Getting peer recognition to take off – and stay aloft

Ensuring a program launched today doesn’t flounder tomorrow
By Johane Desjardins
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 05/07/2012

Most peer recognition programs start with a bang. Posters are tacked to the walls, special mugs and novelty items are placed on every desk overnight and the CEO makes an uplifting speech, inviting everyone to join him in recognizing the contribution of colleagues through the new platform.

In the early days, the positive energy is palpable. Employees respond to the launch with gusto and there’s a flurry of activity as they unleash pent-up feelings of appreciation. All the hard work of setting up the program pays off and it looks like a resounding success.

But, within a couple of weeks, the activity levels drop considerably. The excitement of the launch wanes and busy schedules get in the way. Some managers, unconvinced of the benefits of peer recognition, see the program as yet another fluffy HR initiative and don’t bother to participate.