There are many ways to motivate employees and keep them engaged. You can survey your workforce on a regular basis to see how things are going from their perspective. You can create an employee recognition program where managers reward team members for their hard work on specific intervals. You can extend benefits by letting your employees work from home on their birthday. You can let employees start making their own schedules. The list goes on and on.
All encouragement, however, doesn’t have to come from the top of your organization.
Increasingly, businesses are utilizing peer-to-peer recognition programs to help their employees stay engaged. According to a WorldatWork survey, 42% of organizations have some form of peer-to-peer recognition program in place. As employee engagement becomes more and more important, we can reasonably expect that number will continue to rise. So why are more and more companies giving peer-to-peer recognition programs a try?
1. Reinforcing the company culture
Do you want your employees to come in every day, do their jobs in relative silence, and leave? Or do you want your staff to actually enjoy working?
Peer-to-peer recognition programs help reinforce a positive organizational culture. According to our 2015 Employee Engagement Report, work culture is very strongly correlated with employee happiness. When cultures are strong, employees are more likely to be satisfied at work every day.
2. Helping workers feel valued
Not even one out of every three workers feels valued at their companies today, our engagement report revealed. When workers feel like they could be replaced at any minute, they’re not exactly inspired to give it their all.
Sometimes, a simple compliment can go a long way. When peers recognize the hard work and effort of their coworkers in a tangible way, there’s a good chance those folks will feel as though their contributions to the team are important.
3. Bringing employees together
Peer-to-peer recognition programs bring coworkers together. Quite simply, they force employees to interact with one another — even if they’re shy — making peer-to-peer recognition programs almost like an icebreaker game of sorts.
Not only do these programs encourage people to get to know everyone they work with, they also help build stronger teams. While workers might be hesitant to lend a hand to folks they don’t know that well, they’re more likely to be inclined to have each other’s backs when they get along swimmingly.
4. Encouraging collaboration
Collaboration is crucial to the success of any modern business. Since peer-to-peer recognition programs help bring employees together, they also encourage employees to collaborate with one another. The more comfortable your employees are with their coworkers, the more likely they are to be interested in collaborating regularly. As a result, final products become even stronger.
5. Reduces employee turnover
According to our report, coworkers are the number one thing employees like about their jobs. When peers say nice things to one another, they’re likely to get along better. Who doesn’t like getting complimented?
Employees who have friends at work are more engaged than those who don’t. For this reason, peer-to-peer recognition programs should improve employee retention statistics.
Managers shouldn't have to be the ones to carry the full burden of employee recognition. Instead, they ought to, dare I say, spread the love and allow their team to praise each other for both small and big accomplishments.