If the tools we used in the past are no longer working - then why are we still using them? That’s exactly the question I asked attendees at the HCI webcast I hosted recently on recognition, speaking on topics such as being a “rebel” when it comes to embracing social media as an integral and effective tool for recognition programs.
Companies need to recognize that the tools we used in the past to connect with our employees will not continue to work as our workforce changes. These tools were designed for a different workforce - one that did not need real-time interactive communications or regular transparent recognition. We need to accept that these tools are no longer a fit and respond by embracing new tools such as social media.
Social media is quickly becoming a tool that companies can no longer ignore, however according to a poll taken during the webinar, only 24% of attendees are using social media as an integral part of their recognition program. Considering the average person spends two hours a day on social media, which increases dramatically by generation with the average for teens jumping to nine hours a day, we’re missing out on a powerful and effective tool we can and should be using.
I’ve personally seen this “power” as we’ve recently rolled out a new recognition program at my company, making social an essential part of the overall program. Let me share with you four “superpowers” I’ve seen and strongly believe make an impact with your recognition and communication strategies:
1 - Increases visibility
The first superpower is the ability to increase visibility. It does this because through social anyone can see and then interact with recognition. Like other social platforms, a recognition platform creates a cohesive recognition culture through increased visibility for all to interact with what I call recognition “moments”. It also helps share stories, celebrating successes but also helping others understand and identify what good looks like. This is especially important when you have a values-based recognition program, helping employees understand how the values translate into behaviors.
Also, unlike the “old days”, where we had to wait to hear about when someone was recognized either directly or indirectly, with social it’s done directly in the moment, and with all the facts, not a rumor or heresay of what happened. This makes it more meaningful and more impactful.
2 - Makes it easier
Next, social makes it easier for our employees to give and receive recognition. The first reason for this is that employees are already used to and comfortable with social, so it’s not a ‘new’ system to learn. The second, is that with changes in technology, using recognition platforms such as what I used at my company, you don’t have to go through multiple systems to create recognition moments.
For example, if an employee is reading a blog on the communications platform which talks about the great work a colleague is doing, they can click on their name and it will take them automatically into the recognize sending flow, with no messing around. In this world, where you can easily lose an employee’s attention if you make them click more than a few times - social helps connect and keep them connected.
3 - Gets everyone involved
Let’s next move onto the superpower of getting everyone involved. Social encourages ongoing interaction with recognition moments, and again, in a way that our employees are used to. They see recognitions posted, and can easily can involved in the ‘usual’ way by liking, reacting, using emoji’s or comments in these recognition moments. This is great for the employee posting these social reactions, and also for the receiver of the recognition, receiving the extra ‘love’ from their colleagues.
4 - Makes it fun
And last, but not least, social allows your employees to have fun. I mean, how can you not have fun with emojis? When employees are recognized for amazing things, why should their fellow peers limit their celebration to just words - when they can get - ‘emojinal’. Emojis are a playful way for your employees to express themselves! Employees can react to recognition moments with emojis, and use emojis within their recognition messages and comments to bring their message to life!
And it’s not just emojis, the creation of recognition moments should also be fun! Imagine you want to recognize a colleague for delivering a fantastic presentation at an industry event - why not - seize the moment, take a selfie with them, and use that to form the basis of the recognition you send them. Or get creative and record a video message to post - think of all the fun you can have there! These extra special and personal touches make recognition moments memorable and meaningful.
Now that I’ve shared with you the power of social media, and the impact it can have, I hope you too embrace it and use these superpowers to help create the best recognition and communication programs you can. I can’t wait to hear about the great things you achieve!