5 Benefits of Nurturing Peer to Peer Recognition
Although being recognised by our own manager is crucial to employee retention, we tend to forget that the recognition we get from our peers is just as important. Our colleagues share the same challenges as we do, and who’s better placed than them to understand when a sign of appreciation is truly deserved or needed?
We’ll never strengthen it enough, employee recognition is a powerful source of motivation and engagement. It’s certainly one of the most cost-effective way to mobilise your workforce. And since the success of your organisation relies in major part on the contribution of its employees, it only makes sense to invest in their support through recognition.
While some people associate recognition with tangible (or even financial) rewards, its definition is actually much broader. In order to inspire employee engagement on the long term, recognition is a practice that should be nurtured on a daily basis. It should come spontaneously and be delivered with sincerity. The natural proximity of employees, within an organisation or a team, makes peer-to-peer appreciation and feedback one of the most powerful form of recognition.
Here’s why you should nurture the practice of peer to peer recognition in your workplace:
1. Creates a Virtuous Circle of Engagement
Beyond the benefits we draw from receiving testimonials of appreciation ourselves, what matters even more is our ability to recognise others – when it’s deserved, of course! Employee engagement cannot happen without the involvement of your employees in the process. Managers should not be the only ones to hold the privilege of choosing who to praise. Employees who are empowered to recognise their peers get fully engaged in the life of the organisation themselves – which in turn lifts employee engagement and creates a virtuous circle of contribution and satisfaction.
2. Boosts Work Relationships
Getting along with our work colleagues is a key element of professional wellbeing. Just as we maintain our friendships outside work, professional relationships also need to be nurtured and cared for. Peer to peer recognition can be expressed in a variety of signs: a “thank you” email, an encouraging note left on a keyboard, kudos sprinkled through the internal social activity feed, or a round of applause given during a project meeting.
These examples constitute simple, yet authentic and motivating forms of recognition. The more we express our gratitude towards our colleagues and the more we get to know them and their preferences. While some value public displays of appreciations, others might prefer more private ones. This knowledge allows us to refine the way we recognise over time and makes recognition an even more powerful tool to bring people together.
3. Peer to Peer Recognition Promotes a Team Spirit
Collaboration is essential in today’s workplace. We need information to flow smoothly between individuals to enable agile, faster and better decision-making in order to make things move forward. Enabling peer to peer recognition in your organisation ensures that the individual needs of your team (i.e. appreciation and self-actualisation) don’t translate into a form of internal competition.
By placing each team member in a situation where public recognition is made possible, the authenticity of each employee’s contribution is guaranteed. People who’ve worked hard are instantly placed under the spotlight, which increases accountability in a positive manner.
In the end, what makes great teams work is the possibility of recognising the individual talent and knowledge specific to each team member – and peer-to-peer recognition can help you do just that.
4. Improves Confidence & Self-Esteem
In addition to increasing our sense of belonging to the group and the organisation at large, peer-to-peer recognition allows us to enhance the value of our individual differences. When we receive recognition from our peers, we are able to make sense of our worth and materialise our position within the group. This is a really important concept to revive as the inherent nature of relationships in the digital workplace tends to make individual personalities less and less detectable.
Just think about being recognised for those lengthy reports you spend ages completing each week, wondering if anyone actually bothers to read them. What a great surprise would it be to receive a sign of appreciation for your efforts. An activity that would have made us feel less than useful without our peers’ appreciation can suddenly turn itself around to bring us the confidence and motivation we need to move forward.
5. Builds a Culture of Appreciation
Organisations who have a recognition program in place are able to embed the practice into their core DNA. When peers’ cheers are made public – via an internal social platform for example – visibility is brought onto employees by fellow co-workers, thus bringing credibility to the practice. When you’re shown the example by people you feel naturally closer to, you can quickly turn peer to peer recognition into a regular habit.
Peer-to-peer recognition is becoming increasingly popular as a tool for businesses wanting to strengthen and nurture a positive workplace culture. Peer to Peer recognition programs and software help organisations implement a culture of appreciation in the workplace. A platform such as EmployeeConnect – which offers an integrated HR approach to recognition – provides an interesting solution for today’s organisations.
Employees are provided with the tools they need to celebrate their peers’ achievements and major milestones. But whatever option you decide to go with, the benefits of peer to peer recognition for your organisation remain unquestioned. And if you need even more reasons to implement the practice in your organisation, read about the power of recognition for a more holistic approach to the topic.