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5 ways how peer to peer recognition can enhance employee engagement

We’re living in an ever connected, demanding and constantly changing time where employees are constantly online, replying to emails through the clock and are often pressurised to go above and beyond, like the rest of their team mates. So the question remains, do employees purely function to just get their jobs done, is it for love of the game or is it to be recognised and rewarded? How does employee recognition play a role in employee engagement and ensuring staff are motivated, productive and efficient? 
 
The vast majority of employees who have worked in a traditional workplace environment have been involved in the obligatory, usually annual, performance review and that is often the only time when performance is reviewed and recognition is formally given, often in the form of a bonus or a salary increase. Does this type of recognition impact on the employee's performance for the entire upcoming year, or does the effects wear off pretty quickly? Would a more frequent, real time way of recognising and acknowledging be more successful and long lasting existing concurrently with traditional reviews?
 
A lot of companies are adding an additional recognition tool in which peer to peer employee evaluation is highlighted and highly valued and thus, becoming an increasingly effective tool in the employee engagement toolbox. This kind of recognition has the potential to be more collaborative and authentic. This may be as important, if not more, than recognition from top level management and leadership. Employees should have the power and authority to nominate the excellence within their teams. By allowing your employees to recognise and highlight the milestones or a job well done within your team, not only gives them a sense of pride, but also shows their opinions are trustworthy and valuable, as it is they who see the day to day workings and achievements first hand.
 
Reward and recognition should take place throughout the year in order to maximise employee engagement and motivation in the workplace. Peer to peer recognition focuses heavily on enthusiasm, hard work and value based attributes. Thus, frequent recognition can have a greater impact on your company than an annual bonus per se. It allows employees to show appreciation and gratitude for each other in a public setting. Peer to peer recognition often removes the hierarchical attribute and somewhat levels out the playing grounds within an organisation. 

With so much to gain from this simple and easy to do recognition perspective, it's important to uncover some of its many benefits: 

1. Cyclical recognition
When an employee is recognised for a job well done, they are more likely to go and identify another team mate for their contribution to a task, and so the recognition cycle continues. It has a positive domino effect. Employee participation in this type of model is often very high, as it’s encouraging, simple to do and very real. It may be saying well done in a status meeting, or congratulating someone in the lunchroom. 

2. Maintains employee relationships
This is a great way of building rapport with your team as well as building, maintaining and if needed, improving relationships in the workplace. It shows that others are always looking out for that star performance, are noticing when someone goes above and beyond, or lends a helping hand to get a project over the finish line.

3. Collaboration
Looking to create and enhance your corporate culture? When employees recognise each other’s commitments, they will thrive and be encourage to work harder and be more productive as a whole. The sum is greater than the whole. So, if teams work stronger and harder together, the results and achievements will far outweigh if only a couple of employees performed well. Team work will be enhanced and morale boosted. There’s no better feeling than being noticed and acknowledged by those you spend all day with.

4. Reduced staff turnover
Employees who feel valued and taken care of are less likely to look for another job as their efforts are recognised and they are acknowledged as a valued team member. When one's hard work, time and efforts go totally unnoticed, there's no incentive to be passionate nor motivated and often employees start to look around. 

5. Creates a sense of belonging 
The fundamental element of belonging is being identified and acknowledged that you're a critical part of the greater whole. When a colleague highlights another's work or excellence, it creates a sense of belonging and togetherness. Belonging often goes above and beyond merely having an accommodating workplace, but rather instills a solid sense of commitment, pride and love for the company.

If you'd like to find out more about how peer to peer recognition could help enhance your employee engagement, download our free reward and recognition e-Book.

Download Recognition e-Book
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