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Peer Recognition: 13 Ways To Start Recognizing Your Peers

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Is it really so surprising that peer recognition is a discussion topic that never seems to fade away? After all, we humans have been seeking appreciation from our peers since the dawn of civilization. We don’t need to go that far back to prove this point.

Do you remember that time at the playground when you tried to swing across the monkey bars and how it resulted in you breaking your arm?

Think about why you were on those monkey bars. You weren’t there because they were fun.

You wanted to impress your friends. After Sandy Dickinson’s mom took you to the hospital and you came back to school with a cast around your arm, you finally got what you were looking for!

The moment all your friends signed that cast was your first brush with the concept known as peer recognition!

That story, while not at all personal, shows just how powerful the concept of being recognized by one’s peers truly is.

There is no reason why that incredible power shouldn’t be harnessed in the workplace! There are some questions surrounding this topic such as: “Why is peer-to-peer recognition important?” or “How can I recognize my peers?”

Stick with us as we answer all those questions and give you some pointers on just how you can implement peer recognition into your company culture.

What Is Peer Recognition Exactly?

At its heart, peer recognition is a public display of gratitude or appreciation towards an employee. A key aspect of it that sets it apart is that peer recognition is completely excluded from any sort of hierarchy that exists in the workplace.

Removing hierarchy from the concept of recognition results in a very specific, yet extraordinary phenomenon.

The removal of office politics and the umbrella of performance management results in peer recognition being extremely well received, providing the employees with a massive morale boost.

This isn’t to say that being recognized by a manager isn’t genuine. It is. It can be rewarding in its own way. In fact, we have put together a separate list of ideas on how you can recognize remote employees.

Recognition coming directly from one’s peers, those people they are in the trenches with day in and day out, is just something else entirely.

Benefits Of Peer-To-Peer Recognition

Defining peer recognition itself was more of a formality than a necessity. Answering the question “Why is peer recognition important?” however, is a must before we move on to some fun peer recognition ideas and suggestions.

It Results In Driven Teams

Think back to the overly personal story in the introduction of this article. Why did that kid swing on those monkey bars?

He certainly wouldn’t have done it without the simple incentive of peer recognition. That is where the true power of this concept lies. One of the true benefits of peer to peer recognition is the fact that it drives people to go the extra mile.

The need to be noticed and recognized by our peers gives us the incentive to try harder than we normally would.

Whether someone is coming up with a fresh idea for their marketing brainstorming meeting, trying to meet their goals and okrs, or simply swinging on monkey bars even though their mom told them not to, the idea of being recognized by their peers helps them push on.

It Strengthens Bonds

Moving on from anticipation, to after effects, it is no secret that a healthy feedback and recognition culture strengthens the bonds within an organization.

As mutual appreciation, respect, and feedback is exchanged among employees many aspects of day-to-day life such as employee engagement and performance management are positively affected by it.

Best Peer Recognition Practices

We can’t spend three parts of an article singing the praises of a concept without giving our readers sound pointers on how to practice it.

1. Use An Employee Recognition Software

Before implementing or attempting to boost a practice within your company culture, you should first make sure that you have the right tools for the job!

The concept of recognition might sound simple enough but as employee numbers increase, the entire process gets more and more complicated.

That is why investing in a performance management software with a strong recognition module is the safest bet.There are many great options in the market but one thing to make sure is that peer to peer recognition software of your choice allows its users to customize recognitions to fit with their company culture.

We’ve already made a list of some of the best recognition tools you can find anywhere. You can reach that list here: Top Recognition Software of 2024.

That being said, if your organization uses Microsoft Teams on a daily basis, then you should invest in an employee recognition platform with complete Teams integration and that is Teamflect.

teamflect recognition module screen with customizable badges inside microsoft teams

Teamflect’s greatest strength surely lies in its complete Microsoft Teams integration. Team members are able to exchange customized recognitions with each other without ever having to leave Microsoft Teams.

Teamflect’s recognitions module pairs perfectly with the rest of its performance management capabilities, working hand in hand with other modules such as 360-degree feedback, performance reviews, tasks, and goals & okrs.

Praise your employees inside Microsoft Teams!
No sign-up required.
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2. Make Recognitions Accessible To Everyone

As you dive into the world of employee recognition software, one common mistake you should avoid is keeping the recognition channels one-sided.

The recognition culture you are aiming to implement has to be inclusive to the highest degree. Giving and receiving recognition should be independent from any sort of hierarchy that may exist within your company.

3. Social Media Shout-Outs

The recognition you encourage shouldn’t stay within the confines of the company. A magnificent power that social media has over people is that it makes everyone feel like a rockstar, even if its for fifteen minutes. Isn’t that what peer recognition is all about?

Make sure your employees are encouraged to give each other their fifteen minutes of rockstardom!

Best Peer Recognition Practices

4. An Incentive Program With Monetary Value

There are many exciting ways of practicing and encouraging recognitions through monetary incentive systems. They can range anywhere from points, to tokens, to badges. There are many companies such as Goodjob Games that utilize tokens as a mode of employee recognition.

Employees acquire these tokens through the recognition they receive from their peers and they can cash them in for a wide array of monetary prizes.

5. Keep Recognition Public

There is definitely a time and a place for recognitions to be delivered through one-on-one meetings. That being said, recognitions among peers should be as public as possible, turning eyes not on the accomplishment of the employee being recognized, but also the appreciation shown by the employee doing the recognizing.

Having online leaderboards where team members can comment on each others success is a fun and effective way of going about this.

