Why peer-to-peer recognition?

Oct 04, 2021 · Blog

Try and think back to a time when a colleague praised you on a job or project you’d worked hard on. How did it make you feel?

It’s okay to admit you felt a little smug! We don’t think there’s anything wrong with taking pride in your work and letting others also recognise you for those efforts too. After all, we know that workplace happiness can come from the beauty of employee recognition being able to release feelings of connection, esteem and belonging. Which is great news for businesses who have adopted a fantastic employee recognition program into their business.


Because employee recognition has been linked to increased employee engagement, productivity, and employee retention! If you didn’t know this, where have you been hiding?!

Don’t worry, we have a whole post on how to create a culture of recognition here, to get you up to speed.

Most employees will look to management for appreciation and recognition of their work. That’s because we long for that kind of attention to feel like our time and efforts are being valued. But have you ever thought about encouraging the same kind of recognition amongst the team?

Let’s talk about peer-to-peer recognition.

We always suggest that companies get everyone involved in sharing appreciation and praise to their peers and colleagues because there’s often an incredible feeling of satisfaction we get when someone other than our boss has taken the time to say well done.

What is peer-to-peer recognition?

As an employee, being recognised for something we’ve done, be it big or small, makes us feel good about ourselves. Employee recognition happens when staff are acknowledged for their work, which can increase employee morale and lower turnover. Peer-to-peer recognition is self-explanatory – making it incredibly easy to introduce!

Peer-to-peer recognition is when the recognition takes place amongst co-workers, colleagues, and team members. This could be to say thanks for their help on a task or project or to congratulate them on the success of their own work – whatever the reason peer-to-peer recognition has been shown to improve workplace relationships and employee morale.

Encouraging peer recognition can also open other team members to the good work being done around them. This acts as a domino effect for the rest of the company with appreciation flowing in every direction. It starts to spread across different departments and locations, moving up and down the organisational chart. This kind of transformation can impact how committed employees feel about their job.

What are the benefits of peer-to-peer recognition?

Creating a culture of appreciation and recognition is incredibly important, but here’s four reasons why it’s even more important amongst peers:

1.  Strengthens work relationships

This might be somewhat obvious, but when employees become used to regularly praising each other it will have innumerable benefits on their relationships.

Employees reaching out to another team mate to congratulate them on work can develop the bond between them. It fosters a positive working environment by replacing awkward stale office chat with affirming compliments and words of encouragement. This can make it easier for employees to settle amongst their peers, gaining confidence and building a great rapport.

These relationships can also help in times of crisis, as there is a real sense of team morale which will help encourage and support employees through tricky situations.

2.  Supports inclusion and equality

Some benefits of peer recognition come from the prevention of employees feeling excluded. It calls upon employees to appreciate across all levels, including managers! After all, why should they get left out?!

A great peer recognition program encourages employees to give praise and appreciation to their peers could prevent accidental favouritism, while sharing that recognition with their managers fosters a real sense of equality in the workplace. This kind of positive recognition culture supports equality and can create belief and trust amongst peers, encouraging them to achieve common goals and work together.

Including all employees, regardless of job title, qualifications, background, income or identity, in recognition creates a powerful equaliser, fosters an inclusive work environment and creates a great company culture. Sounds like a win win, right?!


3.  Boosts confidence and employee engagement

We know we talk a lot about how recognition is the best way to share positive feedback to your employees, and that’s because of all the evidence there is to support the impact it can have on the rest of the company!

Successful peer-to-peer recognition programs that incorporate daily peer recognition help to build confidence in employees by shining light on the work they’re doing. When an employee gets recognition for a task it means they’ve done it well and deserve appreciation. This kind of validation gives them courage and confidence which can lead to increased employee engagement with the entire company. In a recent study, engaged employees were found to be 17% more productive.

Peer-to-peer recognition has shown that employees feel motivated to perform at a high level and involve themselves more in the company. This kind of encouragement supports and upholds a positive workplace culture.

4.  Improves employee happiness

What do we already know about happy employees? An awful lot!

Peer-to-peer recognition is great for lifting spirits, creating team morale, bringing people together and ultimately, making employees enjoy their job and feel happy!

Happiness at work provides feelings of optimism and gives a sense of purpose.

This level of job satisfaction is vital for businesses. Happy employees have been shown to be more engaged, more creative, productive, energised and inspired by their peers, and can reduce employee turnover.

Peer-to-peer recognition is great as well because of how good we feel when we make other people happy! You know that fuzzy warm feeling we get when we’ve made someone’s day? It’s a win-win for everyone involved!

Where to start with a successful peer-to-peer recognition program?

Here’s a few simple steps to follow to make the best out of peer-to-peer recognition:

·     Make sure it’s timely

Encourage your employees to praise each other straight away! Timing is crucial, so make sure you offer a recognition solution that helps employees instantly connect and share their appreciation for one another.

Nowadays, there’s a lot of tech-based recognition programs that enable organisations to allow peer-recognition to happen easily and quickly. Here’s some examples to check out:

-      Assembly

-      Nectar

-      Bonusly

-      Fond

·     Encourage them to be specific

Employee recognition should always be tied to the company values, goals and objectives. So peer recognition should be meaningful and relate to the common goal of the entire workforce.

This gives the employees a better sense of how their work is contributing to the overall success of the company and encourages them to support and appreciate each other further.

·     Don’t overcomplicate it

Peer-to-peer recognition doesn’t need to be difficult; it needs to be natural and organic. Encourage recognition amongst employees and support them in doing so, but make sure they pick up on this advice and allow it to just become part of their daily working days. Improved communication will also help with team cohesion.

This is how you achieve a positive workplace culture!


·     Offer fun perks

Make your recognition program fun and friendly by offering additional perks. If there’s a points or rewards system, you could allow employees to redeem points for a gift or a trip.

Fun elements like these will work as a driving force for your recognition program and ultimately propel the success of your business!

HappyCo. have a selection of fantastic bespoke gift boxes to award your employees with! Take a look at our curated boxes or get in touch to start building your own.

So now you know why people believe peer-to-peer recognition has more impact than manager only recognition! The recognition becomes more meaningful when it comes from a co-worker or colleagues. Start encouraging peer recognition today and watch the spirits lift across the whole company!

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