[Author’s note: This post originally appeared on HerdWisdom.com]

The bona fide expression of appreciation between co-workers is the definition of peer recognition. It is as simple as one colleague expressing praise or appreciation to another. Sounds easy, right?Well, it can be easy, but it doesn’t happen on its own. In order for peer recognition to flourish, there must be a program in place to facilitate the exchange of accolades and acknowledgement.

There are a two primary ways you can design a peer recognition program:

Depending on your preferences, notes can either be shared publicly or sent privately. You should, of course, encourage verbal recognition, but a penned show of appreciation leaves a more permanent impression and is often taken more seriously.

Benefits of Peer Recognition

“Many studies have shown that social connections with coworkers are a strong predictor—some would say the strongest single predictor of job satisfaction.”—Robert D. Putnam, author of Bowling.

Managers often have a lot on their plates and, as a result, many employees do not receive regular feedback or communication about their performance. With peer recognition, however, some of the pressure is taken off the managers and recognition becomes a regular occurrence.

Team members often have a better understanding of the context in which the work is done. Therefore, their acknowledgement is particularly valuable because they understand what their co-worker went through in order to succeed.

Peer recognition also serves to enhance interpersonal relationships. Regular recognition between colleagues does not mean that they will become best friends, but it does serve to create a more positive culture and a higher retention rate.

When a sense of affiliation is created amongst team members, individuals are motivated to do things for a company that they might not normally do. It also creates a company culture that employees are proud to be a part of it.

In sum, peer recognition is a positive asset to any organization, so when are you going to make it a part of yours?

 

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