Peer to Peer Recognition at the Workplace [2021 Updated Guide]


Have you ever received a thank you note from your colleague?

How do you feel?

I bet it encourages and motivates you to do your best. 

Peer-to-peer recognition is one of the great ways of building a great company culture, and It helps to improve employee engagement.

Wondering what is peer recognition, and how can you build a recognition program in your organization?

This guide will answer all of your questions. Read this complete guide now.

What Is Peer to Peer Recognition?

Peer-to-peer employee recognition is exactly as it sounds – Recognizing your coworker for their help or a job well done. Peer-to-peer recognition is more effective and personalized than “Manager to Employee Recognition.”

Team members work together and spend most of their time with each other – they have more interpersonal contact than their manager. So recognizing your team member is a more authentic approach.

A small gesture like a pat on the back or a thank you note or saying thank you in team meetings can encourage employees.

As an employer, you must strive to build a culture of community-driven engagement.

This will help you increase employee engagement, reduce employee turnover, and increase employee retention and satisfaction.

In the next section, you’ll discover some amazing stats to understand why employee recognition is so important. 

Employee Recognition Statistics

Here are ten amazing statistics, which tell a positive story about the importance of employee recognition:

86% of values-based recognition programs show an increase in worker happiness. [Source]

recognition program stats

The research found that peer-to-peer recognition is 35.7% more likely to positively impact financial results than manager-only recognition. [Source]

A study found that the lack of recognition and engagement drives 44% of employees to switch jobs. [Source]

90% of companies stated that their employee recognition program positively impacted their employee engagement.

positive employee engagement

According to the Globoforce Employee Recognition Survey, companies that offer recognition programs reportedly have a lesser employee turnover rate of 23.4%.

46% of senior managers stated that they view recognition programs as an investment rather than an expense.

According to Cicero, 69% of employees would work harder if they felt their efforts were better appreciated.

When asked what leaders could do to improve engagement, 58% of professionals endorsed giving recognition.

57% of HR professionals reported that introducing peer-to-peer recognition programs increased the levels of employee engagement.

peer-to-peer recognition programs

A study by CareerBuilder found that 50% of employees would stay if they were tangibly recognized.

Hope these stats paint a picture of the importance of recognition. In the next section, you’ll discover some benefits of peer-to-peer recognition.

Benefits of Peer-to-Peer Recognition

Today, employees want to get recognized by their peers at the workplace. A peer recognition program can help you create an open communication culture and convey a message that every employee’s feedback has value.

Here are some benefits of peer-to-peer recognition:

1. Strong Work Relationships

Building an organizational culture where employees make a special effort to value their colleagues like sending a thank you email or an empowering note on their workspace has endless benefits. 

This develops a feeling of gratitude and brings a team together. The habit of giving and receiving recognition encourages them to do their best.

2. Foster a Culture of Trust

Imagine a company where peers trust each other – what else would you want as an employer?

Peer recognition programs help to foster a culture of trust in the workspace. When employees trust their colleagues, they put in more effort to be collaborative with their fellow team members.

Research conducted by PeoplePulse indicates that organizations using strategic peer recognition programs are 48% more likely to report high staff engagement.

3. Improve Employee Happiness and Retention

“Hey John, your presentation was excellent. The charts were well done and easy to read. I really appreciate your hard work on this!” 🙌

Positive feedback, like the example above, is a form of employee recognition – a crucial element of employee engagement and happiness.

All of us feel happy when we are recognized for the great work we do or the times we help someone. Simple recognition can improve employee happiness at work, and it leads to employee retention.

4. Promote Transparency at Work

When you appreciate your team member or even your manager for their amazing work, it shows that your organization respects your voice and gives every employee the power of equality. 

It helps you to build a transparent and open work culture. And this transparency drives employees to lift their game and be open with their colleagues.

5. Encourage Teamwork

Teamwork is an integral part of the workplace. Smooth flow of information and better decision-making makes a project move forward at a faster rate. Peer-to-peer recognition helps the team to praise a particular members’ hard work. And it boosts the team spirit.

Key Elements of a Successful Peer-to-Peer Recognition Program

Here are some key elements of a good peer recognition program to build a recognition culture in your company:

Make It Immediate.

Suppose one of your team members or colleagues completes an important project after a week of dedicated work. And you recognize them months later. This builds up a sense of negative impact more than a positive impact.

Timing is crucial. Build a program that allows your employees to recognize their peers instantly. Tech-based peer recognition programs like EngageWith are mobile-friendly, allowing recognition to happen anytime, anywhere.

Make It Specific.

