Employee Engagement ~ 8 min

What is Peer-to-Peer Employee Recognition, and How Can You Leverage It?

HR Team, People Experts, Sociabble
HR Team People Experts

The way we work is changing, with more employees than ever working remotely and from home. Peer-to-peer employee recognition is a way to strengthen employee engagement as well as the connections between employees who have limited interactions in person.

In some ways, the recent health crisis has only hastened an evolution that was already taking place before: the increase in remote work. Working from home, without being physically present in the office, is becoming the norm, alongside other hybrid work scenarios. Obviously, there are advantages to this: better use of office space, freedom to hire distant workers, and savings on other associated costs.

But there is a downside: the crucial sense of connection and common purpose that used to exist between co-workers runs the risk of being lost. What’s the best way to re-forge these bonds and help create a solid sense of corporate identity? Peer-to-peer recognition is one solution that can fit seamless into your existing Employee Communication strategy. And Sociabble has a feature that can help you accomplish precisely that. 

Yes, there are solutions for maintaining connection and alignment. But you need more.

It’s true that there are simple solutions for companies looking to maintain that sense of connection, common identity, and alignment at their company. Employee Communication apps, newsletters, surveys, , company newsfeeds, chat applications—all of these are helpful, and can make a difference. In fact, here at Sociabble, we provide a solution that handles all of these.

We like to think of them as important tools in your arsenal to help bring employees together across distance. And they do work. But one element that is missing is the idea of reward and positivity—of recognition and momentum.

That is where peer-to-peer recognition can come into play. Indeed, a study from SHRM found that among Gen Z and Millennials, 79% said that an increase in recognition rewards would make them more loyal to their employers.

Loyalty and the long-term journey of your employees at your company is essential. If you’re losing your employees, this can become a real problem because of the tight labor market and difficulties hiring and keeping talent. And one of the top reasons employees quit their jobs is that they feel unappreciated or taken for granted. And unfortunately for large organizations, it’s virtually impossible to properly reward people at scale with any focus or specificity.

So what’s the solution? Well, studies have shown that the human brain releases oxytocin—“the happiness hormone”—when someone thanks them, making them happier and eager to be part of something. Which is why an employee recognition tool makes sense in our current environment, to enhance positivity and to help forge a sense of belonging.

But what is peer-to-peer employee recognition?

No, it’s not manager-to-peer recognition, which is a form of recognition many are used to, but that’s also hierarchical and less empowering to the individual.

In peer to peer recognition, which is complementary to the top-down recognition we enable through badges and leaderboards, employees can acknowledge the work and skills of specific co-workers by distributing praise (i.e. “Kudos”) for everyone to see.

This kind of social recognition helps to create a culture of positive reinforcement, where every person at the company sees the benefits of good work and collaboration, and in turn feels motivated to work hard and be positive about their experience.

Employee Recognition ideas

What is a good employee recognition program?

A good employee recognition program includes peer-to-peer acknowledgment, fostering positive work relationships and culture. It boosts productivity, reduces turnover, enhances employee engagement, and integrates effectively within a comprehensive communication platform, creating human connections and maximizing utilization.

What are the benefits of a peer to peer employee recognition program?

There are distinct advantages that come with a peer-to-peer employee recognition program, more so that any of the other techniques or tools previously mentioned.

They include:

  • Boosts work relationships and creates a social bond. It creates a more collaborative work environment, strengthening the connection between team members, and builds trust and confidence in each other’s abilities.
  • Helps promote values, culture, local achievements at scale, even in very large organizations. It does so regardless of hierarchy or departments, which is helpful to break silos.
  • Increases productivity, enhances work performance. 69% of employees would work harder if they felt their efforts were better appreciated. Peer-to-peer is 36% more likely to impact financial results positively than manager-only recognition.
  • Lower turnover rate. 63% of employees who are recognized are very unlikely to look for a new job. Lack of recognition and engagement drives 44% of employees to switch jobs.
  • Positive correlation with employee engagement. 90% of workers noted that values-based, employee recognition made them more satisfied with their work. It’s important work hard to build company values and communicate them with your employees, making sure they are not only words on paper, but actionable, personified traits people can embody daily.

The benefits of combining employee recognition and Employee Communication on the same platform.

There are distinct advantages to combining your Employee Communication and Peer-to-Peer Recognition efforts together in the same platform.

