In this guide, we’ll explore social recognition, helping you to understand what it is and how it can enhance your organization. We’ll also look at the tools that a social recognition company can provide to help you engage your employees.
As a leader, you know that your employees are your greatest asset. They’re the lifeblood of your business, the secret sauce that can ultimately make the difference between success and failure. Put simply, if your people are happy, engaged and motivated then your organization will thrive. And if they’re not, then you’re going to face an uphill struggle to achieve the success you deserve.
So how can you create a company culture that engages your employees, taps into their full potential and motivates them to perform at their best day in and day out? The answer lies in social recognition, a powerful and inexpensive tool that can boost your employee engagement.
Social recognition is the act of publicly acknowledging and appreciating individuals or groups within a community for their positive contributions, achievements, or behaviors. It involves expressing praise or gratitude publicly, fostering a sense of value and belonging while reinforcing social bonds.
Before we go any further, it’s important to take the time to fully understand what we’re talking about here.
So what exactly is social recognition?
In basic terms, social recognition is any form of employee appreciation that doesn’t involve a monetary reward. It could be something as simple as saying “thank you” for a job well done or giving an employee a shout-out on the company Slack channel. At the more complex end of the scale, social recognition can be a dedicated appreciation program that’s implemented across all levels of your business.
Whatever form it takes, however, social recognition aims to allow workers across your organization to feel like their contributions are valued and appreciated. But it’s not a fad or the latest trend among management circles. It’s a basic human need that our brains are hardwired to respond to.
That’s because receiving praise and recognition triggers the release of dopamine. Known as the “happy hormone” dopamine stimulates the part of the brain that deals with positive emotions like satisfaction, happiness and pride. This physical desire to be appreciated goes back to the earliest days of civilization, when humans had to prove their value to the tribe - otherwise, they wouldn't survive.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”— Dr. Maya Angelou.
Today, we’re no longer fighting for survival, but our reaction to recognition is still the same. So when it comes to the workplace, it’s no surprise that employee recognition results in a number of benefits.
So how can social recognition benefit your business?
In a dream world your employees would come to work every day eager and excited to perform at the best of their abilities. But in reality, it’s natural that your people aren't always going to be on top of their game. That’s where motivation comes in. Motivating your people can up levels of energy, commitment and passion transforming a good workforce into a great one. It can also boost profitability, increase sales and even reduce absenteeism.
There are several tools and techniques that leaders can use to motivate their people. But one of the most powerful is social recognition which has been proven to improve morale in the workplace
Similar to motivation in many ways, employee engagement is a term that’s used to refer to how happy an employee is in their role and how committed they are to your company. Engagement is key because it can make the difference between an employee who is simply going through the motions and one who is going above and beyond to help your organization achieve its goals.
And, just like motivation, one of the intrinsic benefits of social recognition is its ability to help increase engagement. Indeed employees are more than twice as likely to be engaged if they’re regularly recognized for their efforts.
In the wake of The Great Resignation, employee recruitment and retention has become a key battleground for businesses. Attracting and keeping hold of the very best talent has shot up the C-Suite’s agenda, with many organizations funnelling time, effort and investment into programs that can help them improve their employee retention.
If it’s not already on your organization’s agenda, then social recognition should absolutely be a priority if you want to reduce turnover and improve retention. That’s because, when your employees feel recognized, they’re more likely to stay in their roles - reducing churn and the costs that are associated with it.
So how powerful is it? Well, according to one study, companies with high levels of recognition have a 31% lower turnover rate than their competitors. At the same time, more than half of employees (53%) say that they would stay longer in their roles if they felt more appreciated.
Social recognition can also help to put a smile on your people’s faces. Not only is it a crucial component of workplace happiness, but it can also contribute to employee wellbeing, cutting burnout rates by as much as 21%
Want tangible benefits from your social recognition? Well here’s some good news for you: recognition can actually help to make a marked improvement on employee performance. Whether it’s employees who admit they’ll work harder for an appreciative boss or companies that have reported an 11% bump in performance after employing their own programs - social recognition can make a real difference to your organization’s output.
Culture is more than just the latest corporate buzzword. It’s a key component in any successful business, the invisible glue that connects your people to the purpose and values that your organization holds dear. Through social recognition, you can build a culture of trust and loyalty, one where people are rewarded for demonstrating the kind of values and ideals that are at your company’s core. It’s a great way to build a robust culture that can leave a lasting impact on your organization.
✅ Improve engagement.
✅ Elevate motivation.
✅ Enhance productivity.
✅ Reduce turnover.
✅ Reinforce company culture.
✅ Attract talent.
✅ Raise morale.
✅ Boost your bottom line.
So you’ve looked at the potential benefits and you’ve decided that social recognition is the way forward for your organization. Now comes the tricky bit - how do you put social recognition into practice?
Most businesses will already have some kind of plan in place for thanking their employees. In most cases, this is an ad-hoc process, with managers taking it upon themselves to thank their people for a job well done.
But there’s a huge difference between recognition being a tick-box exercise and an effective strategy.
That’s especially true in the modern workplace.