Creative Peer Recognition Ideas

1. Shout-Out Wall

Speaking of keeping recognition public, how about a vibrant and dynamic “Shout-Out Wall” where teammates can shower each other with appreciation and recognition for their outstanding efforts.

Whether it’s a physical board adorned with colorful sticky notes or a virtual space on the company’s collaboration platform, the Shout-Out Wall is a powerful way to publicly acknowledge the incredible contributions of your colleagues.

You would be creating a place where your employees would be strolling by and stumbling upon a heartfelt message praising your hard work and dedication.

It’s a sudden injection of positivity that instantly brightens their day and reminds them that their efforts are seen and valued.

And the best part? Anyone can contribute! From team leads to interns, each member of the squad gets the chance to cheer on their peers and bask in the warm glow of appreciation.

2. Skill Swap or Lunch & Learn Sessions

Who said recognition can’t be a learning experience too? Sometimes recognizing someone can simply be about the simple act of showing them that you value their knowledge and experience.

How do you best show someone that you have a deep appreciation of their skills, knowledge, and experience? You ask them to teach! That is why skill swap sessions can be one of the best employee appreciation tools you can find!

During these sessions, colleagues become both teachers and students, coming together to share expertise and foster a culture of continuous learning.

It’s not just about recognition; it’s about nurturing a collaborative environment where growth and development are celebrated, and every team member’s potential is unlocked.

3. Customized Digital Avatars or Emojis

Let’s add a dash of creativity and personalization to recognition with “Customized Digital Avatars” or “Emojis”! After all, are we not in the digital age? Especially when working remotely, these custom avatars can work like a charm!

These avatars can be used across various communication channels, from emails to instant messaging, to add a touch of fun and individuality to every interaction.

Sending a virtual high-five or a thumbs-up emoji from your customized avatar is a quirky way to acknowledge your peers’ achievements and let them know you’re rooting for their success.

4. Gamified Recognition Platform

Who doesn’t love a bit of healthy competition? That is why using a “Gamified Recognition Platform,” where recognition becomes a playful and exciting game can make a huge difference. Because what is better than receiving a pat on the back from your teammates?

Beating them! This simple idea involves creating a digital platform where team members can award points or badges to each other for exceptional performance and acts of kindness.

With a friendly spirit of competition in the air, employees strive to outdo one another in recognition, boosting team spirit and encouraging a culture of appreciation.

As the points rack up, so does the motivation and engagement of the whole team, resulting in a workplace that’s buzzing with positive energy and a desire to go above and beyond.

5. Create A Movie

Have individuals submit short 20-30-second video clips from their smartphones and put them together to show support and thanks for a peer’s work.

– Jeff Miller, Director, Learning and Performance

To build team camaraderie, you can encourage your employees to record short video clips of peer to peer recognition by using their smartphones.

Creating a heartwarming movie is among the simplest yet most creative peer-to-peer recognition examples.

6. Podcasts Highlighting Personal Journeys Of Employees

“A lot of our customers do Praise Pods, a 5–10 minute podcast interview with an employee who’s being recognized. It’s a fun way to highlight their personal story, achievements, or hobbies outside of work, and of course, the way they are making an impact on the company.”

Mariel Davis, the co-founder & CMO of Spokn

One of the most creative peer recognition ideas is doing a podcast with your employees and allowing them to talk about themselves in a more personal way.

This peer to peer recognition idea will serve as an employee spotlight and create a sense of visibility through appreciation.

7. Trophy Exchange

Get a figurine, trophy or stuffed animal that is awarded on a rotating basis to an employee who made an outstanding effort. Let the recipient choose a peer who did something great and hand the trophy over the next week (or month). This can be a great end to a weekly stand-up meeting.

– Lana Gezalova, Performance Consultant

Trophy exchange is among the most creative employee peer recognition ideas. Awarding a trophy or anything that your employees can exchange will inject both fun and friendly competition into your peer to peer recognition.

Your employees will look forward to having this little award ceremony and you will end your weekly stand-ups on a positive note.

8. Daily Peer Recognition

Encourage employees to make it a point to email, call or text a co-worker at least once a day with an expression of sincere appreciation for the work that he or she does. Be as specific as possible.

– Bob Reticker, Director, Performance Improvement, Woburn, Massachusetts

As one of the simple yet powerful peer to peer recognition examples to build a culture of appreciation, daily peer recognition, encourages employees to proactively reach out to a co-worker each day through email, call, or text.

The key is to express sincere appreciation for the specific contributions and efforts of their colleagues. This intentional daily practice is among the most uplifting peer to peer recognition ideas since it will create a positive ripple effect and strengthen the bonds among your team.

Closing Words

We at Teamflect are strong believers in the power of peer-to-peer recognition. That is why we encourage its practice among our ranks.

In fact, our journey began as a recognition software, before evolving into an all-in-one performance management tool.

If you want to increase the effectiveness of your employee recognition practices, you can schedule a free demo with Teamflect by clicking the button below!

What is peer recognition?

At its heart, peer recognition is a public display of gratitude or appreciation towards an employee. A key aspect of it that sets it apart is that peer recognition is completely excluded from any sort of hierarchy that exists in the workplace.

What are the benefits of peer-to-peer recognition?

With the motivation brought up by peer-to-peer recognition, it drives teams to perform better and strengthens team bonds in the process, contributing to a better team dynamic overall.

Written by Emre Ok

Emre is a content writer at Teamflect who aims to share fun and unique insight into the world of performance management.

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