In a working world where many employees are disbursed from one another and value the opinions of their co-workers just as much (if not more) than they do senior executives, it’s hard to imagine why all recognition programs are not social.
Social recognition does more for businesses than traditional recognition. It’s more effective at improving employee morale, at encouraging employee collaboration, improving retention and at nurturing key talent. All of that increases employee engagement, which drives business performance. So what does social recognition do so well that other approaches don’t?
1/ It provides more feedback
One of the things that successful companies have in common is their commitment to providing an abundance of employee feedback. They know that feedback (more specifically, positive reinforcement) is the key to maintaining an employee’s focus and commitment.
When workers hear that their efforts are having a material impact on the company (and other employees within it) they feel more connected both to what they are doing and to the others they are doing it with. In fact, there are statistical correlations between the amount of feedback an employee receives and the business results they generate. Consider this for example: ”High performing” employees are over 200% more likely to say they regularly get recognized for their contributions.
Additional feedback is a natural byproduct of social recognition. One of the easiest (and most powerful) ways to increase the regularity of reinforcement a worker receives is to make everyone within the enterprise (from top level executives to front-line employees) active participants in the program.
And that’s exactly what social recognition does. It shatters the paradigm that recognition is entirely a manager-driven activity. In fact, holding on to the notion that praise should only come from higher ups is one of the biggest mistakes an organization can make.
Social recognition broadens both the range of feedback an employee receives as well as its frequency. And that has helped to establish recognition-driven ecosystems (environments where praise and appreciation can come from anyone at any time) across leading companies.
2/ It brings workforces together
For global companies that operate around common projects and purposes (and do so on a worldwide scale) social recognition is truly one of the best business tools available today. It makes participation in the recognition process more horizontal and more democratically driven; benefits that should not be overlooked in today’s work setting.
But social recognition does more than expand an organization’s recognition radius. It also expands its reach. Modern day workers are scattered around the world. They are not only more likely to work apart from one another; they are increasingly dependent upon each other for support and encouragement. Aided by digital tools, they commonly team up, interact and collaborate with one another. But they still need two things within their technical infrastructures; 1/the ability to acknowledge their co-workers along with 2/ the ability to do so from any place (near or far). Mobile, social recognition solutions do both.
Over two-thirds (69%) of employees who are physically separated from one another agree that the kind of communication and support systems that would keep them engaged in their work (and each other) are woefully lacking. And that has consequences: 50% feel disconnected from their colleagues.
The capacity of social recognition systems to exponentially improve employee engagement and business productivity is well-documented. It elevates the working experience for all. But it’s especially effective across virtual employees who now have the mechanism they need to give and receive appreciation from any of the company’s constituents they are involved with.