The Lesson

I’m not a fan of hoarding stuff, but there are some things that I just can’t bring myself to throw away. For instance, in my desk, I keep a blue folder. It’s a special folder. A prized possession of sorts. The contents of that folder are very valuable. In fact, I sometimes wonder why I don’t have it in a safety deposit box. In just a moment, I’ll tell you what’s in that folder, but before I do, I want to share with you an article that I read this past weekend.

While surfing, I stumbled upon Brooks Mitchell’s article, Peer-to-Peer Recognition Really Works in Call Centers. In his article, Mitchell shares the story of a 200 seat call center and the peer-to-peer recognition taking place there. He notes, “Given an opportunity and a conduit, these barely minimum-wage, front-line customer service agents, when given the opportunity to recognize the people they worked with, put forth an average of 117 ‘thank-you notes’ per year.”

117 each.

That’s remarkable.

We’ve all seen bosses honor employees with certificates of appreciate, plaques of achievement, and the like. I’ve received that type of recognition, and I’ve supplied that type of recognition. While certificates and plaques are often much deserved and much appreciated, they don’t always have the same feel or hold as much meaning as the recognition we receive from our peers.

And, I should know. I have a blue folder stuffed full of thank-you cards and emails that I’ve received from my colleagues over the years — some dating back more than a decade!

Chances are you, too, have a blue folder with a few such notes and emails tucked inside. Why? Because deep down that peer-to-peer recognition touched us. We knew it was sincere, and we were proud to be recognized for our efforts. It inspired us. It motivated us. It made us smile then, and it still makes us smile today.

The Challenge

This week your challenge is to recognize the achievements of your peers or thank them for lending a helping hand. You could choose to Say Thanks (in writing), send them a personal email, or tell them face-to-face.

To foster teamwork through recognizing the achievements of others, you might consider implementing a team initiative using collector mentor’s Awesome High-Fives flyer. The concept is simple: print a couple hundred of these flyers on neon colored paper, distribute them to the team, and let the fun begin. To up the ante, why not challenge yourself with delivering one high-five a day for the next 117 days?

The Reflection

What is the most meaningful peer recognition that you have ever received? What made is so special?

You can share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Gary Jensen
Editor | collector mentor

To download companion worksheets to use with The collector mentor Challenge™, please visit

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