“No man is an island,” said the English poet John Donne.
He may have said these memorable words many years back, but these words still hold true, especially in the workplace.
At work, we often rely on our colleagues to guide us, give us feedback, and provide emotional support in times of need. Sometimes, they even inject humour to make the workplace more pleasant. In a nutshell, colleagues can make the good times better and the bad times tolerable.
Likewise, the power of peer recognition should not be underestimated. Peer recognition refers to the act of acknowledging another employee’s efforts or achievements.
The benefits of appreciating your peers
There are multiple benefits to recognising your co-workers.
Firstly, research has shown that appreciating someone can make them happier. When we thank someone, the happy hormone oxytocin is released. Doing so may also encourage your colleagues to reciprocate, creating a virtuous cycle where everyone’s contributions and efforts are valued.
Thirdly, social recognition is a powerful motivating factor. A report commissioned by the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) emphasised the importance of social recognition as a tool that intrinsically motivates and rewards employees.
“Organisations should also not underestimate the importance of ad-hoc practices such as thank you notes, verbal praise in front of peers, simple acknowledgement of a job well done and opportunities to attend industry conferences,” the report noted.
In the same report, insurance company Aviva Limited was cited as a good example as they implemented a programme called ‘Caught in the Act’ for staff to thank their peers who have gone the extra mile at work. Every staff can nominate a colleague or a team member for the programme. In 2017 alone, the company saw the number of nominations increase by 113% year-on-year.
Another company that is leveraging on the power of social recognition is DBS. The bank uses a peer recognition programme aptly named ‘iTQ (I Thank you) and “WeTQ (We Thank You) that allows staff to thank and motivate each other for their achievements.