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Cheers for your peers: How peer-to-peer recognition drives employee engagement

Rachel Argot
3/17/22 9:00 AM

As if it was a viral TikTok trend, corporate America watched with agony as 4.5 million employees participated in the handing in of their two week notices. The Great Resignation of 2021 caused many companies to deal with organizational restructure that affects workplace culture and engagement.

Anytime there is a loss or gain of an employee, workflows are disrupted. However, teams that utilize soft skills to cultivate an environment conducive to change can efficiently and effectively rebuild their systems, regardless of their technical abilities.

When employees practice peer-to-peer recognition and team-building exercises, they develop relationships with one another, strengthening the corporate community as a whole. 

Traditional, top-down recognition can be effective, but reference Maslow’s hierarchy of needs when considering peer recognition. Motivated employees need security, and they become increasingly engaged once they have found a sense of belonging within the workplace. Fostering positive relationships between employees develops their confidence. 

Encourage employees to get comfortable giving and receiving some of their own fist bumps and high-fives. Doing so takes some of the responsibility out of managers’ hands and delivers power directly to the workforce. Upper management plays a huge role in developing and maintaining workplace culture. However, the bond between peers provides a different, more organic way to boost, engage, and promote desired behaviors throughout all departments. 

Because employees are equalized by their position or rank, peer-to-peer recognition may seem more genuine and thoughtful compared to a point earning reward system controlled by HR. A 2016 survey found that peer recognition is 35% more likely to have a positive impact on financial results compared to manager-driven recognition programs. 

Employees may be more responsive to constructive criticism when it comes from their favorite co-worker. Because they work closely together, peers can provide detailed feedback on issues that managers may not be aware of. In contrast to top-down recognition, kudos among teams and peers decentralizes the act of praise, encouraging trust, inclusion, and overall satisfaction. 

Simply put, a culture built upon peer-to-peer recognition motivates employees and promotes gratitude. If you’re ready to build a happier environment and more productive workplace, contact us, and we’d be more than happy to share some of our own peer-to-peer feedback. We specialize in gratitude by motivating people, celebrating employees. 

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