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Employee Recognition On Social Media – The Great Debate!

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Employee Recognition On Social Media – The Great Debate!

Social media is used by people not only to stay connected but also to carry out business. That is why combining social media with employee recognition can help organizations boost engagement and improve collaboration within the workforce.

Social media has become an integral part of the day-to-day activities of most of the global workforce.

Most people spend anywhere between 30 minutes to 2-3 hours per day on various social media channels.

Hence, organizations should leverage the benefits of recognizing their employees on social media.  

What Does Employee Recognition on Social Media Mean?

Social-Visibility

Organizations often confuse social recognition with employee recognition on social media, although the two differ significantly.

Social recognition is more about acknowledging and appreciating employees for their good work and behavior in a social setup such as during team meetings or company events.

On the other hand, recognizing employees on social media is as simple as posting a story about their contributions, behavior, and achievements on various social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook.

Social-Media

Many organizations are still trying to figure out how to incorporate social media into their HR policies.

One such aspect is posting or allowing employees to post the awards they have received from the organization on their social media pages.

To start with, organizations should build a strong company page on the most relevant social media channels.

Then, they can start posting stories on these pages about their employees’ achievements and the recognition they have received.

This is a big deal for employees who spend hours every day on social media posting, liking, commenting, sharing, and chatting with their friends.

Work from Home

Employees would love to flaunt their awards on social media and soak up all the adulation (in the form of likes and comments) they might receive from their friends.

The satisfaction garnered from this social recognition might be far greater than that from the actual monetary value of the award itself!

Think of all the employer branding and referrals that this might help generate!

What’s the flip side? For starters, it might expose confidential information to the world – names of clients, important projects, etc.

With hundreds of friends on social media and thousands of friends of friends, one cannot be sure that all this information will not fall into the wrong hands – competitors, clients, regulatory authorities, and headhunters, to name a few.

Of course, the employee will be seen as someone with high potential and may be approached by a competitor!

Well, the debate continues…

What are the Benefits Of Employee Recognition On Social Media?

Recognizing employees on social media can prove greatly beneficial for organizations.

The most important benefits of adopting this method for employee rewards and recognition include the following:

Pros Of Employee Recognition On Social Media

1. Enhances Social Visibility

Enable Social Recognition for Innovators 

Employee recognition on social media helps spread the word about their excellent work.

This helps ensure greater visibility of their employees’ achievements in the public domain.

It provides a simple and effective platform to broadcast such recognition publicly.

2. Increases Employee Satisfaction

Performance and Productivity of Work from Home Employees

Being recognized on social media creates a sense of pride among employees by being valued by their organization in public.

This enhances their social standing among their family, friends, and connections and increases their sense of job satisfaction.  

3. Promotes Employee Engagement

Personalization

When organizations choose to recognize their employees on social media, they create opportunities for co-workers to interact with each other.

They can like, comment, and share the posts to congratulate the award winners.

This helps in building a positive culture and promotes employee engagement.

4. Strengthens Employee Bonding

Social Recognition as a Multiplier for Employee Recognition?

Employee recognition on social media goes a long way in improving communication and interaction between co-workers.

A simple like or comment on an employee’s social media recognition post can open up opportunities for strong social bonding and lifelong friendships between co-workers who might not have crossed paths before.

This helps build camaraderie and bonding within the workforce, eventually leading to better teamwork and collaboration.

5. Enhances Employer Brand Value

Employer Branding

Using social media to recognize employees goes a long way in enhancing employer brand value.

It sends out a positive message about employee-centric policies and culture prevalent within the organization to prospective employees

This can help the organization attract top talent, as they perceive it to be a good employer that recognizes the achievements of its employees.

6. Improves Employee Retention

Employee Benefits

Recognizing employees on social media can help improve talent retention due to increased workforce happiness and satisfaction.

Being recognized publicly fills the employees with a sense of pride and achievement.

