What Is Peer-to-Peer Recognition?

Peer-to-peer is a form of feedback that comes from employees’ peers rather than superiors. In other words, it’s input from others at employees’ own levels or others they work with.

Peer-to-peer recognition can be useful in giving employees more feedback and recognition, as the input comes directly from those they interact with the most. It’s generally promoted as a way to give positive feedback to others or show appreciation for coworkers. However, it does have pros and cons, which we’ll look at next.

Benefits of Peer-to-Peer Recognition

Here are some of the benefits of using peer-to-peer recognition:

  • It can be a way for employees to receive more feedback and recognition than their direct supervisor would have time to provide.
  • Because employees are receiving feedback from people they work with frequently, it can be more immediate.
  • It can make the culture more supportive and collaborative and foster better teamwork.
  • It may make employees more engaged because they’ll feel as though they have more direct input.
  • Employees may feel more satisfied knowing that their teammates appreciate their work. In this way, it can improve morale.
  • It can be a good way to provide more recognition and support to team members who are located in different areas.
  • This type of program can be self-perpetuating. In other words, when one employee receives positive feedback, he or she is likely to provide positive feedback to someone else.
  • Employees may put forth their best efforts more often if they know there’s a chance those efforts will be specifically noted and appreciated.

Drawbacks of Peer-to-Peer Recognition

Like anything, there are potential drawbacks, as well. Here are some of them:

  • It may influence some people to give criticism to others if they feel they have free reign to do so. Although most programs focus on positive recognition, this is still a concern.
  • Like anything, there will likely be some detractors who do not take the program seriously. They may be more likely to use it in a sarcastic way, which will undermine its effectiveness. Knowing this up front can prepare you to derail their negative impact.
  • This program may be embraced by some employees but not by others. Some may find it unnecessary and be annoyed by it. This will need to be managed for the program to be successful.

If this is something you’d like to get started on, begin thinking about how you’d like to see it in action. Some organizations utilize apps, some present the recognition to team leaders so they can communicate it publicly, and some use in-house versions of social media to promote employee recognition. Most of these programs focus on giving positive feedback in the form of praise and appreciation or as a way to congratulate others on accomplishments.

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