A Guide to Peer Recognition in 2023 + (Inside Slack)

A Guide to Peer Recognition in 2023 + (Inside Slack)

Have you ever received a shoutout from a peer or colleague of yours? How did you feel?

That great feeling you felt, was the release of a hormone called oxytocin, running through your bloodstream, firing up your nerves and slowly moving your facial muscles, and causing that million-dollar smile to appear.

That smile is the secret weapon every company wants to possess.

It spreads like wildfire across the office where one happy colleague can contagiously radiate productivity, engagement, and excitement to another colleague.

Before you know it… You have an engaged team willing to go the extra mile 🏆

What is Peer Recognition?

Peer Recognition is the act of empowering your teams to appreciate one another for helping you or going the extra mile. By making this a regular habit, you’re able to build a culture of appreciation that improves employee retention, engagement, and collaboration!

From a young age, we seek appreciation from our parents, elder siblings, and teachers. As a student, it’s great to see an A+ on your exam paper, but it’s even better to see meaningful words of affirmation from your parents (and even the potential rewards that they may have incentivized us with). This helps us go further and fuels our appetite to be inspired and motivated.

Stepping into adulthood and the workplace, not much changes. Everyone desired to feel wanted and appreciated.

Why is Peer Recognition Important?

As quiet quitting looms in the air, the blue bird drags its feet back into the office and employers review their budgets under a microscope, companies are worried about disengaged employees.

When one team member becomes disengaged, this too can spread like a disease and contagiously infect your team causing employees to become unproductive and demotivated - until they eventually decide it’s time to write up their resignation letter.

💰 Does More Pay = Higher Engagement?

Can you paint a permanent smile across your teams faces with a pay rise?OC Tanner surveyed 1.7 Million employees to understand “what motivates them to produce great work”

Many traditional leadership styles would believe that nothing makes an employee happier than throwing around a salary rise. Contrary to their belief, the results showed:

  • Only 7% responded with “Pay me more”
  • Whereas 37% responded with “Recognize me more often”

3 Benefits of Peer Recognition:

💪 Build stronger teams and relationships:

How can small notes of appreciation create big smiles for our colleagues?

The science behind this is pretty simple. Kindness is a chemical called Oxytocin.

Out of the 50 hormones in the human body, when someone exhibits acts of kindness, the human body will release Oxytocin, which will help you become friendlier, more generous, and even lower your blood pressure!

📈 Reinforce the behavior you want to see #CulturalValues

Executives and HR professionals spend countless hours carefully constructing their organization's values…

But who actually remembers them? Do you know your company's values?

Probably not.

That’s not your fault. It’s natural. During the recruitment process companies flash shiny objects called “company values” in front of you, but after you join they become a distant memory.

If you’re like most companies, you want your values to be a daily conversation amongst teams.

Companies use social recognition platforms that let you recognize somebody when they represent your core values.

So the next time we acquire a new client and everyone shows great teamwork, we can tag our company value #collaboration and write a customized note

When the recognition is posted on a public channel, the entire team can see your organization's values and see a real-life example of it in action!

Reduce employee turnover and improve retention 🚀

We spend one-third of our lives at work. 8 hours working, 8 hours leisure, 8 hours sleeping. Let that sync in…

While establishing a financial incentive is great, the absence of an emotional connection (disengaged teams) can be the fastest route to employee resignations.

Josh Bershin found that companies with “recognition-rich cultures” were able to reduce voluntary turnover rates by 31%.

The average cost per employee turnover is $15,000. If companies were willing to invest just a fraction of this into recognition programs they could retain more talent and save much more.

If Recognition is done correctly (not just handing out gift cards) you will experience fewer surprise resignations and reduce negative Glassdoor reviews.

P.S. - We also strongly suggest letting your team share anonymous feedback in Slack, so you can intercept employee challenges early and resolve them before they take a toll on your workforce!

How to build a successful Peer Recognition Program:

Peer Recognition Ideas:

The best peer recognition platforms, ideas, and initiatives are designed to help employees appreciate one another regularly.

Therefore a platform needs to be a) Easily accessible b) Fun and collaborative c) Offer valuable insights

Bring recognition to your teams inside Slack!

The average employee switches between apps and websites 1200 times per day. Every time they switch, they come across the “toggle tax” which is the time it takes for your brain to readjust and get its bearings.

This means the average team member spends 4 hours per week or 9% of their working year switching between apps!

The more apps and fancy platforms you add to your company, the more switching will take place. Your team will continue to lose time and eventually forget about using another platform.

Does that mean we should stop implementing new platforms?

No!

However, it does mean that we need platforms that seamlessly integrate into your flow of work.

For example, If Slack is the hub of communication where your team lives and breathes daily. Why not use apps that bring Peer Recognition directly into Slack?

Make people aware of it:

This may seem obvious, but you would be surprised how many companies forget about this. Purchasing a recognition platform is simply the first step. To incentivize people to use the platform you need to talk about it!

Bring it up in meetings: During your team meetings, take time to praise your top 3 Feedback givers and receivers!

Get involved: If you make it a big deal, it’s a big deal. Your team is a lot more likely to use the platform if they see you and the leadership team regularly using it

Activate Feedback Fridays: Some Slack platforms that integrate with Slack will let you create customized reminders, with friendly GIFs that are sent every week or month. This will help make recognition a habit for your team!

Incentivize your team with gamification:

Who doesn’t love gamification?

Points, incentives and leaderboards (if done correctly) can create the perfect habitat for your team to thrive and recognize one another.

Add in points: With each recognition, let your team share points with the recipient. Over at Incognito, we let team members share one, two or three claps 👏👏👏 (our fun point system) with each shoutout!

Celebrate your Feedback Givers during meetings: Feedback givers are the ones who help peer recognition thrive. They are constantly pumping value into your company culture. Without them, peer recognition would fall apart. That’s why it’s important to celebrate them during meetings!

Celebrate your Feedback Receivers during meetings: During meetings, it’s a good idea to shine the spotlight onto the top feedback receivers, explaining and celebrating how they got there. As you do this, you will naturally reinforce the behaviors you want to see from the rest of the team!

Put those points to use with rewards: It’s a great feeling to be able to take the positive feedback you’ve received and given to redeem custom rewards 🎁

Reward ideas:

To help you brainstorm a few ideas for Peer Recognition rewards, we’ve made a small list that you could use for your team.

💪 Wellness:

  • Annual subscriptions to Noom or Headspace
  • Bring the outside inside with a desk plant
  • Make your home-office a stress free zone with a diffuser
  • Get in a workout with a Fitbit from us!
  • You grow, we grow - learning course of your choice.

🥑 Food:

  • Uber Eats (on us!)
  • Dinner with a colleague!

🔥 Give to others!

  • Donate to a charity
  • Give a colleague a half day Friday!

🪨 Experience:

  • Rock climbing for 2
  • Work from anywhere (Air BnB voucher)

👏 Non-monetary:

  • Bring your dog to workday
  • Leave early on Friday
  • Work from another office - 30 days!

The best Slack integrated Peer Recognition Platform:

After selecting your rewards, the final step is to find the perfect peer recognition platform that integrates into your team's daily flow of work.

Are you using Slack?

Then it may be worthwhile considering Incognito: Peer Recognition!

Incognito is a Slack-first feedback platform that helps teams build a culture of appreciation and solve challenges early with anonymous leadership feedback so you can improve employee retention and improve your public Glassdoor rating.

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