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Recognition Programs for University Students

These days, large companies and organizations are improving the employee experience by creating a culture of recognition. Many of these have a budget for monetary rewards, while others rely on the social experience of peer-to-peer recognition.

Peer-to-peer recognition is when any member of an organization can send a message of thanks and/or recognition to any other member of the organization.

Here at WorkStride, we’ve discussed the benefits of this model in a business/enterprise setting, but does this work in a college or university environment?

Many universities have thousands of staff and faculty members, from teachers and librarians to student services and maintenance, with many other departments in between. The model of employee recognition could work in the traditional sense, with employees recognizing other employees, but what if we looped students into the mix? Would the system work?

Competitive Environments

In some areas of academia, both students and faculty are rather competitive. They work on their own projects and display mistrust of anyone not directly working with them. Incorporating recognition could be a crucial step in bridging teams and removing the toxic nature across research departments. By encouraging teams to congratulate each other for their hard work, researchers could experience less burnout.

Encourage Community Involvement

Create an award for students who get out there and give back to their community.  Students are naturally a social group. Like in nature, when one member of the herd does something positive, others will follow. If the school has a budget for rewards, they could set up a lottery style reward program for someone who was sent a community service award in a semester. Rewards will help with engagement with the program, as well as improve community involvement.

Study Groups Become Support Groups

Recognition doesn’t have to be for great deeds either. It can simply be a way for students to thank each other for helping to tutor each other, or to congratulate their peers for studying hard and getting good grades. If friends can follow each other on the program, they can be notified of each other’s achievements and echo the congratulations with likes and comments. When this is combined with the friendly nature of study groups, suddenly students have a team of peers cheering them on.

Teachers Can Congratulate Students On Projects

A good job from a teacher can go a long way. If a teacher thinks their student has gone above and beyond the necessary scope of an assignment, they can send a message of appreciation. If an entire class passed a test, a teacher could send a bulk message congratulating everyone on their group achievement.


If a school has a budget for rewards, they can either incorporate monetary rewards to their recognition program, or they can create a redemption option that is more appealing to students. Have you ever seen how quickly students line up for a free meal? Offer them experiences or food, and you will see a hike in program interaction.

Now with anything you put in front of students, you need rules. You don’t want such a program to be abused, after all. But with limitations and validation rules, you can make sure that messages of recognition are genuine and appropriate.

For more information on WorkStride’s Recognition offerings, go to here.

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