Peer to peer recognition


We all want to feel valued and recognized for good work and extra effort done.

We all know how good it feels when someone says some kind words for our work. And probably all of us have felt the feeling of disappointment when our efforts have left unnoticed.

I believe that recognition as a tool of motivation shouldn’t be solely left up to managers. For instance, Simply Talent polled about 1,500 employees across Europe and found that majority (42%) people felt that peers had the biggest influence on Employee Engagement level. It is understandable because no matter how big or small the team is managers can’t be around all the time and follow their people actions, but co-workers can.

Peer to peer recognition has several positive “side-effects”. For instance, according to SHRM/Globoforce study companies with peer to peer recognition have 35% more likely to report lower turnover.

So let’s get practical.

In case peer to peer recognition is so effective, then what kind of programs organizations could have? Should the program include verbal recognition, have nice handwritten ‘thank you’ note or should it be something more complicated?

Well, basically it is up to you to decide. But before you do that take your time and learn about best practices from other organizations.


JetBlue peer recognition program “Lift”

American airline JetBlue started with their peer recognition program, called “Lift” in 2012. Lift is an online social recognition rewards program that allows JetBlue’s crew-members (yes, this is how JetBlue calls their employees) to recognize each other.  Lift is accessible via smartphones, tablets, and computers. Globoforce )a social recognition software vendor) also designed a Lift mobile app that employees can download onto all their devices.

When crew-member receives recognition from a peer or a crew leader then other people in their workgroup can see that as well and add their comments and congratulations.

Lift program has proved to be really successful: for instance, JetBlue saw an increase in recognition satisfaction: 88 percent in just four months.

Thanks to the “Lift” program, JetBlue also won the J.D. Power award for customer satisfaction for the eighth year in a row.

JetBlue also discovered another significant impact that program had on people when comparing data from Lift program and annual people survey: crewmembers who had received at least six recognitions in a year tended to rate their job satisfaction higher than those who had been recognized fewer times.

SnackNation’s „Cruch-It“ call

The “Crush-It” Call is SnackNation’s (healthy snack vendor established in 2014) peer to peer recognition tradition.

Each Friday afternoon, the entire SnackNation’s team comes to one room. Together they do a tour around the room where every member needs to state two things. Firstly, they need to “crush” someone on the team whose work they want to recognize and why. Secondly, point out something they are grateful for.

They see crushing as a great way to create positive thinking and to recognize someone and to bring that person’s hard work to the attention of the entire team.

Proekspert’s “Give Kudos to your friend”

Estonian design and software company Proekspert that currently employs more than 150 employees uses peer to peer recognition program “Give Kudos to your friend“.

Kudos is a recognition system available in Propekspert’s intranet that allows recognizing colleagues by giving various gifts, such as spa gift cards, cinema tickets, a box of chocolates, energy packages etc. When the ticket is done (meaning recognition is made) then Office Fairy is the one that delivers magical gifts to the one who got recognized. On average there are about 4 Kudos given in one work week – which is quite a lot, considering the number of people working in the company.

All given Kudos are visible on screens as well on their intranet.

Tiina Saar-Veelmaa, Workplace Happiness Advocate in Proekspert explained: „The reason why we initiated this program is simple – often we do not notice the contribution that people are making. There are no managers in our company but thanks to this program we are informed about how our people are doing and how special they are.  We have sometimes been asked that don’t your people take advantage of the system: ’l will give you cinema tickets if you gave me a box of chocolate’. Well, this is out of the questions since honesty is one of our core values and embedded in our DNA.


What kind of peer to peer recognition do you use in your organization? Leave your comment to share your practices also with others!


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  1. I recognize the author of the article. If I would be a colleague or manager then I would suggest to motivate the author with the SPA package.

    More seriously now.

    The manager controls the key environmental factors necessary to motivate employees.

    The most significant factor, that the manager controls, is his or her relationship with each employee.

    The second most important factor in a manager’s ability to motivate employees is creating a work environment and organizational culture that fosters employee motivation and engagement.

    Why and what the manager is afraid of?

    Recognized employee wants a wage increase or is looking for a new job?

    Personnel managers and company owners. Everything depends on your choices. What do you value, what you are looking for.

    Good luck!


  2. Our peer to peer recognition system is called “Colleague of the month” and the person is picked by the anonymous votes given by the employees. When they vote, they also have to leave a reasoning and when announcing the winner, the kind words will also be read out loud in front of everybody and a gift card is also presented as a recognition.
    I have to say that for me as an HR-person, the feeling of seeing somebody being really grateful and sometimes even emotional for the recognition, it just makes the day 🙂


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