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Peer-to-peer recognition programs growing in popularity

Research by WorldatWork found that businesses are increasingly using peer-to-peer recognition to improve productivity and boost worker morale,

Companies in every industry are seeking various programs that will engage and motivate their staff members. For many organizations, the solution is employee reward and recognition programs, but these initiatives are gradually changing to reflect new realities in the workplace.

Research by WorldatWork found that businesses are increasingly using peer-to-peer recognition to improve productivity and boost worker morale, HR Reporter stated. These programs are generating strong results for organizations, as 67 percent of companies that use them say the programs have a moderate or high impact on retention, according to the survey. 

Peer recognition works because it helps build strong bonds between co-workers, which motivates individuals to do a better job. The more connected staff members feel to their teams, the more committed they become to seeing projects succeed. This contributes to greater cooperation between departments that can improve performance.

"It takes a lot of people to get a product launched from development to marketing to sales,"Jennifer Reimert, senior director of global compensation at Symantec, told Human Resource Executive Online. "There's such an acknowledgement when somebody outside your department recognizes you. When they know you value and acknowledge what they're doing, they'll work harder for you."

Using social media to improve initiatives
Organizations find that peer-to-peer recognition programs are low-cost tools for engaging employees, but they do require a significant amount of oversight to work properly. One of the keys to a successful initiative is the level of personalization that can be accomplished. Human Resource Executive Online noted that successful programs manage to avoid feeling artificial. Recognition should be spontaneous and heartfelt to have an impact. The website recommended incorporating social media tools as these sites let workers post photos, share stories and send thank you notes at any time. These networks also benefit recipients who may seek to avoid public recognition.

"A lot of people don't want the 'stand up in front of the crowd' acknowledgement," Roy Saunderson, president of the Recognition Management Institute, told the source. "I think we're going to get more personal in the delivery via the types of social-media technology that's becoming available."

Despite the ease at which messages can be shared through social media and other channels, businesses need to ensure their programs are having the desired effect. Business Management Daily stated that employee feedback is an essential part of ensuring a successful initiative. Soliciting input in the form of surveys or digital suggestion boxes can help executives craft employee recognition programs that work within their companies' culture. The right changes in how rewards are managed can have a big result in participation and engagement.

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