Five golden rules for effective peer to peer recognition

Employee recognition complimentsPeer recognition is a major factor in encouraging employees to go the extra mile at work. Effective peer to peer recognition programmes have many benefits for organisations, which includes raising employee job satisfaction, morale and engagement. That’s why so many organisations are actively developing and implementing a peer to peer recognition programme.


If you want and effective and successful recognition programme then here are my five golden rules:


1. Encourage participation and responsibility

To build a successful peer to peer recognition programme you need to encourage employees to participate actively and regularly, and this might mean changing their behaviour.

Employees should be encouraged to be proactive in nominating their co-workers for recognition. This means not sitting back and assuming that another colleague will acknowledge the colleague you wish to recognise.

Appoint recognition champions, employees at all levels of the organisation that encourage their co-workers to get involved in the programme, share programme updates and highlight those who have received recognition and who are making a positive impact on the organisation.


2. Communicate

The Importance Of CommunicationCommunicate, communicate, communicate. People won’t get involved in a peer recognition programme if they don’t know about it. So launch your programme with a fanfare and then continue to promote it with an on-going communication plan.

Select your communication methods based on how your employees like to be communicated with and include several different communication methods to ensure everyone is aware of the scheme. Consider the roles your team are in, for example if you have field based employees the best method of communication might be SMS messages, whilst for those based in an office it could be an email or poster on the vending machine.

Download our guide to reward and recognition

Reward and recognition guide

This guide will assist programme managers to develop a scheme that will improve the performance of your people, engage them and make best use of your available budget.

Click here to download


3. Timing is everything

There are an increasing number of Millennials, as well Generation Y and Generation Z, in todays workforce who are used to being connected all the time and seeing things happen in real-time.

This also applies to recognition, there shouldn’t be a delay in recognising people for their efforts or contribution, instead people should be recognised straight away. Motivate employees to recognise each other immediately by giving them tools or methods that enable them to recognise their co-workers quickly and easily.


4. Make it relevant

To have the most impact recognition should be relevant, authentic and heartfelt, that means recognition shouldn’t be awarded for the sake of it, as a returned favour, or because a co-worker asked.

When your employees are recognising a colleague’s effort or contribution get them to include a detailed description as to why they are being recognised. The simplest way to do this is to get employees to include answers to the following simple questions in their recognition:

  • What did the person do?
  • What was the result?
  • What did it mean to you?
  • How did it make you feel?
[Tweet “To have the most impact #recognition should be relevant, authentic and heartfelt”]


5. Use the appropriate recognition platform

online employee recognitionIf you want your employees to engage in your peer recognition programme, then you have to make it easy for them to participate in it. A TinyHR study found that nearly half (44%) of employees recognise their co-workers when they have a tool that is easy to use.

Online recognition platforms are an excellent mechanic for empowering employees to instantly recognise each other with eCards and instant messages, but if you have employees who don’t always have access to a PC then you need to consider how they will participate in the programme. It is acceptable to have multiple ways of recognising co-workers and receiving recognition, but you need to ensure that the programme is accessible to all your employees, no matter what their role and where they are based.


See how these organisations show their appreciation through peer to peer recognition schemes…

Recognition Video Case Studies

Aviva, Virgin Media and Siemens recognition videos 



John Sylvester

John is responsible for the motivation division of p&mm ltd and a Director on the board of the IPM. Specialising in developing, implementing and directing many large scale staff motivation, recognition and employee communications programmes.
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