The Surprising Advantages of Peer-to-Peer Employee Recognition

4 min read
Feb 15, 2017

Your employees work hard for you every day. It’s only fair that their hard work is recognized and rewarded.


In the past, recognition primarily came from the top down. Sure, a coworker might take some time out of their day to tell you that you’re doing a great job and they appreciate your work. But for the most part, employees kept their heads down and focused on their own responsibilities, leaving managers to praise the team’s efforts however infrequently.

Sure, after a manager comes back from a seminar where they learned about the importance of employee engagement, there might be a temporary uptick in recognition. But after the novelty wears off, things go back to business as usual as managerial workloads swell and other priorities trump recognition initiatives.

Recently, thanks to the wealth of research into the field of employee engagement and productivity, decision makers have become increasingly familiar with the importance of employee recognition. Today, the best managers routinely compliment their employees on a job well done. But even the greatest boss in the world is unable to notice everything, nor do they have enough time to sing everyone’s praises on a consistent basis.

The good news is, thanks to modern employee engagement platforms, managers no longer have to shoulder the recognition burden completely on their own. Its easier than ever for employees to compliment their colleagues on their work. This is a great thing for businesses wishing to grow, because it turns out that peer-to-peer recognition provides companies with a slew of benefits:


1. Many more employees receive a lot more recognition

Employees certainly love it when their bosses take time out of their busy schedules to let them know that they’re doing a great job. But managers can’t spend their entire days complimenting everyone on doing great work. For starters, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. Beyond that, when managers give too many compliments, they can lose their effectiveness as employees begin to wonder whether or not the praises are genuine.

Still, data shows that employees care a great deal about having their efforts recognized. In one recent study, 58% of workers said that increasing the frequency of employee recognition would improve engagement.

Thanks to peer-to-peer recognition, employees across the entire organization can celebrate the hard work of their colleagues. This enables many more workers to receive positive attention without eating up a significant amount of a manager’s schedule.


2. The minor details are no longer unnoticed

For the most part, when managers recognize their employees’ hard work, they’re focusing on the major wins. Great job on landing that new client. Great job on convincing that client to renew. Great job on leading that training seminar.

Because they’re not in the trenches, it’s pretty much impossible for managers to notice the minor things that employees tackle successfully — even if those minor things make life easier for all of their coworkers.

For example, let’s say a company has a repository that stores a bunch of stock photos that are routinely used by the marketing team to enhance blog posts and email marketing messages. Unfortunately, there’s no rhyme or reason to the repository. Pictures are mislabeled to the point that it’s impossible to find what you’re looking for. One day, a member of the team decides to spend a few hours cleaning up the repository to make it easily searchable. Once they’re done, their team’s job becomes measurably easier — although no one outside of the marketing team notices.

Peer-to-peer recognition provides the mechanism that enables this kind of great work that goes on in the background to be celebrated.  



3. Employee retention stats improve

When you work hard all day every day and no one compliments you on a job well done ever, it’s not exactly inspiring. Believe it or not, a recent study from Accenture revealed that the lack of employee recognition was the top reason why workers were looking to leave their jobs.

If companies want to deliver the best service to their customers while enjoying the healthiest financial situation possible, they need to focus on improving their retention stats. That’s because, on average, it costs anywhere between $5,000 and $15,000 to replace an employee. Additionally, it can take as long as eight months for a new employee to become fully productive in their new roles.

Thanks to peer-to-peer recognition, employees will get the praise that motivates them and convinces them to stick around in their current roles. As a result, companies will save money they’d otherwise spend on hiring new workers. And, by extension, they’ll be able to continue to deliver great service to their customers.


4. It strengthens company culture

According to our Engagement Report, company culture is one of the top factors correlated with employee happiness. The more positive and enjoyable your culture is, the happier — and therefore more productive and engaged — your workers will become.

Peer-to-peer recognition strengthens company culture by helping cultivate an environment where employees have each other’s backs and everyone pays attention to the work their colleagues do. Would you rather work in an environment where no one noticed your efforts or one where your work was celebrated by a number of your coworkers?


5. It encourages collaboration

In its simplest form, peer-to-peer recognition is positive reinforcement. Who doesn’t enjoy being praised in a public manner for the work they do?

As more and more employees recognize their peers’ efforts — and more and more employees have their own efforts recognized — workers will be encouraged to collaborate more, if for no other reason than to earn additional accolades. As a result of increased collaboration, companies will benefit from more productivity, more innovation, and more camaraderie.


6. It makes recognition consistent

Employee recognition doesn’t work when it’s only given once in a blue moon. To keep workers motivated and engaged with their work, recognition needs to be given on a regular basis.

Even the most dedicated managers will have a hard time recognizing all of their employees all of the time. With peer-to-peer recognition tools in your company’s arsenal, your team’s efforts will not go unnoticed, as it’s easier than ever for employees to drop their colleagues a quick note to thank them for their hard work. Recognition is delivered consistently, encouraging workers to produce at a steady clip.

If you’ve not yet encouraged peer-to-peer recognition at your organization, what are you waiting for? To learn more about why you should encourage peer-to-peer recognition, check this out.



  1. Are Bonuses a Form of Employee Recognition or Compensation?
  2. How to Up Your Employee Recognition Game


The Effects of Employee Recognition & Appreciation Report by TINYpulse

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