Peer to peer employee recognition guide

The Ultimate Guide to Peer Employee Recognition

Peer to peer employee recognition is exactly at it sounds; employees recognizing each other for their great work. This, in turn, increases employee engagement, reduces employee turnover and increases customer retention and satisfaction.

We all know that recognition is an important psychological need, and it doesn’t stop at home. Being recognized at work is just as important, given the amount of hours employees are typically with one another at work every week.

In this article, I’ll delve into what peer to peer employee recognition is, and some of the considerations you should have, before undertaking a program within your organisation.

You can jump to any section of this article, using the below links;

What is Peer Employee Recognition?

Employee Recognition Program Statistics

Benefits of Peer Employee Recognition

Questions to ask yourself before choosing employee recognition software

6 Steps to Powerful Peer Employee Recognition

About High Fives

What is Peer Employee Recognition?

Peer employee recognition differs from manager to employee recognition, because it is typically someone the employee works alongside, who has more frequent interpersonal contact, than their manager.

Manager to employee recognition can sometimes be seen as a ‘chore’ or task that the manager is completing, versus a more authentic approach of an employee letting their colleague know they are doing great work.

It can be as simple as saying ‘thank you’ in a team meeting or during a break, to a more formal approach, such as a weekly or monthly stand up meeting, or survey and recognition software, specifically built for the purpose.

Peer to peer employee recognition

Photo: Ben Smith, Flickr

Employee Recognition Program Statistics

Here are 21 amazing statistics, which tell a positive story about the importance of employee recognition, particularly peer to peer employee recognition.

86% of values-based recognition programs show an increase in worker happiness (1)

42% of companies have a Peer-to-peer recognition program in place. (3)

82% of employees don’t think they’re recognized for their work as often as they deserve (2)

Peer-to-peer recognition is 35.7% more likely to have a positive impact on financial results than manager-only recognition. (4)

Our research finds that those organizations with the most mature employee recognition approach are 12 times more likely to have strong business results (5)

90% of companies surveyed say their employee recognition program positively impacted their employee engagement. (1)

8 out of 10 Millennials think they deserve to be recognized more for their work (6)

74% of companies believe their peer-to-=peer recognition program helps Create a positive work environment, Create a culture of recognition and Motivate high performance. (3)

Employees who are empowered to recognize other employees at their organizations were twice as likely to identify themselves as highly engaged (7)

44% of employees surveyed report that when they are provided a simple tool to do so, they will provide peer recognition on an ongoing basis. The happier the employee, the bigger the praise: 58% of “happy” employees report giving regular peer recognition, compared to 18% of the least happy employees. (8)

68% of companies surveyed say their employee recognition program positively impacted their employee retention. (1)

Organizations with recognition programs which are highly effective at enabling employee engagement had 31% lower voluntary turnover than organizations with ineffective recognition programs. (9)

41% of companies that use peer-to-peer recognition have seen marked positive increases in customer satisfaction. (4)

46% of senior managers view recognition programs as an investment rather than an expense. (3)

Nearly 75% of organizations have a recognition program. (9)

60% of Best-in-Class organizations stated that employee recognition is extremely valuable in driving individual performance. (10)

Only 14% of organizations provide managers with the necessary tools for rewards and recognition. (10)

Organizations with strategic recognition programs in place exhibit 28.6% lower frustration levels than companies without recognition programs. (4)

54% of female employees say they are recognized when they do excellent work. For males, it is 61% (11)

Organizations with the most sophisticated recognition practices are 12 times more likely to have strong business outcomes. (9)

Companies with strategic recognition reported a mean employee turnover rate that is 23.4% lower than retention at companies without any recognition program. (4)

These 21 different sets of statistics sure paint a picture of the importance of employee recognition!

Employee thank you cupcakes

Photo: L.A Foodie, Flickr

Benefits of Peer Employee Recognition

The statistics above should be convincing enough already, however we’ve broken the main benefits down to 10 main benefits of peer to peer employee recognition. These ten benefits are;

Peer employee recognition encourages a more collaborative approach to work

When employees have the trust and appreciation of their colleagues, they typically put in more effort to be collaborative with their fellow team members.

Encourages a sense of team spirit

It doesn’t just stop at the individual either; there is a true team sense with recognition, and it can spread as a habit across all the organisation, quickly.

Encourages employee happiness

All of us are happier when we are recognised for the great work we do, or the times we are helpful to others. A simple thank you, or more formal appreciation, can go a long way to boost personal happiness.

Peer recognition motivates employees to do great work

Once you begin getting recognised, you don’t want it to stop; the habit of giving and receiving recognition encourages a deeper drive towards excellent work.

It promotes openness and transparency

Feel that a few employees are not being recognised? It’s likely they have noticed as well; this openness and transparency drives individuals to lift their game, and be open with their peers.

Improved employee engagement

Engaging employees is a vital method to reduce employee turnover, and increase morale. Peer to peer recognition is an important way to achieve greater employee engagement.

