The Importance of Peer Recognition

Round wood table with coffee mug and thank you post card
Sarah McAloon

Employee Experience Manager

Sarah McAloon

Employees love to receive praise and moral support for their work. The good news? Recognition is easy to give! However, the challenge often lies in actually remembering to give teammates a ‘pat on the back’ when recognition is due.

All too often, people fall into the habit of overlooking consistently great work when they become accustomed to it and consider it the “norm.” This especially hits hard in a fully remote environment. There are no office high fives, thanking a peer in-person, or even dropping off a thank you note or a gift.

So, why is peer recognition important?

Acknowledging peers fosters a more collaborative team culture that instills a sense of camaraderie, motivates employees to do great work, and promotes openness and transparency. When an individual acknowledges a colleague, the recipient knows that they have gone out of their way to show appreciation which makes the feedback seem much more authentic and heartfelt.

Research shows that employees have a deep desire for recognition, with 93% hoping to be recognized at least once a quarter, according to a recent Achievers’ study. The study also found 75% of employees who received at least monthly recognition (even if informal) reported being satisfied with their jobs. Recognition in this form provides the recipient with a feeling that they really are doing meaningful work and making an impact. In turn, this can bolster an employee’s confidence and self-esteem.

How we recognize fellow DockYarders

In August, we rolled out the first DockYard Peer Recognition Program — in tandem with the launch of our company store, which offers DockYard branded goodies (like shirts, socks, and mugs) and gift cards to popular retailers.

DockYard’s Peer Recognition Program entails:

  1. Employees are encouraged to recognize one another’s extraordinary contributions through the lens of our core values — exceptional experience, versatility, authenticity, empathy, and responsibility — and submit those nominations to the Employee Experience team.
  2. Once processed, nominees receive an email congratulating them on their award which also includes the name of the gifter, the positive feedback they submitted, and their reward (which comes in the form of “DockYard Dollars”).
  3. The gift is then automatically added to the recipient’s DockYard store account, which they can use towards company swag or e-gift cards available in the store. They can choose to spend their reward as they receive it or save up!

Since the roll out of the program, we’ve experienced more peer-to-peer feedback and a greater understanding of our core values and what they look like in practice day-to-day. The program continues to be successful and will continue to evolve!

Peer-to-peer recognition programs help reinforce a positive company culture and — it just so happens — company culture is very strongly correlated with employee happiness. In addition, the element of surprise from peer recognition can have a very powerful impact.

Have you recognized a peer today? Don’t underestimate how much peer recognition can mean to people (especially because it comes from the heart)!

DockYard is a digital product agency offering custom software, mobile, and web application development consulting. We provide exceptional professional services in strategy, user experience, design, and full stack engineering using Ember.js, React.js, Ruby, and Elixir. With a nationwide staff, we’ve got consultants in key markets across the United States, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago, Austin, New York, and Boston.


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