5 Rules For Effective Peer-to-Peer Recognition

The importance of peer-to-peer recognition, the simple act of one employee recognising the efforts and achievement of another employee, and the positive benefits this brings for any business have been well documented. It’s why most companies already understand the importance of peer-to-peer recognition and are actively evolving their recognition programmes.

On a day to day basis no one understands your role and its’ demands more than your co-workers and peers. According to the SHRM Employee Recognition Survey 2012, although manager recognition is not without benefits, peer-to-peer recognition is 35.7% more likely to have a positive impact on an organisation’s financial results than a manager only recognition programme. When implementing a peer-to-peer recognition programme, following the checklist below will ensure you are on the right track:


Project plan your programme from conception, implementation and ongoing.
This will ensure you are able to manage and allocate resource to your programme.


Communicate clearly, using the appropriate method for all your employees.


Don’t just think locally. Your programme should reach every employee across the organisation regardless of their location.

Stakeholder buy in

Key to the success to any recognition programme – if Senior Management and key stakeholders don’t get on board with your programme, it will fail.


Don’t confine your employees to a one size fits all approach. Allow for creativity for example, multiple communication and design elements.


Allow all users to see programme activity. Nothing is more inspiring and motivational than seeing the achievements of your colleagues in real-time.

Once the above criteria has been met we often hear that saying thank you to a colleague is not a foreign concept, but doing so publicly can be unfamiliar. Below are the 5 tips we share with our clients and their employees to guarantee a successful  peer-to-peer recognition programme.

1. Make it timely

With the increasing number of millennials in the modern workforce and their need for “constant, immediate feedback” (Buckingham & Buckingham, 2012), this is more relevant than ever. Our hyper connected world means everything happens instantly in real-time. The same should apply to recognition, if you see a colleague going above and beyond, don’t delay and recognise them straight away.

2. Relevant

Don’t just issue a recognition for the sake of it and certainly not because someone told you or bribed you to!
Recognitions should be authentic and heartfelt. Include a detailed and accurate description of why you are issuing the recognition. Ask yourself a few simple questions:

• What it means to you?
• How did it make you feel?

3. Make it fun and personal

Put a smile on your colleague’s face and make it relevant to them. Many company’s recognition programmes require you to align your recognition with core or company values but don’t just focus on the business goals.

4. Respect

Remember not everyone likes to be centre stage. This is of particular relevance to most multi-national organisations where they might experience clear differences in the take up of a programme depending on geographical locations. For example, employees in India thrive on and welcome public recognition. In contrast, their counterparts in Germany and Switzerland are less accepting of being under the spotlight. Respect your colleagues and their cultural differences.

5. Engage

Don’t just sit back and think someone else will recognise your colleague for you. Be proactive and engage in your company’s peer-to-peer recognition programme, become a recognition champion.
Check your company’s recognition website regularly to read about your colleagues’ achievements and the positive impact they are making to the business. Regularly read programme updates and if you don’t have visibility of this, encourage your company to share this information with you and your colleagues.