Peer employee recognition increases positive company culture

As we see in the statistics above, peer recognition has an effect on the individual, the teams, and ultimately the organisation at large.

Encourages employees to focus on team work and being helpful to fellow employees and customers

When you are thanked for being helpful, you quickly learn to make this a habit. Being helpful to team mates, and customers, both internal and external, is an effective way to increase motivation and productivity.

Can be a powerful employee relations tool

Managers should join in too; and the interesting elements is when subordinates start thanking their managers or leaders for the work that they do too.

Improves employee health

Emotional happiness has been linked by various scientific studies as natural improvements on the health and welfare of individuals. The happier employees are, the healthier they become.

Peer-to-peer recognition is 35.7% more likely to have a positive impact on financial results than manager-only recognition. (4)

Questions to ask yourself before choosing employee recognition software

Before choosing a particular peer employee recognition vendor, you should consider a number of questions, such as;

  • Who will be managing this program internally?
  • What do we hope to achieve out of using this software?
  • Is the software easy to set up, and comes with appropriate support?
  • Are we able to cancel using this software at any time, or is it a once-off cost?
  • Will this software work in our IT environment?
  • Will our employees find this easy to use, or a burden?
  • What is the ongoing cost of this software?
  • What do the reports look like?
  • Am I able to get actionable information out of this?
  • Are there additional fees or charges you need to be aware of?
  • Do you have a free trial option, for us to evaluate?

There are plenty of other questions you could be asking, however this really boils down to the solutions you have short listed, and the industry and size of your organisation.

Delta Airlines reports a 564% return on investment from their employee recognition program.

6 Steps to Powerful Peer Employee Recognition

To get started with producing your own peer recognition program, we share these six steps to make it as effective as possible.

Step one. Choose an appropriate employee recognition tool. This could be as simple as encouraging everyone to thank each other, however something such as our High Fives feature, means that employees are prompted to recognize each other every one, two or four weeks.

Step two. Let the entire organization know that you are encouraging everyone to give positive recognition to one another, using your chosen tool.

Step three. Leaders should give specific examples of what positive behavior should be recognized, such as;

  • Being willing and attentive to helping fellow employees;
  • Living up to employee and team expectations;
  • Being a good role model for newer employees to follow;
  • Displaying the company values in everything they do, and;
  • Possibly something specific to your industry and tasks.

Step four. Once you have implemented the system, managers should keep a close eye on the initial adoption uptake.

Step five. Managers should also check in regularly, all year round, to ensure that the tool is being used properly.

Step six. Ensure your employee recognition program, and what is expected of employees, is covered in the induction of any new employees that you take on, post the initial launch.

Research indicates that employees have three prime needs: Interesting work, recognition for doing a good job, and being let in on things that are going on in the company.
– Zig Ziglar

About High Fives

Our High Fives feature allows for team members to choose another team member, to be sent anonymous recognition. This literally takes a few seconds each time our employee survey polls are sent.

Peer employee recognition

Screen capture of our High Five screen

Each team member, at the end of the survey, is shown a list of fellow employees that they can choose from, to give a ‘High Five’ – our colloquial term for a ‘well done’ message.

After the survey deadline, each employee who receives one or more High Fives, get an email letting them know.

The amount of High Fives each employee receives is also added into the leadership reports, as well as a tally board of high performing employees (those who have received the most High Fives) appears in the My 6Q system.

The High Fives feature comes absolutely free, as an option within the employee surveys we offer.

You can read more about High Fives here in this article, or view the other features of 6Q on our features page.

 

High Five by email

High Five notification email

In Summary

As you’ve seen in the article above, peer to peer employee recognition is a very powerful way to improve productivity, improve morale, increase happiness and engage your employees more effectively.

Plenty of studies have shown that this form of employee engagement has many, many benefits. These include the 10 we have mentioned;

  • Peer employee recognition encourages a more collaborative approach to work
  • Encourages a sense of team spirit
  • Encourages employee happiness
  • Peer recognition motivates employees to do great work
  • It promotes openness and transparency
  • Improved employee engagement
  • Peer employee recognition increases positive company culture
  • Encourages employees to focus on team work and being helpful to fellow employees and customers
  • Can be a powerful employee relations tool
  • Improves employee health

I wish you good luck, starting your own peer employee recognition program, and trust that you start hearing your team thanking each other more frequently, soon.

Sources
1 2015 Employee Recognition Report
2 BambooHR
3 WorldatWork Trends in Employee Recognition 2013
4 SHRM/Globoforce Employee Recognition Survey, 2012
5 Bersin by Deloitte, The Employee Recognition Maturity Model, 2012
MTV
7 GloboForce Mood Tracker™ Summer 2013 Report
8 Great Place to Work
9 The State of Employee Recognition, 2012
10 Aberdeen Group, The Power of Employee Recognition, 2013
11 Modern Survey

 

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