If a business recognized and measured innovation, what do you imagine it could achieve? That’s what Eric Mosley and Derek Irvine ask in “Winning with a Culture of Recognition.” They ask us to envision an organization in which innovation and creativity are the total focus – acknowledged, rewarded, and quantified so that executives, managers and peers all recognize and reward the same things. They ask us to imagine tweaking innovation with measurements, promoting it where it happens and improving those areas in which it is lacking. Mosley and Irvine ask: “What do you think would happen in that organization?”
Their answer is that the organization would change to become more innovative and the focus of all this measurement and recognition, innovation, is directed to achieving the goals of the business. That’s what peer-to-peer recognition does. It focuses the organization on the tools it needs to achieve business goals.
Peer-to-Peer Recognition as a Culture
Creating a culture that promotes respect and appreciation requires peer-to-peer recognition to work. You can’t focus everyone’s attention and efforts on recognition without allowing, encouraging, and enabling people to recognize everyone’s efforts, both up and down the corporate organizational chart. Recognition that is only allowed a narrow avenue, for example, only recognizing top sales achievements, is short-lived and lopsided. More importantly, it won’t capture the hearts and minds of everyone because it doesn’t include and involve everyone.
Mosley and Irvine explain that peer-to-peer commendation, as part of a culture of recognition, trumps the annual performance appraisal process in several important ways. Encouraging peers and managers to regularly acknowledge efforts and achievements that meet business goals as they happen – instead of infrequently, like once a year – is an effective and ongoing way to improve performance and business success. It creates a lot of data for the actual performance review, as supervisors and managers can point to what has been recognized most or where there has been little or no recognition throughout the year.
The Wow! Workplace
In “The Wow! Workplace,” Mike Byam talks about recognition as “vital” to winning employee loyalty and creative effort and achieving organizational goals. He claims that the best managers include comprehensive or strategic recognition in their approach to leadership, understanding the inherent return on investment of their efforts. For every dollar or hour spent on recognition, employers can expect as much as five times back. He calls taking the time to honor a worker’s or co-worker’s contribution “absolutely essential to effective management.”
Byam goes on to explain that informal and enhanced recognition, including peer-to-peer recognition, has its place as a no-brainer. He says it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand the value of employee recognition. He reminds employers not to forget that the most effective recognition comes from all levels of the organization and to provide opportunities for employees to recognize each other, management, and even customers and vendors. The more recognition there is, the more powerful it will be.
Peer-to-Peer Recognition Builds Employees’ Sense of Ownership
Tai Aguirre argues peer-to-peer recognition drives a sense of ownership in his article, “How and When to Start a Peer-to-Peer Recognition Program”.
“In a very real sense, employees operating their own recognition and rewards system is a type of employee ownership—a type of stock ownership and shared capitalism. The latest research findings on the benefits of employee ownership coincide with the results using peer-to-peer recognition. The trust, respect, fairness, and pride index goes up. Your company becomes recognized as a great place to work with lower turnover.
So as you build a strategic culture of respect and recognition, be sure to consider providing opportunities for peer-to-peer recognition. Giving employees the power to Wow! when they see their peers performing at a higher level and achieving company goals motivates others and raises overall performance levels. Make the recognition public and you’ll increase its impact.
For more on building a culture of respect and appreciation in your workplace, download our FREE Guide to Workplace Gratitude. Click the image below and start sharing your gratitude today!
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