Desire for Social Recognition

Why Employees Love Social Recognition

A business isn’t anything without its employees. So in order for your business to be successful in the long term, you have to ensure your employees are consistently performing at their best. How do you do that? By focusing on employee engagement. According to Gallup, “Companies with engaged employees outperform those without by 202 percent.”

But how can you move the needle on employee engagement? One of the best and most effective ways is through employee recognition programs. In fact, according to a survey conducted by Achievers, 44% of employees cited lack of recognition and engagement at their current employer as their reason to switch jobs in 2018, and 69% stated recognition and reward as a motivating factor to stay. Social recognition, in particular, is a fun and easy way to quickly show employee appreciation and boost employee engagement.

More recognitions = higher employee engagement

Employees experience an increase in job satisfaction from rewards and recognition, and it’s important they come from peers as well as supervisors. As noted in our recently published eBook, The Case for Employee Recognition, 71% of employees rank employee engagement as very important to achieving overall organizational success and 72% rank recognition given for high performers as having a significant impact on employee engagement. Furthermore, the report shows there is a negative correlation between the effectiveness of a recognition program and employee turnover rates – meaning employee recognition not only boosts employee engagement but reduces turnover rates as well.

Rewards and recognition create a positive workplace culture

A recent SHRM study noted that employees consider “culture and connection” to be a major contributing factor to employee job satisfaction. In recent years it has become widely accepted that implementing a robust rewards and recognition program is one of the top means of fostering a positive workplace culture, and one that promotes mutual respect and employee appreciation. In fact, a 2015 Cornell University research review noted that, “41 percent of the variation in employee engagement is attributable to the strength of recognition an employee receives,” and that 42 percent of companies with recognition programs include a social peer-to-peer component. In the conclusion of the study, the author states: “Recognition programs are becoming powerful avenues for exerting positive change in the workplace. What was once a nice-to-have practice is becoming a driver for improving employee engagement and a host of other factors that impact the bottom line, when properly executed. By making the programs strategic, leveraging peer-to-peer recognition, and garnering top executive buy-in, companies can maximize their return on investment on these programs.”

Social media is second nature

By 2025, millennials will make up 75 percent of the workforce, and they are accustomed to spending a big chunk of their time on social media. Giving and receiving positive reinforcement by way of social recognition is fun and natural to them. Social recognitions are not viewed as tasks or something they need to check off the “to-do” list, but an instinctive way to communicate with their peers and to showcase each other’s accomplishments. Social recognition has become an invaluable piece of the puzzle when it comes to initiating and sustaining an effective rewards and recognition program.

With 70 percent of U.S. workers not engaged at work, it is imperative for businesses to focus on employee engagement; and kicking off an employee recognition program is the logical first step. Through recognition, employees will feel more appreciated and, in return, be more productive. 77 percent of employees even stated they would work harder if they felt better recognized. As the Cornell report states, “What was once a nice-to-have practice is becoming a driver for improving employee engagement.”

To learn more about how your human resources department can establish a successful employee recognition program, download our employee recognition eBook.

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4 replies
  1. Ahsan Ashraf
    Ahsan Ashraf says:

    In my free time, I manage a group of children, ages 8-13 where I encourage them to participate in education and sports based competitions. Inevitably, we have our cheaters and we have those who play fair. One day I decided to conduct an experiment of rewarding those who played fair. The competition was a race called ‘nicotine’ / ‘suicide’ (its pretty rigorous, you need to change directions a few times to complete it successfully). The reward I offered was to take the winner (without cheating) and put him in the middle of a circle surrounded by all others who lost and everyone would then cheer out loud: YAYAYA, you are amazing!!. The smile on the winners face was priceless.

    He kept asking later to race again!

    I enjoyed reading the article above. Additionally, I think that there is a great deal of value for management and the employee if a social posts (twitter/linkedIn or even Youtube) by management related to a relevant business topic was to include the name of whom was being recognized (with a hyperlink to his/her profile). For example:

    “We performed quite well this year with our data analytics solution in the financial industry. We had Ahsan, come out with some clever tactics of which we employed some and achieved a great deal of value. We strive to continue this in 2017 and look forward to another prosperous year….”

    If just one person was to visit Ahsan’s linkedIn or profile and make a mention due to this, it would make Ahsan’s day!! I think that this is a clever way of using social media to recognize someone. Any thoughts on this?

    • Achievers
      Achievers says:

      Thank you Ahsan for sharing your story! We love it and it shows how much the power of recognition has. Social recognition is a great and easy way to quickly recognize others – and you can have some fun with it by including fun images with your social recognitions. Recognition is infectious and can make a huge positive impact! Thanks for reading. Cheers! 🙂


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  1. […] for the growing population of millennial employees, a social recognition platform should be your first focus. This popular type of HR technology is perfectly suited for workers who […]

  2. […] emojis and hashtags can contribute to improving the employee experience. Even the ability to send social recognitions across an employee recognition platform can help boost employee […]

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