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Giving Peers Their Props

Does your recognition program encourage peers to give each other proper recognition? If recognition at your organization is top down only, you may be missing out. Peer recognition programs are incredibly effective and usually well received, especially by employees who are otherwise cynical when it comes to recognition.

Peer recognition's credibility stems from the fact that peers are often more in tune with a person's day-to-day performance than is a supervisor. Peers know what's going on behind the scenes and have empathy for the daily struggles.Peer recognition can also help build strong bonds among employees. What better way to begin or strengthen a relationship than to exchange compliments. After all, it's harder to feel annoyed or bothered by someone who recognizes the importance of your efforts.

Don't be surprised if people seem to feel more empowered once you've launched a peer recognition program. People often get more involved with peer programs because they aren't at someone else's mercy when it comes time to recognize. They decide who deserves to be recognized, not someone else.

Programs designed to recognize peers can be as simple as giving employees forms to fill out and pass along, or as involved as complex points systems with high dollar prizes. Either way, it's important that people are encouraged to recognize peers for things your organization deems valuable.

Don't forget to include managers and supervisors in the program. It puts everyone on a level playing field and eliminates the "us" versus "them" mentality.