According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the turnover rate in the U.S. has consistently remained at just under 2% per month for nearly a decade. Without concentrating on the specifics of why so many employees uproot from the companies they so firmly believed would be an ideal fit, I believe there is more value in discussing the importance of peer recognition, and the incredible impact and drive it can evoke among your team to help reduce turnover.
What is peer recognition? While there is not a technical or clear definition of the concept, the idea is nothing new to organizations, companies and professionals everywhere. Many companies employ structured peer recognition programs to facilitate retention and engagement among employees, and while tailored programs are undoubtedly beneficial, you can and should also take the basic steps as the leader of your team to encourage peer recognition in small ways on a daily basis.
Perhaps you’re asking why?
Peer Recognition Encourages Motivation
The ultimate way to encourage motivation among a team is to ensure that your team members feel highly valuable and fundamental to reaching a long-term goal. Otherwise, you may find that your employees start to seek out another company where they can contribute greater value.
As humans, it is intrinsic in us to strive for improvement every day, and this spills over into our professional lives as well. Many of us eagerly await performance reviews to receive notice of a merit increase, and to obtain what will hopefully be positive feedback on the ongoing work we produce every day. By letting peer recognition fall outside the realm of performance reviews, we allow positivity to freely flow, and encouragement begins to make a positive impact in every situation throughout the work day.
Instead of giving your employees positive feedback only when it is expected, provide them with the opportunity to recognize each other when they witness something great occurring. Likewise, make the time and extra effort as the leader of your team to remind each individual on your team that the work they are doing is creating lasting value, even when the work seems tedious and discouraging.
It Promotes Company Culture
Company culture is crucial to fashioning content employees. If you have ever worked for an organization that lacked the fundamental culture and values that helped you grow as both an individual and professional, you are likely shaking your head in agreement.
Similar to how we all have different personalities, every company has a culture that is specifically their own, and while certain personalities will mesh better with certain companies than others, you should always do your part as a leader to make sure your employees feel like they have chosen a trusted environment that will allow them to flourish and grow.
Peer Recognition is a vital first step in creating the trusted environment that we all seek out in a prospective company. Encourage those around you, generously hand out individual reminders that you notice the hard work paying off and don’t allow negativity to outweigh the positivity under any circumstance. Once you do this, you will begin to notice the individual personalities of employees who feel both valuable and content with the organization they are serving.
Peer Recognition at Copart
In order to promote peer recognition, I enable my team to choose a teammate every month that deserves recognition for their outstanding hard work and dedication to our marketing department. In addition, my team makes it a point every two weeks to sit down in a group and discuss our individual big wins, how those wins contribute to a much larger company vision, and what distinct goals we have each set for ourselves for the weeks to come. Not only does this process keep us all accountable, it also opens the conversation to relay our congratulations to the teammates who have been working hard to further our team and company as a whole.
Peer recognition will help to educate your team on every individual’s contribution, and it will also open the line of communication for everyone to give and receive valuable feedback. Additionally, peer recognition facilitates a deeper understanding of the exclusive skill set that each team member possesses, and how all of those skill sets can operate cohesively.
If you have yet to implement small acts of peer recognition into your organization, specific team, or wherever your realm of influence lies, I encourage you to do so in order to enjoy the benefits that will undeniably follow.