrics that you need to measure are: how much peer recognition is sent and received, and how many active leaders are on the platform. If you notice that your employee’s engagement is not high enough. You can think of better ways to make employees more engaged and encourage peer recognition.

No matter the size of your team, peer recognition can directly improve employee engagement, productivity, retention, and sense of belonging. Put in mind that peer recognition is essential to push your team a healthy push forward.