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  • Five Reasons to Use Social Recognition in Business

    Recognizing Achievement

    Supports Operational Excellence

    Research Perspective Sponsored by

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    © Ventana Research 2014

    Ventana Research: Five Reasons to Use Social Recognition in Business

    Table of Contents

    The Value of Social Recognition 3 How Social Recognition Helps Business 4

    Recognize Accomplishment 4 Broadcast Acknowledgements 5 Provide Rewards Continuously 5

    Add Simplicity and Sophistication through Technology 5 Engage Talent 6

    Benefits of Investing in Tools 6 About Ventana Research 8

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    © Ventana Research 2014

    Ventana Research: Five Reasons to Use Social Recognition in Business

    The Value of Social Recognition Engaging employees requires more than directing them in what to do; they also need to receive credit for their accomplishments. Such recognition helps improve the employee experience, according to our benchmark research on human capital analytics; as a result, rewards are a critical part of talent management in more than half (52%) of organizations. Offering rewards for the achievement of milestones or tasks that are done well is a simple and direct way of motivating employees. Recognition also can acknowledge employment anniversaries or lengths of time in serving a customer or on a project. While it contributes to a positive employee culture, recognition ultimately is driven by a practical business purpose: Employees who feel respected

    and valued in their work are likely perform better than those who feel overlooked. Doing this today isn’t difficult. Popular new technologies facilitate employee recognition. Online and social collaboration, for example, is a natural tool for providing recognition. It links teams and departments to each other, to management and perhaps to the whole organization in natural, functional ways. More than half of organizations use collaboration technology with human capital

    management now (20%) or will do so in the next year (16%) or within two years (22%). Another 23 percent plan to use it but have not determined when they will start. And close to three-quarters (70%) of the participants in our benchmark research on next-generation workforce management said collaboration is a key technology for improving the operations and performance of the workforce. In addition, new social technology approaches that are already popular in consumer social media channels such as Facebook and are likely to find ready acceptance in business settings – activity streams, broadcasting and discussion forums, for example –also provide a

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    © Ventana Research 2014

    Ventana Research: Five Reasons to Use Social Recognition in Business

    Used properly, social recognition can communicate meaningful congratulations for achievement in a personalized, congenial manner.

    means of easy interaction at any time between employees and mana- gers and thus useful and supportive channels for social recognition and rewards. Another import from the consumer universe, earning points

    toward rewards or badges of achievement, also can help engage employees. (Intro- ducing badges and scores must be done carefully, though, so as not to distract employees from tasks at hand or obscure the business drivers in rewarding activities and tasks well done.) Used properly, social recognition can com- municate meaningful congratulations for achievement in a personalized, congenial manner. Our research shows that one in five organizations currently use social recog-

    nition to acknowledge contributing to or accomplishing tasks, and more than half plan to use it (19%) or

    are evaluating it (33%).

    How Social Recognition Helps Business Social recognition delivers business value by helping to establish a positive work environment in which employees feel both valued and motivated. In our view, the design of a social recognition program should reflect the following five imperatives.

    Recognize Accomplishment Employees and managers complete tasks as part of their jobs every day, but in most organizations small accomplishments are seldom recognized by managers, let alone executives. It thus isn’t surprising that employees may not feel appreciated. Providing recognition can be as simple as broadcasting thanks for work well done, but more formal programs can link that positive acknowledgement to points earned toward redeemable rewards. Our research finds that incentives and rewards are critical to the organization’s performance to almost half (47%) of those that have hourly workers. To be effective, recognition should happen routinely. Social technology makes it easy to establish and manage a program through human resources and individual departments.

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    © Ventana Research 2014

    Ventana Research: Five Reasons to Use Social Recognition in Business

    Broadcast Acknowledgements Recognition should occur broadly, not just in a private exchange

    between an employee and his or her manager. Social collaboration tools provide a means to broadcast individual achievements and acknowledge their value. Recognition can be done on as broad a scale as is appropriate; doing so helps create a more participatory and engaged work environment as people see others being recognized and understand that they could be as well. Our research finds that in sales organizations, for example, social recognition for contributing to or accomplishing tasks is the most

    widely used collaboration technology (by 33%), with nearly as many (26%) planning to use it or evaluating it.

    Provide Rewards Continuously Many companies recognize accomplishment sporadically, often on an annual basis, and recognize only a few employees. Yet it’s likely that many in the workforce have done something worth recognizing during the week, month and quarter. Doing it regularly for as many people as merit recognition can help create a collegial atmosphere without requiring complex mechanisms. A recognition and rewards program can be managed centrally, perhaps in HR, and still extend locally with the individual departments and business units providing input. Such a program not only shows employees that they are appreciated but shows HR and management that managers are able to recognize valuable contributions.

    Add Simplicity and Sophistication through Technology Software applications are available to provide easy access to and management of a recognition program through the company network, the Web and mobile devices. They can replace manual efforts to manage rewards and make the system more broadly accessible to executives, managers and everyone who receives recognition. Such applications can eliminate mistakes and time wasted in using general purpose tools such as spreadsheets, documents and presentations.

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    © Ventana Research 2014

    Ventana Research: Five Reasons to Use Social Recognition in Business

    Mobile technology such as smartphones and tablets enhances access to recognition, and the organization may already use it for human capital management functions. Our research shows that one in three

    (34%) organizations use mobile technology for talent management, and 41 percent use it for workforce management. Others plan to use mobility in the next year for talent management (31%) or workforce management (25%).

    Engage Talent Retaining talent requires paying attention to individuals. Having ready tools for recognition and re- wards can help. The recognition managers provide can be as sim- ple as an automated message

    saying “job well done,” or can announce a reward. We also recom- mend congratulating employees on their service anniversaries. For example, collecting tributes and recollections from coworkers and supervisors, perhaps on video, can create a memorable experience for all who participate. Anniversary recognitions also give leaders opportunities to reinforce corporate values and culture. Social recognition need not be directed only from managers to their reports. Peer-to-peer recognition in which employees engage with and provide recognition to others can increase good will and team spirit. It’s therefore worth considering expanding the program by inviting the colleagues of the worker being acknowledged to participate by sending congratulations or sharing stories of their own similar accomplishments and recognition.

    Benefits of Investing in Tools Organizations benefit from making their employees feel appreciated. People feel better about their work and are more motivated when they feel noticed for doing their jobs well and get the credit they believe they deserve. Providing rewards can help them feel satisfied in their

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    © Ventana Research 2014

    Ventana Research: Five Reasons to Use Social Recognition in Business

    jobs and encourage them to perform their best. In addition, recognition of tenure and accomplishments can help build a sense of community. That’s why providing rewards and incentives is very important for more than one-third (36%) of participants in our benchmark research on next-generation workforce management, and somewhat important to 40 percent more. Social recognition is a key part of the new generation of human resource management systems. Using it as a motivational tool can improve the critical metric of employee engagement, whic