3 Employee Recognition Ideas Your Staff Will Love

Sarah Lim

Sarah Lim

Content Strategist, Remesh

Sarah is a marketing intern at Remesh, where she takes pride in lighting up everyone's day.

peer to peer recognition ideas

Remember the last time someone told you what a great job you were doing? You felt all warm and fuzzy inside, like you could conquer the world.

(No, really think about it, and savor that moment of triumph.)

That’s why it’s so important to recognize employees’ efforts and to appreciate them for a job well done.

Peer to Peer Recognition Ideas: An Intro

There’s something deeply fundamental about the way human beings thrive on recognition. This applies very much to the work environment, where employees are motivated by project recognition. According to Deloitte, organizations with advanced recognition practices are 12x more likely to have strong business outcomes. This speaks volumes about the potential of employee recognition to tangibly improve employee engagement and boost business performance. 

Knowing that employee recognition is worth striving towards, we’re left with another dilemma. How do we practice employee recognition in ways that are not only impactful, but will truly benefit employees?

1) Cheers from Peers (Peer Recognition Programs)

Shoutouts, kudos, a “well done” after a long day at work -- you said it! One of the biggest myths of employee recognition is that it should come from a top-down approach; ie. from top management to team members. Well, who’s to say that it can’t come from fellow colleagues.

Colleagues are often more aware of positive acts done by their peers than we think. In fact, 90% of workers feel that a values-based, peer-to-peer recognition system increases their work satisfaction. Instead of manager-only recognition, try peer-to-peer recognition systems to effectively engage your employees!

Begin by creating a chance for your staff to show appreciation for one another in day-to-day activities. This can be shout-outs in weekly meetings or having a nomination for the Employee of the Month.

For example, Bonusly offers a point system tool that integrates with Slack. The tool allows you to recognize and reward your co-workers easily. Want to find the employee recognition software of your choice? Try Capterra, a free and interactive platform that allows you to compare across the various software options you have!

At Remesh, we have our own active #kudos slack channel to recognize co-workers for stellar work. We also love the HeyTaco! tool we’ve implemented not long ago; we just can’t stop adding taco emojis to our messages to show praise! Check it out!

peer to peer recognition ideas

2) Customize Employee Recognition Ideas to Your Staff

What’s the easiest and most effective way to know how your staff want to be appreciated? The answer is simple: ask them.

Consider the following when thinking about employee recognition strategies:

  1. Survey your staff regularly to gather feedback
  2. Be open to hearing what your staff have to say
  3. Know that learning more about your co-workers enables you to reward them with value
Employee engagement platforms such as Remesh offer the ability to engage employees in deeper employee insights. Give these tools a try, and be ready to get into the hearts of your staff!

Going one step further, try taking a unique approach to employee recognition, down to each individual employee. Recognizing staff by rewarding them based on their individual interests makes the rewards much more memorable. Whether it be a gift card or a personalized yoga mat, individual recognition is a huge employee morale booster. Unique rewards shows that you’ve gone out of your way to make recognition personable (and fun!).

The Cost of Disengaged Employees

Disengaged employees can be a massive financial risk for any brand. The price is so enormous that it encompasses 10% of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product annually - or $500 billion per year.

Physical manifestations of this risk include:

  • workplace injury
  • illness
  • employee turnover
  • absences
  • fraud and theft 

To put it another way, brands with employee engagement levels of 65% or higher outperformed the total stock market index. Companies with employee engagement levels of 45% or less had a total shareholder return of a whopping 28% lower than average.

3) Peer to Peer Recognition Helps Employee Growth

Encouraging Employee Growth

We all want our employees to develop their professional skills, but how often do we actively help them to do so?

You can show employees that you recognize and appreciate them by being invested in their professional interests and development. This not only fulfills your employees’ professional pursuits, but also equips them to perform better! Some employee recognition ideas include:

  • Giving your staff the option to choose their own projects
  • Giving employees space to develop their skills and articulate mentorship preferences
  • Providing a variety of educational opportunities (technical research courses, leadership coaching, networking strategy, etc.)

SalesForce is great inspiration as a company that both hears and delivers what its employees want.

After learning that employees wanted customized education paths segmented by learning pace, for example, Salesforce's Dan Darcy (SVP Productivity) leveraged its own learning platform. That is, they enabled employees and managers to design one-on-one learning journeys.

employee growth through recognition

Kudos to SalesForce for a great employee success program!

Increasing Employee Engagement

Employees feel they've done great work when a manager publicizes recognition and when an employee receives recognition from co-workers. Creating this culture of recognition at the office statistically motivates employees to work harder and more productively. 

Of course, this type of company culture effects you brand's bottom line - including ROI.

Summing Up Employee Recognition Programs 

During a busy work day, taking time to recognize employees is often at the end of our to-do lists. Regular recognition of small achievements has been proven to boost positivity, foster a sense of belonging, and increase productive workflows. In summary, developing a robust employee recognition program is one of the most powerful assets for your company.

Feel like employee recognition is the way to go? Check out our report on employee engagement below!


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