Some of the things that tend to happen at this time of the year: horrid hangovers, suspect sartorial decisions, weightier waistlines, and for a lot of organisations, annual award ceremonies.

The most powerful change we have made to recognising and celebrating our best people was introducing our peer to peer award a few years ago. It is an exceedingly simple but massively impactful process which is as follows:

1. Decide on your voting criteria, we use these three. 
  1. Went over and above on behalf of the company
  2. Helped you personally
  3. Simply displayed great leadership when it was needed 
2. Create a poll asking people to recognise the two people who they think met or exceeded the criteria, and most importantly, to include a sentence or two on the reason for their vote
3. Set a time to reveal the results. The first person gets 10 points and the second 5 (we exclude their managers from the vote)

There is usually very little resistance from staff, especially now that polls can be easily created over any messaging service – people like to recognise people and given the chance to say why they chose which colleague to celebrate, generally take the time to say lovely things.

There is no limit to the number of people you celebrate, with larger teams, you could hand out awards to the top five winners. We have a small team so we recognise the top 2, both receiving prizes at our annual get together. The largest impact, over any prize given, however, is the reading out of the comments their colleagues have made about them. There is something special that happens when someone is recognised by their peers instead of their manager, something that brings the team closer together and instantly improves the culture of the organisation. All of that and it is a lot of fun to boot!

We are more than happy to chat about the process if you get in touch and bring some coffee.