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Happy people, happy business: the benefits of peer-to-peer recognition

Updated: Jun 12, 2023

Creating a culture of continuous recognition where employees can recognise one another for a job well done can be incredibly successful in creating a positive workplace environment and sends a strong message to your team that you value their input. But how do you foster a culture of continuous recognition and why is it important to a business?

Research suggests that 81% of organisations that have an employee recognition programme in place, less than half say it has a peer-to-peer component. Peer-to-peer recognition is the act of acknowledging another employee’s skills, deliverables, or talent no matter what level, role or team you are in. Usually, people think of recognition coming from their line manager, but positive feedback from peers can be just as powerful.

Unfortunately, traditional reward and recognition schemes that don’t incorporate peer-to-peer recognition often suffer from bias (unconscious or otherwise), meaning certain teams and individuals are overlooked.

Empowering your employees and providing them with the autonomy to create recognition moments might not seem important to some, but it can have more of an impact on your company-wide culture than you may think! According to the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), peer-to-peer recognition is 36% more likely to have a positive impact on financial results than manager-only recognition.

Below are the top reasons why you should be considering peer-to-peer recognition in your business:

· Improved relationships and closer teams

Putting recognition into your employees’ hands can foster a more collaborative, caring work environment. When you recognise a peer, you help them feel valued and appreciated. Peer-to-peer recognition strengthens relationships between teammates and helps provide people with a sense of belonging.

· Strengthened culture

Celebrating the positive behaviours aligned to your values puts a spotlight on the positive behaviours you want to encourage within your business. Highlighting these moments of appreciation provides examples for new starters, keeping values and behaviours top of mind and culture strong.

· Increased productivity and profitability

Fostering a culture of continuous recognition doesn’t need to be expensive, it can be little or no cost to your business, and yet it can provide a significant and measurable impact on performance and productivity. Happier people are more motivated, therefore are more likely to apply more discretionary effort which is especially crucial when tight client deadlines need to be hit!

· Reduced employee turnover

You could say that peers are on the front line together and in the ‘trenches’, so providing team members with the autonomy to ‘give thanks’ instantly helps recognition be more meaningful. Recognition is a leading engagement factor, so with a culture of recognition, employees feel happier, more motivated and therefore more likely to stay with the company long-term reducing people debt.

· Fostered diversity and inclusion

Peer-to-peer recognition has a domino effect – seeing one person recognised makes us likely to recognise someone else, and so on which improves wider inclusion within your business. Providing everyone in the business with the ability to appreciate, fosters an even playing field where team members are valued fairly for their work and their uniqueness. As a result, employees are more likely to feel they can bring their authentic selves to the workplace.

As you can see there are many business benefits to fostering a culture of continuous recognition through peer-to-peer recognition. From keeping your values and behaviours strong, driving discretionary effort and fostering inclusivity.

If you’re interested in assessing the success of your existing people strategies through a Discovery and Design process or learn more about how reward and recognition can help you attract, engage and retain top talent, get in touch.



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