In the right context, peer pressure doesn’t have to be bad. In the workplace, when managed properly, it can be a great motivator. Group monitoring of behaviour and peer-to-peer recognition can provide a powerful incentive to do the right thing.

The rise of social at work
Peer-to-peer, or social recognition is now a mainstream phenomenon. According to statistics, two-thirds (66%) of today’s UK population are active social media users. Liking, sharing and discovering things on social media are now part of people’s daily experience.

This activity is redefining our expectations around how communication works and employees are now importing these expectations around transparency and speed into the workplace. As a result, progressive employers need to accept the benefits of mirroring the more democratic peer-to-peer experience that is now a feature of the consumer world.

Here are our seven top reasons why ‘positive peer pressure’ in the workplace is a good thing:
1. Puts recognition into the hands of everyone
Social recognition enables employees and managers to recognise each other’s good work in a way which is visible to everyone. Because everyone can contribute, it isn’t ‘owned’ by HR or by senior managers. It is a work community with recognition at the core, providing a valuable tool for moving away from the habit of linking recognition with reward.

2. Supports knowledge sharing
The power of social recognition goes beyond recognising good performance. It also captures the reasons why recognition is given, providing a valuable platform to share knowledge around best practice and innovation which takes place in the business every day.

3. Recognition wherever your employees are
Social recognition is built for today’s flexible work environment where people are on the move using smartphones and tablets, and not tied to a desk. This means good work can be recognised and shared immediately wherever your employees might be.

4. Is about more than values
Aligning recognition to company values is a priority for most businesses but managers and employees also need a way to say a simple thanks for a job well done, or to a particularly supportive team member. Social repetition enables employees to recognise the everyday actions which matter to them as well as the behaviour that helps the business.

5. Unique insight into performance hotspots
Using social recognition gives you a dashboard which you can use to follow interaction between individuals, teams and managers. This means you can identify the biggest gaps and the best opportunities to use social recognition as a tool to support personal development and performance management.

6. Tailored to your organisation
Social recognition is designed to flex around the needs of your business. That means you can recognise teams around projects, or introduce recognition for specific business initiatives. By using cloudbased software there’s no need for complex IT implementation to get social recognition up and running in your business. Social recognition platforms can be used by any business of any size.

7. Fits with existing recognition and reward
Social recognition compliments your existing recognition activity. Because it can also be used to manage and deliver reward for your organisation, adopting social recognition can help organisations move towards improving the way they manage performance-related reward.

Many companies understand the principles of social recognition but fail to promote a workplace culture in which it can thrive. Endorsing recognition frameworks based on financial incentives alone can be counter-productive. A culture of positive feedback where success is shared and celebrated is in fact both cheaper and often more effective.

In their pursuit of increased engagement, motivation and productivity, employers should harness the positive power of peer pressure as much as – if not more than – the desire for financial reward.

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