Social Employee Recognition is now becoming a critical part of an organisation’s talent management strategy. It can impact every employee, every day, and revolve around all of your TM initiatives.

‘Employee recognition’ goes back to the early 1900’s when Ford Motor’s Founder, Henry Ford, was experiencing significant turnover impacting the production of vehicles.  He needed to ensure employees on the front-line met production quotas. In order to do so, he rewarded employees for their length of service with gifts to retain and engage them. 

The world has since changed.  Rewarding an employee for their length of service and engaging their ‘hands’ on the production line doesn’t work for today’s employees.  It’s now more important to engage people’s hearts and minds through recognition.  The problem is durable – we will always be challenged with ways to engage and retain employees, but the solutions are changing as quickly as our workforce is.

One of those solutions is Social Employee Recognition.  It’s real and it’s impactful.  In fact, it sits on Gartner’s Hype Cycle of HCM Technologies which is poised to hit mainstream adoption in the next few years.  Read on to quickly familiarise yourself with this concept in the age-old W5H format and see why it has the ability to impact daily talent management.

WHAT is it?

Social Employee Recognition is ‘peer recognition’ through technology that enables frequent and in-the-moment appreciation of company behaviours, values, and results that organisations want to see more of.  It uses social principles that take recognition from what was traditionally a one-to-one act of appreciation to a one-to-many approach, breaking barriers of traditional recognition programmes and helping enact company strategies to improve employee and company performance.

Simple enough, right?  But, WHY should you care?

Social Employee Recognition is becoming the heart of progressive integrated talent management strategies, supporting and complimenting all elements – namely performance management, learning and development and talent acquisition.  Also, recognition has proven to positively impact employee engagement and retention. Recent Harvard Business Review research found recognition as the most impactful employee engagement driver.

Beyond recognition stimulating intrinsic motivation to help positively impact engagement and retention, it also impacts performance.  When authentic moments of recognition happen repeatedly in organisations, those behaviours and results get repeated.

WHERE does this get implemented?

Company wide.  Organisations are challenged with disparate recognition programmes across different locations and departments leading to inconsistencies in the employee experience.  Companies have found power in the ability to have a consistent message to employees that align to the organisational values, and to help enact company and talent management strategies. 

WHO cares? And WHO does it impact?

This type of strategy MUST be inclusive – giving every employee the trust and opportunity to participate.  A platform where employees are getting recognised on an ongoing basis is one employees ACTUALLY like to use.  The result is HR technology that employees love to use, with insight into talent that managers need to be better leaders, and produces a return on investment that executives crave.

WHEN should I consider this?

Your competitors already are.  As technology supports advance analytics, mobile use for anywhere access, and seamless integration into other HR systems, companies are beginning to see value in streamlining and maximising the impact of their traditional reward spend.  As the battle for talent increases with the UK economy improving, it’s important now more than ever to engage, retain and attract key talent.

I’m convinced! HOW do I move forward?

Before considering implementation, the most important task is starting with a foundation of behaviours from your talent management construct (values, competencies or results) that your company wants to see more of.  Without establishing what recognition will be based on, all of the new trends and technology will not make it successful.  Technology is an enabler. Success includes the right balance between human connection and technology.

More questions?

If you’re interested in learning more or even considering a social recognition strategy, check a Brandon Hall report entitled Building the Business Case for Social Recognition Solutions – one of the more comprehensive (and recent) research on this topic.

You can also get more information about these types of solutions from Achievers, who have helped hundreds of global organisations implement social employee recognition into their talent management strategy resulting in dramatic employee and business success.