Peer to Peer Recognition Benefits
By Joe Issid
ICYMI, Millennials are now the largest living generation. And with aging Baby Boomers retiring in droves,they will soon comprise the largest section of the global workforce. However Millennials are bringing a refreshing sense of altruism to the workforce, which will be of great benefit to building collaborative and happy work environments. And part of this transformation is already being seen through increasingly common peer recognition practices.
It may sound ridiculous to a Baby Boomer or Gen-Xer, but not all work-related compensation needs to be financial. Personally, I grew up in an era where it was common to get paid for every minute of overtime and good work was exclusively rewarded with money. While these practices are still very common (and very much appreciated), companies are looking at additional ways to keep their employees motivated and working hard. As such, peer recognition is something that is being seen more commonly in the workforce today.
Receiving recognition for good work is almost always welcome and can be great for boosting team morale. I have worked for a few companies that have excellent corporate recognition programs, which are very popular among their employees. But what is particularly noteworthy is that employees are almost always happiest to receive recognition from their peers. Knowing that your peers support your work is particularly rewarding as they are the ones in the trenches with you; being recognized by this cohort adds a much greater sense of authenticity and gratitude.
The beauty of peer recognition is that it doesn’t need to be planned or organized. If you see that a co-worker is producing high quality work, you should take it upon yourself to let them know. Furthermore, doing so in a somewhat formal way can turn a small gesture into something quite meaningful. For example, if a colleague is constantly working late to complete a project, you can easily send them an email to let them know that their work is being noticed and is valued. Feel free to copy other team members on the email so that they can also provide their own feedback. Such simple actions can produce some very positive outcomes.
When you spend in excess of 40 hours a week working alongside a group of people, it is very important to have a strong sense of camaraderie and mutual respect. It is also incredibly important to know that your work is respected by those with whom you work most closely. If your peers are taking the time to recognize the effort and quality of your work, it will instinctively make you feel closer and more accepted by the team. This is particularly important when introducing new members to a team. Starting a new job can be extremely stressful and isolating so it is very important for existing team members to develop a culture of mutual recognition that is welcoming to newcomers.
In traditional organizations, providing recognition was often seen as being part of the manager’s responsibilities. If you happened to work for a boss who didn’t value providing positive feedback then you were, sadly, out of luck. Fortunately, many companies have broken out of this mold so it is not uncommon for entire recognition programs to be entirely run by non-managers. By providing the framework within which employees can reward one another for their work can be very empowering and motivating.