The Benefits of Peer Recognition in the Workplace

April 4th, 2017 by

Everyone loves to receive praise for a job well-done, but did you know that giving praise can sometimes be more rewarding for the overall business than receiving it?

O.C. Tanner, an organization that specializes in the development of employee recognition and reward programs, recently released findings from a new study on the importance of peer recognition.  The study revealed employees who are given the authority and encouragement to provide recognition and reward where appropriate, are more confident and engaged in the organization as a whole.  Among the groups participating in the study, millennials have the strongest desire to be empowered to provide recognition for their peers.

The study also found:

  • 90% of employees who always recognize their peers up their own game as a result
  • 83% of employees who often recognize their peers up their own game as a result
  • 68% of employees who sometimes recognize their peers up their own game as a result
  • 61% of employees who rarely recognize their peers up their own game as a result

Overall, 80% of employees indicated recognizing a peer’s work makes them contribute more themselves.  Also, 94% of employees who recognize and reward their peers take an increased amount of pride in working for their company.

Despite these positive results from peer-to-peer recognition and reward, most employees do not provide peer recognition and reward to their team members.

  • 17% of employees do not feel it is their responsibility to give peer recognition
  • 20% of employees do not feel empowered to give peer recognition by their employer
  • 21% of employees noted their company does not have a peer recognition program in place

Everyone is grateful for recognition from their management for a job well done.  However, recognition from a fellow team member carries with it an increased level of pride and validation that your efforts and contributions are noticed by others.

Even though some employees do not feel empowered to give peer recognition, providing an avenue for them to do so can be very good for morale, productivity, and increased success.

Organizations with peer recognition programs already in place should make certain their employees are aware of the programs and how they work.  If you do not already have a program in place for peer recognition, work to develop one that makes the most sense for your current business model and budget.  According to CAI’s most recent Policies and Benefits survey, 22.9% of local employers offer some form of peer recognition.

Recognition and reward does not have to be expensive.  Simple things such as movie tickets, a certificate of recognition or a gift card to Starbucks are very much appreciated.  In this case, it’s not the size or value of the recognition, but the recognition itself that matters most.

How valuable is receiving recognition?  Well, a recent Korn Ferry survey found that most professional employees feel getting promoted trumps having more money in their pocket. The October 2016 study of 1,200 professionals from around the world found that nearly two-thirds of respondents (63 percent) said they would prefer to get a promotion with no salary increase than a salary increase with no promotion.  “Study after study shows the incredible importance of recognition for one’s contribution is a key driver in job satisfaction, while salary is rarely near the top,” said Dennis Baltzley, Korn Ferry senior partner and the firm’s global head of leadership development. “To retain the best and the brightest, organizational leaders need to put development and clear career pathing plans in place, not just for top leaders but for those across the organization.”

1,100+ North Carolina employers choose CAI to help them build an engaged, well-managed and low-risk workplace. Find out why at CAI.

CAI’s Advice & Resolution Advisor Renee Watkins is a seasoned HR professional with a diverse background in Human Resource. Renee provides CAI members with practical advice in a wide range of human resource functions including conflict resolution, compliance and regulatory issues, and employee relations.

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