Businesses need to ensure employees are engaged in order to be productive and therefore ultimately drive the business. This is especially true of businesses that are transforming – research shows that employee resistance and communication breakdown are more often than not obstacles during a major organisational change. 

To this end, enterprise social networks and HR recognition programmes share a common theme – both aim to engage and motivate employees. But social media is changing how recognition programmes are implemented in the workplace, due to its power to increase visibility of people or activities. Here are some key considerations to remember when considering how social media and recognition programmes work together.

1)       Planning campaigns

The planning stages of recognition programmes require coordination and collaboration. Use internal tools to plan and manage and initiatives before they are broadcast to the wider business.

2)       Make sure HR and internal comms work together

Rewards and praise should be well-timed and not conflict with any other scheduled announcements so people can become part of the conversation, and sharing and visibility is encouraged.

3)       Consider the distributed or virtual workforce

Off-site employees or global virtual teams may not see company praise in some formats. Employee recognition programmes should include the whole business or team – using a platform that reaches all staff is key, especially if they are in different time zones.

4)       Making it external

HR departments should carefully consider when recognition should be shared on internal or external social media channels. For example, can employees tweet about their achievements or should policy restrict discussion to the enterprise social network?  

5)       Policies for impromptu internal sharing

This can also work the other way round, for organisations using social media externally to talk to customers there could also be opportunity to re-share praise from customers. It might be a comment that is simply worth re-sharing and there is no need to wait for major announcements to share that praise.

6)       Simplify communication channels

Make sure employees know where to look for information and see successes, but communicating company-wide on a single platform. For example, formalise the process within social media to encourage engagement during the voting process for employee awards. 

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