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Peer Recognition and Why It Matters

There should always be opportunities to laud our peers’ achievements and good work. One of the things I’ve noticed (at least here in America) is we tend to speak up about negative things and more quietly acknowledge the good. I want us to get better at publicly celebrating the success of our peers. IT Pro Day is nearly upon us, and this means there’s an opportunity to recognize our peers through the second annual awards. It’s a golden opportunity to nominate your favorite IT pro and give them the accolades they deserve.

Why Is Peer Recognition Important?

Though I’m firmly of the opinion your self-worth shouldn’t be determined by others’ opinions (I stand by this!), I believe recognition is valuable, especially from those we consider our peers. Why? Validation of a job well done, good feelings, peer respect, acknowledgement, a confidence boost, etc. are all positive things recognition can bring. Environments filled with peer respect and recognition foster better teamwork, help build better interpersonal relationships, and boost confidence, which can lead to better sharing of ideas and innovation. As quick as we can be to criticize, we should also be able to recognize a job well done. The past 18 months have been a new challenge for everyone, and they put a spotlight on IT that maybe wasn’t there before. This means IT has gotten recognition for its work in supporting the next normal—before, they may have remained in more of a supporting role. With this increased focus, there’s a lot of opportunity for increased visibility into ongoing projects, projects put on hold, etc. and an increased opportunity for businesses to highlight and celebrate their IT victories. However, recognition from a peer or group of peers can often feel more significant to an individual. My theory for this added significance has to do with how we think of our peers. Our peers often have a deeper insight into the challenges we overcome in our daily work than executives. We may have more respect for their opinions on our work due to this added insight and understanding. With our peers, we celebrate even small challenges overcome and commiserate on problems encountered. Recognition from a peer thus feels more personal.

IT Pro Day Awards

This month, I encourage you to assess your peers’ accomplishments over the last year—whether they’re new to the industry or veterans—by nominating them for an IT Pro Day Award (one or several!). Share the stories of their success over the last year and the hurdles they overcame. I encourage you to share these stories with us and with the nominee. Let them know their work has been noticed, appreciated, and lauded. Surely, you know someone worthy of being called the Rookie of the Year, IT Mentor of the Year, or Rockstar of the Year or someone worthy of the Trailblazer award. You just might turn their day/week/year around with a simple story of the impact they’ve made. We only give these awards out once per year, but I encourage everyone to be more giving with their appreciation. Let your peers know of the impact they’ve made on you or others. Put a bit more positivity out there. Cheers to you, IT pros, and all the wonderful work you do. Check out itproday.org for other fun ways to celebrate the IT pros in your life who help make a difference every day.
Chrystal Taylor
Chrystal Taylor is a dedicated technologist with nearly a decade of experience and has built her career by leveraging curiosity to solve problems, no matter…
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