As online social interaction has become a part of our daily personal lives, businesses too are seeing the benefits of incorporating and encouraging online social activity, for staff communications and as a recognition and motivational tool; this is more commonly known as ‘social recognition’.
Early adopters are discovering that social recognition programmes can have a hugely positive impact on an organisation, on many levels. For example, staff morale will improve, people are more likely to work harder, staff turnover rates decline, and there is more team spirit – all of which creates a positive working environment that people want to be a part of.
Used smartly, social communication in the workplace can have a significant impact on individuals and teams alike through empowerment, motivation and inclusion.
It can empower staff members by providing a means of communicating thoughts, offering input, asking for advice and sharing success stories. It is especially effective in large corporations with staff split across different floors (or even multiple sites or countries) because interaction becomes instant and team members can benefit from sharing diverse experience and contributions without delay.
Online social activity can be used very successfully as a motivational tool in the workplace. The ability to praise and nominate staff members through an online portal is an extremely inclusive approach. The immediacy of its functionality is an obvious benefit, as good work can be instantly acknowledged and shared company-wide, raising profiles and promoting the feel-good factor for those involved.
For management it’s a really quick and easy way to recognise staff, not to mention it doesn’t cost anything – after all, it is widely accepted that praise and recognition are valued by staff just as much as financial reward.
In terms of empowerment, social recognition allows all staff members to get involved. Peer to peer nominations encourage everyone to contribute and boost engagement and interest levels across the board. Social channels are accessible and allow individuals to feel that they are making an impact. So it’s not only being on the receiving end of recognition that is motivational, but having the ability to contribute to it and feeling that your voice is being heard.
The introduction of new processes or programmes can be tricky and occasionally meet with resistance, as people need to learn new skills or adapt their ways of working. Social recognition programmes, however, buck this trend because social channels are already so widely used in personal lives; the jump to adopting social interaction for business purposes is not a daunting one for most, and getting it going is quick and easy.
1. Start as you mean to go on
The best way to make sure the introduction of your social recognition programme is a resounding success, is to be very proactive and inclusive at launch. Make sure your programme doesn’t function from the top down, but allows all staff to contribute and then make it obvious to everyone that this is the case. Be clear that you want input from all levels of the organisation to achieve a collaborative approach. By ensuring management at every level encourage their teams to contribute, this should be fairly easy to filter down.
2. Make it fair and measurable
It’s also crucial to ensure that social recognition is executed fairly and without favouritism. Companies generally have established benchmarks and targets, so it is straightforward to translate this into social channels. By making recognition measurable against core values, for example, everyone has an equal and informed opportunity to be acknowledged. Social recognition is exceptionally visible so, it’s vital that nobody feels excluded or overlooked.
As a result, staff morale will improve and people are likely to strive to attain the recognition they desire; engaged people are less inclined to leave, so staff turnover rates will likely decline; plus, staff will also be more engaged with each other, which leads to improved team spirit alongside internal systems awash with success stories and praise – all creating a positive working environment that people want to be a part of.
If you’d like more information about social recognition options and how they can support your business, please feel free to drop us a line or give us a call.