Incentra Insights

Peer- to-Peer Recognition – To Have or Not to Have?

Posted by David Chittock on Jul 22, 2014 1:57:38 PM

So What is The Truth About Peer-To Peer?

There’s been a lot of buzz in recent years about adding a Peer- to-Peer Recognition component to your recognition program, particularly in the light of the social media phenomena.  There are those who say that it’s a valuable adjunct to your program; an excellent tool for improving motivation.  There are others that say it flatly doesn’t work and just not worth it.  Some say you don’t have to have an award component, just an acknowledgement from one employee to another is sufficient.  And then some say that without a monetary or gift award, the activity is pointless and meaningless.  Some say it has to be anonymous; others that the identity of the nominator is mandatory. So what’s a smart manager to do?

Why it’s Essential to Employee Recognition

My take on the issue is simple.  Peer-to-Peer Recognition is more than just another layer added to your program or another tool in your recognition tool box.  I believe Peer- to-Peer Recognition can be a vital part of your program, but only if it’s a natural outgrowth of the recognition and appreciation culture you are creating.  What does it really mean when you recognize an employee for an extraordinary behavior or outcome?  It means you are celebrating that individual by recognizing his/her achievement.  Essentially, you are creating a culture of celebrating over achievers. 

It Will Boost Your Employee Engagement and Performance

Opening this ability to your entire team can only engender an intensification of this culture throughout your company.  Providing a platform for your employees to acknowledge and recognize each other’s contributions will not only boost employee morale, it will engender a team spirit and a can-do attitude among your employees.  You’ll see a dramatic upswing in employee engagement and performance.

Need to Get Your Employees on Board

As to the implementation of your program, my advice would be to consult your employees.  Let them decide how and when they should recognize their peers, whether there should be an award, whether they should be named, and what are the criteria is for nomination.  The one aspect you would want to stress is that recognition should be for superior performance, not just simply doing one’s job. Just make sure that the performance is tied to your company’s mission and goals.

How to Get Started

Here are some tips to help you jump start your peer-to-peer program:

  • Be sure to consult your employees before initiating your program.  Get their feedback and input to ensure that everyone is on board.  Be sensitive to their individual preferences as to how they would like to be recognized. Offer the flexibility needed to respect those preferences.

  • Provide the tools and accessibility they will need to easily acknowledge their peers in a timely and effective manner.  Utilize mobile technology and social media for immediate feedback and instant sharing. -

  • Ensure that gifts and rewards are granted fairly so that everyone has the opportunity to participate. -

  • Make certain that recognition is timely, specific, and tied to behaviors that embody the company’s mission.

  • Create communications channels that are clear, creative and frequent; in other words, keep recognition a high priority among your employees.

Get Leadership Involved

Finally, encourage your leaders and managers to lead by example in providing timely and effective feedback.  Employees will learn by example and a culture of recognition and appreciation will begin to permeate your entire organization.  Talk about high fives…every day will be a celebration!


Categories: Employee Recognition