Making Recognition “Sticky”

August 18, 2015
| ByMike Ryan

Marketeering pros call memorable ads “sticky,” because the message “sticks” with their targeted audiences long after they’ve been delivered. The staying power is what separates effective campaigns, but should that same “stickiness” standard apply to employee recognition? Can recognition be delivered in a way that’s more meaningful and thus resonates longer with the employee?

The answers are yes and yes and the solution lies in social recognition.

Employees value the opinions of coworkers just as much, if not more so, then senior managers. Using social recognition to encourage and promote the type of peer-to-peer reinforcement that workers crave is one way to make sure recognition sticks. Another is to align activities, messages and objectives with the core beliefs that employee’s share—those attitudes that define the collective vision and culture of your company.

When employees see themselves, as a viable part of your ecosystem, the recognition they receive from each other tends to have a greater impact. It stays with them longer because they identify with the givers along with the things they stand for.

Studies show that marketing tends to be “stickiest” when the message is perceived as relatable, when it’s delivered in a context that people connect with and by a source they identify with and trust.

All of that applies to social recognition. In fact the “sticky” formula should be a big part of your employee recognition strategy. Social recognition does just that. It delivers a higher level of relatability and gives the messages within the staying power your program needs.

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