Your recognition should be specific and meaningful. Specific praise and appreciation give a greater insight into what they are doing right. Any recognition should reinforce company values, goals, and objectives.

Make It Easy.

Don’t make your recognition process complex. Employees don’t need to obtain manager approval to nominate a peer. EngageWith makes peer recognition easy and quick.

Make It Fun.

Encourage employees to participate by incorporating elements of gamification like gifs, points, or badges. Also, allow employees to redeem their reward points. It will make your program fun and friendly.

How to Build a Successful Peer Recognition Program

Here are some best practices to build a peer to peer recognition program:

Define your objective

First, define your objectives: Is it to improve the level of employee engagement? Or to build a better company culture?

Do research about the benefits that a recognition program can bring to your company. It’s important to have a cost estimation (including hidden costs) of recognition programs.

Build a Dedicated Team

Your next step is to build a team to help you implement the program. Appoint a few people who will be responsible for implementing, managing, and establishing a peer-to-peer recognition program.

Here are some characteristics of team members:

  • Good knowledge of the program benefits
  • Positioned as a team leader
  • Should have an interest in the program
  • Believes in company values

Define Clear Program Criteria

Now it’s time to define what behaviors or actions you’d like to see from recognition programs and how they impact business objectives.

Here are some important questions that you must answer first: 

  • What type of behaviors should be rewarded?
  • How the said behaviors should be rewarded?
  • How often should employees be rewarded and appreciated?
  • What team communication platform we should use for all recognitions (Slack, MS Team, or email)?

Brainstorm Ideas With Employees

Make the process fun by brainstorming ideas with your team. Once you’ve drafted ideas for creative rewards, send a survey to employees and ask everyone to rank the options.

Make employees aware of the program, how to use it, the benefits, and encourage them to give their feedback and inputs.


Microbonuses are small monetary rewards given frequently by one colleague to another in recognition of a great work or valuable contribution. Although microbonuses can be given by managers to their team members, they can also be given by peers, and even from an executive to a manager.

You can give microbonueses in the very moment that a valuable contribution is made by a colleague. Real-time employee recognition has the greatest impact, because the action is rewarded almost immediately when it is top-of-mind.

Microbonuses provide multiple positive instances of employee recognition without dramatically altering an employee’s compensation. You can use peer to peer recognition software like EngageWith to give each other instant micro-bonuses for the small wins that add up to big
successes over time.

Measure Program Success

Your recognition program impacts many different areas of an organization, including productivity, employee engagement, business results, as well as brand value. You must measure the success of the program.

Use data from your recognition program to inform other business decisions. Once you’ve collected actionable data, make improvements where possible.

How Can EngageWith Help You?

Building an employee recognition program yourself is complicated and time-consuming. We have built a platform that makes it easy for employees to recognize each other no matter where or how they work with EngageWith.

EngageWith is an employee recognition and rewards platform that enriches your company culture. Employees can recognize peers, juniors, or managers by giving them Kudos or Shoutouts for a job well done. 

It can also be used to celebrate and reward/gift employees on their birthdays and milestones like work anniversaries

Try EngageWith with your team to create a recognition-rich culture.

Read this article to learn more about EngageWith.


How do I recognize my peers at work?

Here are some ways to recognize your peers:

You can write a friendly thank you note appreciating your colleague’s work.
Peers can write a small post on LinkedIn and tag your coworker.
Treat your colleague with a meal.
Talk about your peer’s good work in a team meeting.
Write recommendations on LinkedIn.

What does peer to peer recognition mean?

In simple words, peer-to-peer recognition is a form of appreciation or feedback that comes from coworkers rather than a manager or superior.

How do you show appreciation to coworkers?

Read the above guide to find some fun ideas to appreciate your coworkers.

How do you say thank you to a coworker?

Here are some creative thank you messages:

“You’re an amazing person to work with. Your help has made my job so much easier and more enjoyable. I really appreciate your time and effort. Thank you.”

“With your help, I could have completed this project on time. I’m so happy to have you on the team and in the future, I can’t wait to work on more things together. Thank you.”


Peer-to-peer recognition improves employees’ engagement and helps them focus on their work. It has much more impact and becomes meaningful when an employee gets appreciated by their peers for the hard work they put in.

Do you have any other tips? Or have any queries? Please drop your thoughts in the common section below!

EngageWith is easy to use and effective employee recognition tool that will help you attract, engage, and motivate your employees. Try It Now!

Originally published on Nov 05, 2020 8:57 AM, last updated July 27, 2021

Pawan Kumar

I'm a Content Marketer at Springworks. I've been featured in many reputed publications and online magazines! I'm an avid reader and movie buff. Let's connect on Social Media.

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