Rewarding and recognizing employees effectively is a top priority for all organizations looking to build a committed and engaged workforce. Hence, organizations are always looking for ways and means to enhance the impact of employee rewards and recognition. In fact, social recognition is one such method that has gained much popularity in recent years.
Social recognition is all about acknowledging and appreciating the efforts and contributions of employees in a social setting, either physical or digital. These could be team meetings, townhalls, company events, intranets, internal collaborations platforms such as Teams or Slack, email newsletters, or even social media posts. Social recognition focuses on highlighting the achievements of the employees to other employees or even to people outside the organization.
Recognizing employees socially is emerging as a potential game-changer for employee recognition programs. Making it integral to rewards and recognition programs can add tremendous value for organizations. It can become the key to building a thriving and inclusive work environment where employees feel valued and appreciated.
So, how can social recognition become a potential multiplier of the impact of employee recognition program? Here goes.
Getting recognized socially amplifies the self-esteem and pride for employees. The social visibility of the recognition, in front of their co-workers only boosts their happiness and satisfaction of getting rewarded. Hence, the perceived value of the recognition received increases manifold.
Social recognition goes a long way in boosting the intrinsic motivation of employees. When employees feel inspired internally, the impact of any extrinsic rewards increases several times. Hence, recognizing employees socially can enhance their motivation and commitment significantly.
Recognizing socially makes other employees aware of the achievements and the efforts of their co-workers who have got them the recognition. It inspires them to work towards emulating their performance and achievements. This can set in motion, a virtuous circle of high performance and social recognition, that can fuel productivity and business growth.
There is no better way to promote employee loyalty and commitment than recognizing them socially. It assures employees that the organization takes pride in their achievements and is willing to show them off. Hence, it enhances their sense of comfort, security and satisfaction about their employer and encourages them to stay on.
By recognizing their employees socially, organization can build trust and genuineness around employee recognition. Highlighting employee achievements publicly helps provide other employees a clear understanding of why their peers deserve the recognition. Hence, it casts away any doubts or distrust that they might have about the fairness of the recognition program.
When employees in an organization receive recognition socially, it increases their visibility across teams. Therefore, it can promote team work and even cross-functional collaboration. This can boost the overall efficiency and productivity of the workforce.
Social recognition helps in creating a culture of positivity. It encourages supervisors and employees to recognize their co-workers openly without any fear or hesitation. Appreciation becomes a cultural norm across the organization. It helps build a positive work environment with high level of mutual appreciation, respect and trust.
Employees working remotely develop greater connect with their co-workers and their organization, when they receive recognition socially. It helps in bridging the gap in the emotional connect among remote employees due to the lack of physical proximity. It also makes them feel truly valued and integral to the organization, despite operating in isolation.
Employee recognition especially when done publicly on social media can help enhance the employer brand value of the organization significantly. It sends out a strong positive message that the organization values its employees and appreciates them for their contribution. This can provide it with an edge while trying to attract top talent from the industry.
For organizations to maximize the benefits of making social recognition an integral part of the employee rewards program, it is important to implement and execute it in the right manner.
So, here are a few best practices of recognizing employees socially, that organizations should follow:
Organizations should look at recognizing their top performing employees during floor huddles, team meetings, townhalls, annual events, etc. They should also look at organizing dedicated recognition events such as award ceremonies on a regular basis.
Those organizations that have workforce that are geographically dispersed or working remotely, should utilize digital platforms such Zoom, Teams and Google Meet to organize virtual award ceremonies as part of regular meetings or as separate events.
Whether online or offline, it is important to offer social recognition consistently to make it more impactful. Organizations need to focus on recognizing the efforts and achievements of employees in a public setting on a regular basis.
Also, organizations should encourage their managers and supervisors to recognize their team members publicly for exceptional performance as and when they happen.
The involvement of the top leadership can provide the right visibility to employee recognition. This could be in the form of an all-employee email from the CEO’s desk, announcing the award winners for the quarter. Or a member of the top management felicitating the best performers in a townhall or an all-hands meeting.
Organizations need to ensure that maximum number of employees are able to attend these recognition events, whether physical or digital. A large-scale award ceremony should be planned either as a part of a townhall or all-hands meeting or a standalone event.
If a significant number of employees are working from home or from other locations, video or web conferencing should be considered. This can maximize the visibility for those employees who receive recognition during these events. So that other employees can become aware of their achievements and feel inspired.
Empowering and enabling employees to recognize their peers and co-workers is another effective way to make the program more impactful. Peer-to-peer recognition is a great way to drive social recognition. It enhances the level of employee engagement and paves the way for a more pleasant and positive work environment.
Investing in a good employee recognition software can boost the effectiveness of social recognition. Such platforms make the process of recognition easy and seamless for supervisors and peers.
In fact, the recognition updates can be published on these platforms instantly and made visible to employee across the organization. Most platforms include a virtual wall of fame where all the award winners are showcased. They might also include a virtual leaderboard where the top winners are showcased.
Most organizations today use collaboration tools such as Intranets, Slack, Teams, Workplace, etc. for efficient communication within the workplace. Hence, broadcasting about the achievements or contributions of employees is a great way to recognize them socially.
This works well especially when the organization has a significant number of employees working remotely or across multiple locations. When the digital recognition platform is integrated with internal communication platforms, the updates about recognition can be propagated across the organization quickly and seamlessly.
Social visibility need not be limited to employees of the organization only. Social media is one of the best ways to highlight the good work and achievements of employees to a larger audience outside the organization.
The recognition can be posted on different social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. using the company social handles. Even employee recognition platforms can be integrated with social media, enabling employees to share their rewards and recognition using their personal social handles. Sharing pictures or videos of employee recognition events on social media is also a good idea.
Also, organizations can look at using LEDs and other display units in prominent areas of their workplaces to showcase their top achievers. Posters, banners, standees, tent cards, etc at different places such as entrance lobbies, pantries, cafeterias, work areas, etc. are other options. Creating a physical wall of fame showcasing the award winners and ‘thank you’ boards are ideas also worth considering.
Additionally, organizations can think of recognizing their top performers on their corporate websites to maximize public visibility.
Social recognition is an effective tool for creating a culture of high performance and appreciation. It can boost employee morale, productivity, and engagement. Hence, recognizing employees socially is a key step towards creating a great work environment and driving business growth.
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