This, in turn, strengthens their commitment and belonging to the organization. Such employees are more likely to stay with the organization for the long term.

What are the Negatives of Employee Recognition On Social Media?

Like everything else, recognizing employees on social media comes with its own set of disadvantages.

Understanding these cons can help organizations manage recognition policies more effectively and avoid these pitfalls.

The most critical of these disadvantages include the following:

Cons-Of-Employee-Recognition-On-Social-Media

1. Poaching Of Top Talent

Early Bird

One of the most significant drawbacks of recognizing employees on social media is that business competitors can become aware of the top performers within an organization.

This increases the risk of poaching of such employees by competitors, who can monitor the achievements of the top talent on social media.

They can then directly approach the employees with lucrative offers and induce them to switch jobs.

2. Breach Of Confidentiality

Measure The Impact Of The Program

Organizations or members of the workforce may inadvertently provide critical financial or technical information about the business while recognizing employees on social media.

This breach of confidentiality can have highly damaging consequences for the organization.  

It may provide a significant competitive advantage to competitors or even lead to legal action from clients or other parties.

3. Potential Compliance Issues

Safety Awards

Recognizing employees on social media may increase the risk of misuse of the platform in the form of negative comments by disgruntled members of the workforce or by ex-employees.

These compliance issues can profoundly negatively impact the morale of the award winners and other employees.

It can also create a negative image of the organization in the eyes of the public.

What are the Best Practices For Recognition On Social Media?

Organizations should follow certain best practices to fully leverage the benefits of recognizing their employees on social media and minimizing its pitfalls.

Here are a few such practices:

Best Practices For Recognition On Social Media

1. Have A Clear Social Media Policy

How to Build an Effective Business Case for Employee Recognition

Having proper rules and guidelines to ensure compliance while recognizing employees on social media is an absolute must.

Organizations need to have a clear social media policy that defines who can post what information on these channels.

This helps minimize the risk of vital information being unintentionally posted as part of these recognition announcements.

It is also advisable for organizations to have a process for regularly monitoring all social media posts related to the business.

2. Educate Employees About Social Media Behavior

Building a Culture of Appreciation through Employee Recognition

Organizations should educate their employees about the importance of minimum data sharing while recognizing their peers on social media.

Employees should be informed about the consequences of revealing the names of customers, suppliers, or other stakeholders sharing information about the company in these recognition posts.

The company’s social media policy should be communicated to all employees.

Through relevant training and interaction sessions, they should be made aware of the rules and guidelines of social media usage, including the DOs and DON’Ts.

This can ensure responsible behavior on social media platforms while recognizing their co-workers or commenting on such posts.

3. Integrate Employee Recognition Platform With Social Media

4 Key Benefits of Employee Rewards and Recognition Programs

Integrating the employee recognition platform with social media helps organizations minimize the risks of publicly sharing confidential data.

Typically, such platforms have features to ensure minimum data sharing while publishing the recognition posts on social media.

Some platforms might also have features for the moderation of recognition posts meant for social media by authorized personnel in the organization.

Wrapping Up

Organizations today are constantly looking for new and effective ways to reward and recognize their employees. Over the past years, digital technologies and platforms have gained much significance as they can help make recognition immediate and more impactful.

In this context, social media platforms have emerged as a great option for organizations to recognize their employees publicly.

Sagar Chaudhuri

Lead author: Sagar Chaudhuri, the Co-Founder and CEO of HiFives. He is an HR Tech Evangelist with over 25 years of corporate and entrepreneurship experience. In the past, Sagar has worked in leadership roles with companies such as Genpact, Infosys, and ICICI Bank. He has an engineering degree from IIT Kharagpur and an MBA from IIM Lucknow. Connect on LinkedIn

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HiFives is a global employee rewards, recognition and engagement SaaS platform that enables organizations to digitize, automate and transform their employee experience. It is used by 100+ large enterprises, small businesses and startups in manufacturing, retail, technology, financial services and media, across 25+ countries.