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Glossary of Human Resources Management and Employee Benefit Terms

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Peer to Peer Recognition

Peer-to-peer recognition is a way of recognizing employees for their contributions and achievements. It's a process that allows employees to recognize each other for behaviors that create high-performing work teams, increase productivity and profitability, and foster innovation.

Allowing employees to give each other fame and praise for a job well done is another way to incentivize your staff. It's also a great way to encourage teamwork and engagement.

What is peer to peer recognition?

Peer recognition is a simple way of encouraging employees to give each other praise and acknowledgment for work well done. 

Why is peer to peer recognition important?

Employees love being recognized for the work they do. Giving praise and recognition to individuals who deserve it is a great way to ensure your company culture is healthy, and the benefits of peer recognition go both ways.

Here are other important benefits of peer to peer recognition:

  • It's a great way to get employees to talk and share ideas.
  • It shows how much employees value each other.
  • It encourages employees to engage in positive behavior.
  • It can reduce turnover by making employees feel valued.
  • It gives employees a voice in their development and career path.
  • It helps build camaraderie and improves communication between departments.
  • It helps employees learn from each other and build relationships with their colleagues.
  • It enhances productivity by increasing employee engagement and satisfaction.
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How to encourage peer to peer recognition?

Here's how you can encourage peer to peer recognition in your organization:

  • Make it easy for people to recognize each other. Create an award or badge that employees can give out at any time, and ensure the process is so simple that it doesn't take up excess time for the person to be recognized.
  • Give employees feedback about their peers' nominations. Sometimes we don't see what others do because we're too close to them — so share this information with everyone on your team to increase visibility around recognition efforts.
  • Encourage employees to nominate their peers for awards and recognition programs like promotions, bonuses, or promotions — not just their supervisors or managers.
  • Encourage your team to recognize others with praise and recognition. Praise can take many forms, from simple thank-you notes, to public recognition in meetings or at the end of the day.
  • Ensure the peer recognition tools you use for recognition are easy for employees to access and use. 

How does peer recognition work?

Peer recognition is a simple way of encouraging employees to praise and acknowledge each other whenever there's a job well done. The idea behind peer recognition is that if you can make it easier for people to give each other positive feedback, you'll encourage behaviors and culture in your workplace, leading to happier employees and a better working environment.

How to create a peer to peer recognition program?

  • Step 1. Create a program vision: Have a clear and concise vision for the program while including the types of activities that will be recognized, how they will be recognized, and who will receive recognition. 
  • Step 2. Define your goals and objectives: Define your goals and objectives. Consider how you would like employees to change their behavior as a result of participating in the program. 
  • Step 3. Set up a system for recognition: Start by deciding who will be eligible to receive compliments. Then, determine how often people can give compliments (weekly, monthly, or quarterly). Finally, choose how much time it will take for each employee to receive their praise (a few minutes or longer, depending on where they are in their career path).
  • Step 4. Set up metrics for measuring success and failures: For any employee recognition program to be successful, it needs to be measured against specific metrics, which could include engagement levels or productivity rates within teams who participate in our programs.
  • Step 5. Monitor and encourage adoption: A manager should look for situations that are worthy of note, encouraging their team members to deliver compliments.

Pro Tip

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What are the advantages and disadvantages of peer recognition programs?

The advantages of peer recognition programs are as follows:

  • They help build relationships, trust, and collaboration.
  • They are a great way to increase employee engagement.
  • They are cost-effective and help build a happy workplace. 
  • They are easier to implement and manage than other recognition programs because maintaining them doesn't require much time or resources.
  • They encourage employees to see themselves as part of the whole organization and not just their job function or department.
  • They help reduce turnover by demonstrating that a company's management values employees and cares about their opinions.

The disadvantages of peer recognition programs are as follows:

  • They can lead to inaccurate judgments and bias.
  • They have different levels of control over who gets rewarded and how much.
  • If the award is given too frequently, it may lose its value and become meaningless.
  • They don't help managers get feedback from their team members or provide helpful information on improving their management skills.
  • They may lead to favoritism among workers, where they only reward their friends or coworkers instead of giving awards to people who truly deserve them.

Employee pulse surveys:

These are short surveys that can be sent frequently to check what your employees think about an issue quickly. The survey comprises fewer questions (not more than 10) to get the information quickly. These can be administered at regular intervals (monthly/weekly/quarterly).

One-on-one meetings:

Having periodic, hour-long meetings for an informal chat with every team member is an excellent way to get a true sense of what’s happening with them. Since it is a safe and private conversation, it helps you get better details about an issue.


eNPS (employee Net Promoter score) is one of the simplest yet effective ways to assess your employee's opinion of your company. It includes one intriguing question that gauges loyalty. An example of eNPS questions include: How likely are you to recommend our company to others? Employees respond to the eNPS survey on a scale of 1-10, where 10 denotes they are ‘highly likely’ to recommend the company and 1 signifies they are ‘highly unlikely’ to recommend it.

Based on the responses, employees can be placed in three different categories:

  • Promoters
    Employees who have responded positively or agreed.
  • Detractors
    Employees who have reacted negatively or disagreed.
  • Passives
    Employees who have stayed neutral with their responses.

What are some peer recognition best practices?

Here are some peer to peer recognition program best practices to follow: 

  • Keep it positive, not negative. You want to recognize and acknowledge what your employee did well, not what they did wrong.
  • Ensure the program is communicated effectively throughout your organization, so everyone knows about it and understands how it works.
  • Create an awards system where employees can submit nominations for their peers. The more nominations you receive, the better your chances of getting more positive feedback from your employees!
  • Encourage employees to nominate their peers by making it easy for them through email or social media. You could even ask them to nominate themselves as well!
  • Don't wait until annual reviews to give feedback—give feedback as soon as possible, so people know what they need to improve immediately instead of waiting for a yearly review process.
  • Focus on specific actions or behaviors rather than general ones. This will help make sure that only those who deserve recognition get it instead of just giving out praise for doing their job well generally.

What are some peer to peer recognition ideas?

Peer to peer recognition can be as simple as patting someone on the back or as elaborate as throwing them an awards ceremony. The important thing is that you recognize your employees often and make sure they know how much they mean to you.

Here are some great ideas for peer-to-peer recognition:

  • Create a "thank you" wall
  • Write an appreciation note
  • Send flowers or balloons
  • Have lunch delivered to their doorstep
  • Create a "friendship tree" and add your employees' names to it
  • Throw them a party/get together with their friends and coworkers
  • Take them out for dinner at their favorite restaurant (or anywhere else they want!)
  • Give them a digital gift card for a spa day or massage or a subscription to their favorite OTT/gaming platform
  • Give out virtual high fives on your company's social intranet platform

What is a peer to peer recognition software?

A peer-to-peer recognition software is a solution that allows employees and colleagues to recognize, appreciate, and reward peers in their organization.

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