Throughout the year, try as I might not to, I notice the numerous ways celebrities have of recognizing and rewarding themselves and their peers. They may do it with a bit more glitz, glam and intoxication, but when it comes right down to it, these awards - the Oscars, the Grammys, the countless other ones I never learned the names of - are really just peer recognition programs. And I ask you, if people who make that much money and are theoretically already extremely engaged in their jobs have a peer recognition program, why doesn’t everyone?
To be honest, I think it has a lot to do with the culture of each workplace. In the entertainment industry, a strong recognition culture is the norm. People expect to be recognized - whether due to their own performance or for the strange contraption they’ve dressed themselves in - and once everyone is expecting that recognition, it becomes a lot easier to both give and get it.
Now strip out the frivolous reasons celebrities get so much recognition and translate a peer recognition program back to your actual workplace. How would it change if it became the norm to be recognized for your hard work and accomplishments that benefit the organization and all of its employees? What if every time a coworker helped you out or went above and beyond you had an easy way to send him/her a quick thank you and really express your appreciation?
More and more we are seeing companies looking for just that. Some of them are even mimicking the celebrities and modeling their peer recognition programs after the Oscars…complete with awards for Leading Role in a Team Environment, Best Role Model, Achievement in Profitability / Efficiency and Solo Performance in Customer Care. Efforts, in my opinion, much more worthy of praise.
While I may not have the interest or patience in watching the celebrity world pat each other on the back, I do believe that a well executed peer recognition program can go a long way in building a self sustaining recognition culture in the workplace…giving well deserved recognition to your hard workers and making for a much more supportive and engaged workplace.