It can be hard to tell the difference between someone exceeding expectations at work or just doing their required job. It is important to know the difference in order to recognise the over achievers.
Often there is some misunderstanding about peer to peer recognition programs and best practices for implementation. Receiving peer recognition is a marvellous dopamine booster but does not always ensure the right behaviours and actions are being performed. As a leader, you need to control the areas you want to improve and recognise.
Peer to Peer recognition is the genuine expression of appreciation exchanged between co-workers. Expressions that are an excellent way for your employees to learn about their colleague’s accomplishments. But, before approving that peer to peer acknowledgement make sure you know if the employee is doing something really worthy of nomination and commendation, or if they’re just doing their job. The way you ensure that recognition is being given where it is due is to align that pat on the back with your company values, behaviours and objectives.
It’s not enough to acknowledge that “Stephanie always answers the phone with a smile.” or “Craig is really friendly and easy to talk with.” or “Steve knows our systems really well.” Excellent characteristics? Yes, but are these worthy of recognition? I’d hate to be a party pooper, but no.
An example of a worthy co-worker nomination could be an employee going the extra mile, staying late to help another employee, from another department, to get a problem solved.
When executed correctly, peer to peer nomination creates a common spirit of team, enthusiasm and loyalty, supporting your organisation’s mission.
For a recognition program to benefit you, ensure you set the reward criteria and communicate what is important, and do this often. I don’t mean to be tough because recognition is meant to be a positive experience, but to ensure you are getting a positive ROI and to ensure the whole organisation is living your company values, it is important to communicate the behaviours that are worthy of recognition.
Recognition can come in the form of public recognition, social media, email and tangible rewards, but it should be a well rounded mix of all of the above to ensure maximum engagement and motivation.