The Live Feed: Using Social Media for Employee Recognition

social media for employee recognition
Employee recognition via status update

As the managing partner at a company that’s been involved with employee recognition and appreciation for almost a century, we’ve seen and heard of lots of interesting, colorful and even comical trends and fads as bosses have worked to keep their best and brightest feeling valued and valuable. Vacation contests, lunches with celebrities, singing plastic fishes mounted on plaques, new cars… these and more attempt to let team members know their contributions are valued by their companies. Some of these fads come and go, and not all of these efforts are successful – even the expensive ones.

The latest buzz in the employee recognition industry today surrounds the use of social media for employee recognition. In our view, this is more than a temporary fad. Using social media-type communication for employee recognition is not only an exciting and fun way to engage employees, it’s a strategic tool to give visibility to corporate values in action and foster positive communication in the workplace.

Social media has become firmly entrenched in our society as the accepted way to communicate. And for good reason. Consider some of the many reasons social media can work so well to acknowledge and inspire employees today:

  • It’s instantaneous, personal, and yet visible to the recipient’s entire peer group
  • Empowers and equips positive corporate storytelling
  • Provides an ongoing recognition record that can be used by the individual
  • Makes for an excellent tool for managers for talent spotting and performance reviews
  • It’s company-wide visibility motivates and educates others as to corporate values-in-action

Employees strongly desire to be appreciated for the work they do, especially work that is above and beyond the “call of duty.” But they also desire to be recognized or acknowledged by their peers and associates – they’d like their workmates and personal connections to know about the excellent things they are doing for the entire company. At this stage of time and history, Social Media is the perfect medium for such a strategic goal.

At its core, social media – be it Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or the rest – is really about community. Like-minded people become connected and share information about themselves to each other, keeping everyone “in the loop” about the events in their lives. In the workplace, social communication serves as a hub to keep employees up-to-date on the successes and objectives of the individuals and the group as a whole.

Given the goals of employee recognition, an in-house social media application is a perfectly-suited method for sharing the accomplishments of valued employees with everyone in the company.

With all these great benefits to social media, it’s clear why forward-thinking businesses want to take advantage of its efficiencies and elegant deliverability.

Implementing a social media-style recognition network in a business setting can also be quite simple. A few suggestions to get started are as follows:

  • Consider a third-party, proprietary platform that creates a closed network within your business and keeps all employees “in the loop” as to the accomplishments and achievements of your stars.
  • Terryberry created our own system – Give-a-WOW– that does just that. (Yes, it’s a shameless promotional plug!)
  • Make sure the platform you select can be customized to align with your corporate values.
  • Also consider a platform that can integrate with Facebook, Twitter, etc. so that the recognition being shared reaches friends and family outside the business walls yet can still be controlled by the company itself.

With social media as a completely accepted communications system today in the office and out on the streets, it just makes sense to use this technology to praise your deserving employees and let the whole (cyber)world know about it.

Think about that, and thanks for your time.

About the Author
Blog post from Mike Byam, managing partner at Terryberry