Since COVID-19 and its associated lockdowns the world of work has changed forever. Almost overnight we’ve experienced a shift to remote and hybrid models that may have taken decades to achieve without global disruption. That means that employees are no longer grouped together in a physical space. Instead, teams are spread across multiple locations working in a variety of remote and hybrid settings. Technology has made this transition seamless. But while it’s now easier than ever to communicate with remote and hybrid teams, ensuring that they receive the social recognition they need is harder than ever.
How do you recognize your people when they’re working remotely? How do you ensure your digital communications hit as hard as an in-person conversation would? And how do you recreate the social aspect of social recognition when you’re not sharing the same space?
These are all challenges that organizations face as they look to embed social recognition strategies. So how can you deliver appreciation that has a genuine impact in the modern workplace?
Fortunately help is at hand…
"Treating employees benevolently shouldn't be viewed as an added cost that cuts into profits, but as a powerful energizer that can grow the enterprise into something far greater than one leader could envision."- Harold Schultz.
There are of course things that you can do right off the bat to embed appreciation within your organization. But if you’re serious about social recognition, then investing in platforms and software that can support your efforts is vital.
With the right tools in place your social recognition program won't just be easier to implement, it will also be more effective. That’s where a social recognition company like Bucketlist comes in.
Bucketlist is a social recognition company that takes the effort out of employee appreciation. We’re on a mission to build the best company cultures on the planet, using our intuitive platform to make social recognition effortless and engaging.
Trusted by brands like Orlando Magic, First Bank and Danone, our platform makes it easy and fun for both employees and managers to recognize and reward one another for milestones, achievements and hard work.
Bucketlist can help you build a culture of social recognition. Our award-winning platform enables your people to recognize their peers and empowers your leaders to reward employees’ efforts. With more than 100,000 employees using our software in 70 countries across the world, Bucketlist is regularly recognized as the best social recognition platform for businesses.
Our social recognition software, also known as an employee appreciation platform or employee recognition system, is designed to simplify and automate the recognition and rewards process. It provides a centralized platform where employers can acknowledge and reward employees for their outstanding achievements, milestones and contributions.
So how does Bucketlist help organizations to leverage social recognition?
Beyond your HR team, your people will love how simple Bucketlist is to use. Rated the number one easiest-to-use platform on G2, it provides a user-friendly experience that engages your employees through an intuitive app and seamless messaging integrations.
“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”— Voltaire
We may be a little biased, but we think that Bucketlist is the best social recognition company on the planet. And you don’t just have to take our word for it either, our customers will tell you the same thing.
But we’re not the only social recognition company that’s out there. In fact, there are a host of tools and technologies that are available to help you cultivate a more engaged workforce.
Nectar - A company that specializes in providing human resources (HR) software solutions, Nectar’s platform helps to streamline HR processes and improve organizational efficiency.
WorkTango - Designed to help you collect and analyze employee feedback, WorkTango’s platform makes it easy to measure various aspects such as job satisfaction, performance, culture, and leadership.
Assembly - Assembly's software enables companies to streamline their employee appreciation efforts by providing a centralized platform for recognizing and rewarding employees' contributions.
Bonusly - This platform provides real-time recognition, where employees can give immediate feedback to their peers.
If you’re about to implement social recognition into your organization there are some best practices that you should follow. Here is a brief overview of some of the most important things to consider…
When it comes to social recognition there’s no such thing as too much. The research tells us that the more you do it, the more impact it has. So don’t just wait for something big to happen, take every opportunity you can to recognize your people for their work.
The best way to make sure your people get on board with your social recognition program is to make it fun. No one wants another boring task to add to their workload, so look for a social recognition company that’s focused on engagement. You should choose a platform that lets employees engage with recognition, whether that’s through likes and comments or something fun like gifs. The more enjoyable the experience, the more likely it is for your people to embed it as part of their day-to-day working lives.
Where your management leads others will follow. That means one of the best ways to get buy-in for your new social recognition program is to have your leaders set an example. Engage your leadership team early and train them to make sure they can use your new program from day one. This, in turn, will have a trickle-down effect on the rest of your organization as recognition from senior figures is highly valued by employees.
How you announce your new social recognition program will play a key role in its success. This is a vital opportunity to not only communicate what you’re doing but why you’re doing it. More than that, however, this is an opportunity to get your people excited. Getting buy-in is crucial and by building momentum early on you can ensure that your social recognition efforts start with a bang rather than a whimper.
If you want to know how you can up your rewards and recognition game, there’s only one place you should start. Your HR team is best placed to understand not only what your employees want but what your organization needs. However, they can't go it alone. These days HR teams are stretched thin so consider engaging with a social recognition company to give your people the support they need to make your program a success.
Social recognition is more than just a fad. It’s not a passing trend or a buzzword that will be forgotten as quickly as it came into use. Instead, it’s a powerful and effective tool that is transforming workplaces across the world.
Whether it’s boosting engagement, improving retention, or helping to create a compelling company culture - by appreciating your employees’ efforts social recognition has the power to benefit just about every aspect of your business.
It can be scary to go it alone. But by implementing some of the best practices we’ve explored here and looking to a social recognition company for help, you can create a thriving environment where your people feel engaged and appreciated for their efforts.