Effective Peer to Peer Recognition

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Effective Peer to Peer Recognition

What is Peer to Peer Recognition?

A peer to peer recognition program is a formal, structured employee recognition program that is implemented to encourage employees to recognize their teammates, or peers, for demonstrating behaviors that are in alignment with the program’s objectives as they happen. This type of recognition program gives your employees the freedom to “catch someone in the act” and reward them through the program.

As mentioned, each program should have objectives as to what the goal of the program is and what types of behaviors should be awarded. Many times, an organization will implement a peer to peer program when the organization’s mission has changed, or more participation in demonstrating or living the corporate values is being encouraged in an effort to develop or improve the company culture.

The Case for a Peer to Peer Recognition Program

A ton of research exists that gives very clear indicators that a peer-to-peer recognition approach is great for your company’s bottom line. In a SHRM study, they found that a peer-to-peer recognition model, when compared to a manager only recognition model, is 35.7% more likely to have a positive impact on the financial results of a company.

Positive financial results are only one of the many positive benefits of a peer to peer recognition program. More and more, today’s younger employees have certain expectations of their employer, and as you might have guessed, recognition is a big one. It is imperative that companies adopt to the needs of their younger generation of workers or those employees will walk out the door and add to your retention woes. A 21st century, modern mindset towards increasing employee performance to drive desired behaviors will offer massive benefits to employees as a whole. 86% of employee recognition programs demonstrate an increase in employee happiness. Employees are happier when they are recognized by their managers and their peers. Receiving praise, when deserved, is an intrinsic need of all humans.

The data is very clear, an employee recognition program, including a peer-to-peer component, is a great tool in your organization’s tool belt for your overall employee recognition strategy.  However, if not done correctly, there are issues that can pop up limiting their overall effectiveness.  Here are a few key areas to address when creating or evaluating a peer-to-peer program.

Rolling Out Your Recognition Program

If not properly rolled out and explained to your employees, you may experience a lack of participation and engagement.

  • Do your employees know that you have a peer recognition program?  Or if you are looking to create one, what is your plan for making them aware of it once implemented?
  • Do your employees understand the purpose behind your peer program?  What is your process for educating your employees about the vision and reasoning behind the program?
  • Do your employees know how to properly utilize your peer program?  How will you educate them on this?
  • These are just a few questions you’ll want to answer when implementing or evaluating your peer program to ensure maximum success and engagement of your employees.


Like anything else in recognition, your peer program is only as good as how well it is executed.  When starting a peer program or evaluating a current one, you’ll want to make sure you have clear rules and processes in place for the nomination process.

  • Do you have executive sponsorship for the program?
  • Who is eligible to nominate and to be nominated?
  • What are the values or behaviors that you are wanting to highlight or drive in the nomination process?
  • What do the approval and awarding process look like?

The better you answer these questions and have the appropriate processes in place, the better chance of engagement and excitement from your employees.


Evaluation of your peer to peer program goes hand in hand with the execution of it.  The only way to know if you’re executing it properly is if you have the appropriate tools to measure its success.

  • Do you have reporting capabilities to measure how many employees are using the program?
  • Do you have tools to allocate resources to each department/manager and the reporting capability to account for how they are used?
  • Do you have strong metrics and guidance in place to make sure nominations are warranted and driving important behaviors that you’ve identified as a company?

Identifying the Best Software Solution for your Peer Program

Before deciding on an employee recognition vendor, there are a number of questions that need to be answered before you engage with a vendor, such as:

  • Does your vendor have deep knowledge of best practices for successful employee recognition?
  • If needed, does the vendor provide global in-country gift fulfillment?
  • Who will be managing this program internally?
  • Does the solution provide the ability to combine multiple programs on one platform?
  • How easy is it for the program administrator to make changes to the program, and what ongoing support is available?
  • What is the user experience like? Will employees find it easy to use or a burden?
  • Can the software integrate with your other HRIS solutions to share data?
  • What is the vendor’s pricing model for the software?
  • How comprehensive is the report library and can I pull actionable information from the system?
  • What are the additional fees or charges you need to be aware of at startup and ongoing?

There are many other questions that need to be considered prior to selecting a vendor, and this FAQ resource can help you. Depending on the size of your company, your industry, or other factors, the solution you need to run an effective program will vary.

The bottom line is that peer to peer recognition programs can be an effective piece to an overall culture of recognition….when they are done correctly.  So, whether you are running a peer to peer program internally or utilizing a vendor, you will want to focus on your rollout, execution, and evaluation of that program.

Fortunately, there are many great software choices and vendors to help you get off the starting blocks, and depending on the size and complexity of your organization due diligence as to the vendors’ capabilities is a very important factor to consider in the overall success of your program. CoreCentive works with companies large and small and has solutions that fit most companies, but not all. If you would like to kick the tires and learn if we are a fit for each other, reach out, as we would be glad to have a conversation with you.