How to Set Up a Peer-to-Peer Employee Recognition Program

Recognition & Motivation Ideas

peer to peer employee recognition program

Most workplaces offer annual employee performance reviews. The boss lets you know how you’re doing and where you can improve, and after signing a few forms, you’re on your way until the next yearly evaluation.

But, what if your peers had input? Peer-to-peer employee recognition programs are beginning to gain popularity in workplaces across the country, so those who work together day-in and day-out can also give insight into your performance. If you work closely with your peers, their feedback can often be more valuable than the feedback from higher-ups.

The Benefits of Peer-to-Peer Employee Recognition Programs

The Society for Human Resource Management says this collaborative approach can bolster team spirit and employee motivation around the office thanks to the open and transparent nature of peer-to-peer employee recognition.  

As companies downsize or restructure to have more of a lateral organization rather than a tiered management style, this type of recognition begins to make increasingly more sense. More employees feel heard and appreciated, and it can be a great opportunity to recognize and address problem areas before they get out of hand.

Setting Up a Peer-to-Peer Employee Recognition Program

Offer constructive, helpful feedback. We all want to improve at our jobs, so praising the pluses and giving ideas for improvement are welcome, when done in a polite way. SHRM suggests the following to get started:

1. Define the program goals. They should follow the company values and culture. Consider targeting company attendance, sales numbers, or internal training measures. Share these goals with all staff members.

2. Involve the employees. Keep everyone in the loop as you set up a program, not just when you roll it out. Start a committee that anyone at the company, from interns to senior executives, is allowed to join.

3. Evaluate effectiveness. Take a survey before the program begins and again after the recognition has begun. What is working? What isn’t? Is it worth the overall effort?

4. Mix it up. To keep interest buzzing, mix up how you conduct the program and what rewards are offered. Take note of other companies and how they run their peer-to-peer employee recognition programs.

Trying a Program at Your Office

According to Forbes, several companies have this process down pat, so you can emulate one of these strategies in your office.

At Zappos, employees are each given $50 gift cards to give to a non-supervisor peer as a thank you for a job well done. What a great way for an employee to reward an intern or partner on a big project!

JetBlue lets employees share positive stories on an internal communications platform to lift each other up. Each recognition earns points that can be turned in for a reward.

You can also set up a bulletin board in a community area, like the kitchen or boardroom, and let employees fill out Post-It Notes with positive remarks, then post them on the board. The feel-good vibes flow each time a new card is added to the public area.

A voting method is another great option. Let employees nominate one person each month for recognition. Tally the votes and give the top five people a public shout out and certificate at a company meeting.

Are you ready to stock up on employee recognition certificates, lapel pins, trophies, and small gifts? Browse PaperDirect today to get ready for your peer-to-peer employee recognition program.