#Social Recognition# can boost staff productivity levels

online employee recognitionAlthough most of our conversations are now either tagged, tweeted, liked or deleted, employers often fear to tread the muggy waters of social media when contemplating a staff recognition programme for fear of system abuse. However, the use of social media within a working environment can actually create a positive result when it comes to increasing staff productivity levels.

A recent article by Jennifer Lumba in Incentive Magazine titled ‘How to boost profits and productivity using social recognition’ demonstrates how companies who utilise social media platforms within their staff recognition processes can reap greater rewards than those who choose to ignore the social opportunity.

“Organisations that possess a broad understanding of what it means to deliver outstanding performance — and which reward publicly and consistently in accordance with benchmarks — are more likely to achieve greater goals. Social media make cultivating this sort of shared understanding simpler and cheaper than it’s ever been” states Lumba.

Lumba’s argument was supported by the release of the 2012 Society for HR Management and Globoforce survey, which revealed that organisations with staff recognition programmes performed better than peers that failed to formally recognise their workers.

  • 35% of those surveyed observed an increase in customer satisfaction.
  • 30% reported an increase in employee productivity.
  • 29% observed an increase in profits.
  • 25% saw an increase in employee retention.
  • Half of the 77% of organisations with recognition programmes tied it to their company’s values and goals, and found that meeting expectations were key to receiving praise and rewards.

#Balance is key#

social staff recognitionAlthough social media can be utilised for recognition purposes, employees who take to facebook and twitter all day can often produce nothing more than a long stream of chatter. So how can employers police these mediums?

In order to provide a better understanding of social media and how it can link into staff recognition Lumba devises 10 tips for using home grown social networks to cultivate a higher performance culture. I have selected the top 5 which we feel can help you understand, encourage and introduce social media techniques into your staff recognition strategies…

1) “Don’t Set Limits But Do Prescribe Guidelines

Cut down on needless banter by giving employees examples of effective use of social media for collaboration and praise. Recommend tools and practices that preserve productivity.

2) Reward Outcomes Rather Than Activity

Don’t dish out goodies for busywork. Instead, watch to see how managers use social media to motivate and cajole and then reward the ensuing performance increases. And don’t just limit this practice to managers; follow peers who encourage their teammates. Dish out rewards to those whose positive influence is easily noticed in departmental results.

3) Showcase Examples

Don’t just give employees free rein to do whatever they wish when it comes to on-the-job tweeting and posting. Find and reward best practices. Highlight the most creative approaches in order to give workers something to shoot for.

4) Hunt for Talent

A vibrant, productive social sphere needs many participants. Seek out workers who use the system well and recruit them into roles of greater responsibility. Let these high performers help you find others like them.

5) Be Consistent!

Whereas ambiguity breeds resentment and discontent, consistency brings peace. Embrace patterns. Be predictable so that employees have a good understanding of what it takes to be recognized. They might aim even higher than you expect.


John Sylvester

John is responsible for the motivation division of p&mm ltd and a Director on the board of the IPM. Specialising in developing, implementing and directing many large scale staff motivation, recognition and employee communications programmes.

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