Tag Teaming Recognition

by Jennifer Miller on September 28, 2011

in Communication, Workplace Issues

Peer-to-Peer Recognition Spreads Responsibility across the Organization

This is the final installment in a three-part series on employee recognition. I want to thank guest columnist Cori Curtis of Baudville for sharing great these insights with the readers of The People Equation.



Guest Post by Cori Curtis, Certified Recognition Professional

One of the most common protests against employee recognition programs is managers’ already busy schedules. Managers might claim that they’re too busy with more important matters, and try to dissuade the organization from putting any additional responsibilities on their already full plates. However, any smart organization understands that employee recognition has a measurable impact on the bottom line (read my explanation on this here) and that it’s crucial to have management and leader participation (read more about that here).

Thankfully for managers, organizations have embraced a new trend in employee recognition: peer-to-peer recognition programs. Peer-to-peer recognition is the genuine expression of appreciation exchanged between co-workers. Most likely, some form of peer-to-peer recognition is already happening in your organization. An email to a co-worker thanking him for his help on a project, a verbal thank you after sharing a great idea, or even a small gift to let a peer know you appreciate her extra efforts.

Peer-to-peer recognition can have a powerful effect on organizations. Because the program is open and available to everyone in the organization, a greater number of employees feel the impact of recognition on both the giving and receiving end. The positive communication between employees can improve trust and relationships in the workplace, leading to a more positive culture, higher job satisfaction, and improved camaraderie.

However, to truly harness the power of peer-to-peer recognition you need to have a formal program in place. In our employee recognition case study, we implemented a peer-to-peer recognition program with one of our customers who struggled with a toxic work environment. The employees were working against each other and the concept of teamwork was nonexistent. Once the employees were given an avenue for recognition and began giving and receiving praise from their peers, things turned around significantly.

Within two months, teamwork and trust increased among team members and many employees were pitching in when needed. In addition to the improvements in teamwork, employee confidence in leadership experienced a 66% lift, and 64% of staff believed that their work culture had improved since the start of the program.

The regular positive communication passed between teammates in a peer-to-peer recognition program will improve trust and relationships, leading to higher productivity, engagement and camaraderie. But because managers aren’t the only ones responsible for the recognition program doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be actively involved. In fact, managers play an important role in program celebration. Managers should reinforce the program by reading notes aloud in team meetings or arranging a team reward after achieving 100% program participation. Don’t forget that even recognition programs deserve a little recognition!


Cori Curtis is a Certified Recognition Professional (CRP) and Marketing Communications Specialist at Baudville. She speaks at industry events about the strategy and benefits of employee recognition and blogs regularly on the topic on the Baudville Blog. Baudville, the place for daily recognition, is a leading provider of employee gifts and employee awards and has a robust Recognition Resource Center with articles, ideas, and resources on employee recognition.


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