Yes, it’s true that there are platforms out there designed to specifically handle employee recognition on its own, but in most cases, cutting that out and keeping it separate from the entire employee communication experience can be less effective, if not problematic, because to be consistent, you need a 360-degree platform that provides a holistic solution.

This includes top-down communication (corporate news, operational alerts, critical notifications, visibility to rewarded employees, etc.), bottom-up communication (feedback from the field, surveys, best practices, etc.), and transversal communication (peer-to-peer, chats across departments, etc.).

Why employee recognition is important

As you can see, this is a lot to cover. And it makes sense to limit the number of applications people have to worry about, if they’re actually going to be used.

If you have a single tool, especially with a mobile app for frontline workers, it will integrate the “Kudos” into everyday communication and serve to make it more public—everyone will see it. This employee recognition will also add a more human dimension to all your employee communications, creating a human bond that actually drives people to use the platform.

Don’t know where to start? Here are some peer-to-peer recognition best practices you can easily implement with Sociabble

Sociabble is a complete Employee Communication solution—a platform that can do all of the above and more. And built-in is a “Kudos” feature that allows for peer-to-peer recognition. Here are a few best practices we recommend to get an effective peer-to-peer program going at your company.

How to recognize your employees?

Recognize employees by preparing personalized praises that highlight company values. Encourage ongoing peer-to-peer recognition, making it specific, fun, and both public and private. Embed it into a familiar platform for easy use. Celebrate milestones like work anniversaries. These practices strengthen remote work communication, fostering a sense of common purpose and spirit.

Prepare “Praises” (Kudos) that reinforce company values.

If your company values are “Trust,” “Reliability,” “Positivity,” make sure you design praise that highlights those traits and encourages people to aim for those. “Positivity. Even when the going gets tough, you continue to have the best attitude!”

Make peer-to-peer recognition ongoing.

Not a one-time thing, it should become a habit among your employees.

Make it specific.

Allow employees to personalize the praise to the person, so it’s personal and specific, not generic, i.e., “Grateful. I owe you one; thank you for being there and covering my shift last Monday when I needed help.”

Make peer-to-peer recognition fun.

Keep it light and engaging. “My marketing hero, our latest campaign is fun and inspiring and makes me proud to talk to friends and family about our company. Your creative designs and clever messaging take us to the next level!”

Employee recognition example

With Sociabble, sending praise to other employees is simple…and fun!

Make peer-to-peer recognition public, but also private.

Giving social recognition is important, but give your employees a chance to make their comments private if they feel more comfortable.

Make it easy to use.

Embed it into a platform they are already familiar with, with only a few clicks to share a piece of praise.

Employee recognition reward

Sending a congratulatory message to a fellow employee via Sociabble is literally as easy as just a few clicks.

Celebrate milestones.

Work anniversaries product launches, etc. “Happy Work Anniversary! It’s been a pleasure to spend this year working alongside you. 3 down, many more to go!” Employing these best practices will help to make peer-to-peer recognition a normal, everyday part of the communication experience that also helps solidify a sense of common purpose and spirit that remote work has weakened, in many cases.

Who uses employee recognition software?

Employee recognition software is employed by forward-thinking companies across various sectors. Its adoption is driven by HR departments, managers, and employees alike, as it fosters a culture of appreciation, acknowledges outstanding achievements, and nurtures a motivated workforce. From startups to established enterprises, organizations prioritize the use of such software to elevate employee morale and recognize contributions at all levels.

Interested in an Employee Communication platform that will keep your workforce engaged? Sociabble can help.

As previously discussed, Sociabble offers a total Employee Communication solution, with these features and more, all as part of a single experience. Moreover, with employee activation features like employee  recognition, and storytelling features to make sure that all aspects of your communication are in your hands, it will fit seamlessly with your organization, your culture, and your goals, maximizing traffic and getting the most from your platform.

Employee recognition platform

With the Sociabble platform, peer-to-peer recognition is just one part of a larger Employee Communication hub.

Sociabble has already worked with dozens of companies around the world to achieve their Employee Communication goals, including industry leaders like Vinci Energies, Coca-Cola CCEP, Renault Trucks, and l’Occitane.

We would love to discuss how we can help your company achieve its goals as well.

Schedule your demo

Want to see Sociabble in action?

Our experts will answer your questions and guide you through a platform demo.