It really is the case that the simplest of things often makes up happiest. Monster.co.uk have released some new research that reveals that just a simple ‘thank you’ goes a long way, according to a third of respondents (35%) who say someone showing their gratitude makes their working day that little bit better. Additionally a quarter of respondents (26%) say that recognition for hard work from their boss would make their day better.
“The deepest human need is the need to be appreciated.”
– William James, Psychologist
When we’re all spending more and more time at work, at our desk, rather than away from it one of the elements that makes a successful working environment is having a good relationship with our fellow employees.
In fact according to Harvard Public Policy Professor and Author of Bowling Alone, Robert D Putnam,
“Many studies have shown that social connections with co-workers are a strong predictor – some would say the single predictor – of job satisfaction.”
In addition, many employees leave a business because of a lack of appreciation. Low appreciation and recognition levels in your organisation may mean that you lose your very best talent and your HR costs increase as a result of having to recruit new staff members and train them. High employee turnover can also have a detrimental effect on staff morale.
Having a peer recognition system in place is one of the ways a business can create good working relationships between co-workers. It can also contribute to reducing sickness absence and staff turnover, and improving morale and productivity.
What type of recognition scheme should you implement?
By their very nature “Employee of the Month” awards tend to be regular but singular event-based awards and “Long Service Awards” tend to reward employees for sticking around rather than doing what is right and what is helpful.
By contrast one of the best things about a peer to peer recognition system is that it is an ongoing form of appreciation, which helps to maintain motivation and improve performance levels throughout the year.
But why should you implement a peer to peer recognition system over and above a standard reward programme? Here are three reasons:
- The 3 Cs – Closeness, Collaboration and Communication – employees often sit near each other, they work together to achieve targets and (most importantly) they talk to each other about what they are doing, why and they help problem-solve.
- Team members often have a better understanding of what their co-workers are doing, the requirements of the role, the outcomes and the impact it has had on the ability of other employees to achieve their targets.
- Managers are already overburdened with tasks associated with their role and managing the team. The more time they have to spend on managing their team the less time they are spending working to achieve their targets.
Several studies have shown that employees value peer to peer recognition more highly than recognition by their managers and senior leader and that’s because they feel that their co-workers have a better understanding of what they do.
Peer to peer recognition systems help create connections between employees which in turn fosters a sense of belonging and purpose, thereby raising satisfaction, engagement and productivity.
See how these organisations show their appreciation through peer to peer recognition schemes
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.