Social Recognition: The Power to Improve Employee Engagement

Today’s workforce is in a state of emergency and leadership does not understand the severity of the problem. Okay, maybe this statement is a bit overzealous, but experts are releasing scary statistics that prove the current workforce is highly disengaged.

The lack of engagement is rooted in management’s ineffectiveness. Managers that give regular feedback to their employees have turnover rates that are 14.9% lower than managers who provide one, annual review for their team. Consistent, social feedback is effective and drives employee loyalty.

A Disengaged & Miserable Workforce isn’t Just Bad for Employees; it’s Bad for Business

We’re in a state of flux right now in the workplace. Most of the workplace is still filled with the mantra: “the beatings will continue until morale improves.”

However, in today’s more enlightened (and hopefully advanced) workplace, it’s not beatings — but appreciation — that drives performance.

Managers, take note: Appreciation in the form of recognition is a huge factor for success. Nearly 80% of US employees said that recognition motivates them to work harder.

When employees know their work matters and is appreciated, they are more likely to put in more effort than if they were berated — or even paid more.

Social Recognition is the Answer

Employees long for recognition in the workplace and their personal lives. This desire is a natural human instinct proven with the success of social media in the past 10 years. As a result, social recognition is an imperative part of a company’s appreciation program.

Social recognition is about building peer-to-peer and peer-to-management relationships. A successful program inspires a consistent stream of interactions between teams. This is all possible with the proper tools to develop and inspire regular feedback.

Social Recognition is Better than Private Recognition

Social recognition feeds the basic human need for acceptance and validation. Look around and you’ll see that social networking is everywhere. It’s on our phones, our tablets, our news. Social sharing is how we communicate today and it’s an effective method for employee recognition.

With one-on-one recognition, you drive congeniality between two people. Perhaps a leader and a direct report; or even between peers.

But with social recognition, you drive loyalty and engagement between an individual and the company. That’s because social recognition comes with it the power and endorsement of the many, not just the few.

One-on-one recognition is still effective and should be used in the office. Employees prefer consistent feedback over an annual review and one-on-one conversations are the perfect way to satisfy this preference. The key for management is to find the perfect balance between both forms of recognition.

There is nothing wrong with a one-on-one pat on the back, but when individuals are publicly praised, it takes an ordinary thanks and makes it an extraordinary thanks in the eyes of his or her people.

Plus, if an executive wants to make sure his or her team knows what behaviors are most beneficial for the person and the company, social recognition reinforces that better than any other tool out there.

Leadership is the Driving Force Behind a Successful Social Recognition Program

Consistent feedback motivates employees to work harder by creating a sense of loyalty and awareness that their work is validated and appreciated. This is a great outcome, but it doesn’t happen without a team effort. Leadership needs to step up to the plate and provide regular recognition in order to see these results.

A solid program gives leaders tools to track goals and completions through an organized platform. Once a project is complete, leaders can use the software to praise employees with personalized shout outs and monetary rewards.

It also allows management to spot gaps or issues and address the concerns. When employees and managers begin open discussions about questions and achievements, everyone is more productive.

Social Recognition Increases Employee Engagement

The current state of the workforce is dismal. According to Gallup, 72% of US workers are not engaged at work and are essentially sleepwalking through their days in the office.

You don’t have to be part of the statistic. Developing a social recognition program is a simple step that can dramatically improve your bottom line by creating a motivated, loyal workforce.

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VP Sales