The Power of Peers: They May Be THE Most Powerful Means for Engagement

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Sep 30, 2015
This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.

Want to know how to engage employees? Perhaps the best (and obvious) answer is to ask the employees.

Oracle did just that. Results of their survey were recently published in Personnel Today. Here are the key excerpts.

Who has greater influence on employee engagement:

  • 42 percent say peers;
  • 21 percent say line managers;
  • 7 percent say unit managers;
  • 3 percent say HR.

Peers have more impact than managers

What would most drive employee engagement:

  • 53 percent say recognition for their achievements;
  • 35 percent say greater understanding about their contribution to the company.

Peers impact the engagement of others far more than even their own managers can. And knowing “what I do is noticed and matters to others” encourages me to increase productivity and serve customers better.

The good news is that a strategically designed social recognition program accomplishes all of these goals.

Peers are encouraged to notice and appreciate the great work of their colleagues, giving managers and HR many more “eyes” to catch someone doing something good and praise them for it. Recognition is designed to be detailed and specific, conveying to the recipient how he or she demonstrated a core value or desired behavior and how that effort helped the giver, the company, or the customer.

How HR can help

Loïc Le Guisquet, president of Oracle for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Asia Pacific regions, concurs:

Employees feel engaged by their peers and HR can help encourage this by providing access to sharing and collaboration platforms and social tools. But employee expectations are also changing fast, particularly those of Millennials.

They want recognition and feedback and they want it consistently. HR can deliver this through technologies that provide managers with a more up-to-the minute view of their employees, which in turn encourages a more personalized, rewarding dynamic between them.”

The most effective way HR can support employee engagement is by helping employees recognize and appreciate each other’s efforts. Why would we hesitate in facilitating that kind of desirable behavior?

Creating connections and relationships

Indeed, in her most recent Data Point Tuesday post, China Gorman pointed to a report from Interact Authentically that ended with this comment:

We cannot forget our most basic core goal in business: to create connections and relationships. Today’s frontier is not the technology required to run a global company – it is applying technology while bringing along the nurturing, engaging aspect of human communication.”

What’s holding your organization back from facilitating easy yet meaningful recognition and appreciation, thereby building relationships and human connections in your workplace?

You can find more from Derek Irvine on his Recognize This! blog.

This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.
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