Organizations are moving at lightning speeds, laser-focused on goals and often have little or no time to celebrate and appreciate the small efforts from their team. Taking the time to recognize peers often gets missed and can be a huge mistake in maintaining healthy company morale. Keep reading to see how we leveraged a peer-to-peer recognition program to boost our company’s morale.

Zilla-to-Zilla Peer Recognition

In 2016, we implemented a peer-to-peer recognition program through Bonusly. We wanted a visible platform that allowed employees to openly recognize one another for their great work. 

Whether collaborating on an inbound marketing strategy or deploying a large development build, we wanted our team members to have the ability to gift each other with currency to say, “thank you.”

How Bonusly Works

  • Choose a customized name for your currency (we picked “Zoinks”).
  • Determine the monthly allotment granted to each team member (we settled at 100).
  • Use ‘em or lose ‘em! The Zoinks you can gift to others get replenished at the start of each month.
  • Zoinks you receive from peers get added to your electronic bank and can be spent on things like iTunes, Starbuck gift cards, mystery gifts and more!
  • You can create custom rewards for your team and determine the value of that prize. For example, we have “lunch with the CEO” and “half-day PTO”.

We further customized our peer-to-peer recognition program by focusing on the Designzillas’ core values. We can measure how team members are demonstrating these values in their day-to-day activities.

Each quarter we measure our five core values: 

  1. Passion
  2. Creativity
  3. Integrity
  4. Excellence
  5. Partnership

When sending Zoinks to a peer, you can add images, gifs and hashtags in the post that correspond to each of our core values or another attribute that’s being tracked. You can also comment, react or add on to others’ posts. Here’s what that looks like.

peer-to-peer recognition

Quick Stats:

  • Last quarter, excellence and partnership were the top two core values recognized.
  • Maddie and Danielle tied for demonstrating the value of excellence.
  • Gage received the most Zoinks for demonstrating partnership.
  • We also had a wild card value, #levelup which resulted in a three-way tie for Gunnar, James and Jeff.

Some other attributes we track include #teamwork, #problem-solving, #mentoring and #innovation. We added the #levelup challenge to recognize peers that are specifically leveling up in their skills and knowledge base. At the end of each quarter, we acknowledge the top overall receivers and announce them in our quarterly summit meeting.

Results of Our Peer-to-Peer Recognition

The results have been incredible. Employee morale boosted due to the celebration of all the mini-victories that lead up to the big wins. Every person in the relay race feels valued and appreciated, not just the last one carrying the baton.

This has been so well received by the team and is a fun way for gratitude to be shared across departments (and not just from a leadership top-down approach).  It’s also been inspiring to see the new hashtags and values that have organically emerged amongst the team.

This is our fourth year using this peer-to-peer recognition tool and we can easily see the positive impact on our team morale. We’re excited to continue measuring our core values (and Zoinking the heck out of one another)!

blog author


Kat Hughes

Director of Client Partnerships at Designzillas, Kat develops dynamic user experience strategies that allow businesses to be more effective with engaging with their customers online!

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