Organizational Effectiveness

Campus Address
121-50 USB
Mailing Address

121 University Services Building, Suite 50
Iowa City, IA 52242-1911
United States

Peer-to-Peer Recognition

Why Peer to Peer?

  • Most people spend the majority of their "people time" interacting with their co-workers who are not associated with management, so the peer group has more of an opportunity to influence employee's self esteem.
  • Peers are more likely to know how each individual prefers to be recognized.
  • Peers often are aware of fellow worker's "behind the scenes" work that supervisors/managers do not have the opportunity to witness.
  • Peer-to-peer recognition can be lighthearted and in good humor, and is, therefore, often easier to implement than formal recognition.

What Supervisors Can Do

  • Demonstrate recognition-giving behaviors among themselves - with the same recognition vehicles they make available to employees.
  • Reinforce peer-to-peer recognition by recognizing the efforts of other workers who are taking the time and effort to recognize their co-workers.
  • Make recognition tools easily available to all.
  • Value the recognition that employees give to each other (many peer-to-peer recognition tools are low or no cost, so the true value behind them is the sincerity and manner in which they are given).

Ideas for Peer-to-Peer Recognition

  • Post a thank-you note on a co-worker's door.
  • When you hear a positive remark about an individual, repeat it to that person as soon as possible. Seek the person out if necessary. If you can't meet, leave an e-mail or voicemail message.
  • Give a co-worker a "candy gram" (i.e. lifesaver candies for someone who has been a real "lifesaver" to you, a Snickers bar for someone who keeps morale high with jokes and humor, or a Fireball for someone who jumps right in and gets the job done without hesitation).
  • Send or bring flowers to someone who has done an exceptional job in the workplace or in the community.
  • Post a banner in the office or on a co-worker's door recognizing his or her contribution(s).
  • Nominate them for the IOWA (Improving Our Workplace Award).
  • Develop a formal quarterly recognition program within your department, "Cheers for Peers", to recognize efforts that help reach a departmental goal.

Recognizing Team Efforts

"Acknowledge when people do well, but reward the whole group for a complete effort"- Tom Peters

What are the benefits of recognizing team efforts?

  • Promotes achievement of mutual goals by group of employees.
  • Without some form of team recognition, team performance may suffer and individual attitude and motivation problems may arise.
  • Employees will have a common feeling of accomplishment that will strengthen communication ties in the workplace.

Be sure to recognize teams when they:

  • Accomplish annual, monthly, and weekly goals
  • Innovate a new work process
  • Acquire a new customer
  • Cut costs
  • Help another team
  • Overcome an obstacle
  • Take on extra work
  • Solve a big problem or a smaller irritant
  • Develop positive ways to deal with conflict

Ways to recognize teams

  • Send letters to team members' families expressing appreciation for work done.
  • Submit article about team to newsletter.
  • Post on website.
  • Submit an IOWA nomination.
  • Maintain team bulletin board with photos of accomplishments.
  • Throw a party in honor of team's accomplishments.

Supervisor to Staff Recognition

Ways to Recognize Employees

  • Public or private written comments via e-mail, letter, certificate, etc.
  • A trophy or plaque.
  • Party thrown in the recipient's honor, or for an entire group that has done a great job.
  • A "top achiever" ribbon.
  • A reserved parking space for a week.
  • Annual recognition breakfast saluting individual and team accomplishments, e.g, training or certification, project completions, process improvements, etc.
  • Provide educational sessions in the workplace, e.g. workshops on health from UI Wellness.
  • Facilitate offering neck massages in the workplace.