5 tips for working with social recognition - your key to success

In a world increasingly focused on fostering engagement and motivation in the workplace, recognizing employees' efforts and achievements has become a critical success factor. But what exactly is social recognition?
Caroline GottschalckMarketing Coordinator
Monday, June 10, 2024

Pulse measurements, feedback, and virtual thumbs up and pats on the back. These terms may sometimes seem a bit "fluffy" and intangible. But social recognition simply refers to public acknowledgment and praise from colleagues and superiors. It might involve giving compliments to a colleague on social media or in a meeting with several attendees, or honouring an employee with an award such as "employee of the year."

This type of recognition has demonstrated a notable influence on well-being and productivity. From my interactions with clients, I have noticed an increasing number of employers acknowledging the importance of this.

To some people social recognition may appear unfamiliar or atypical, if they tend to exhibit more reserve in offering compliments or openly expressing gratitude. Therefore, it is essential to cultivate an appreciation for the value of social recognition and promote its practice in a manner that feels genuine and authentic. And I emphasise – it is crucial to underscore that such recognition should occur naturally and not be perceived as contrived.

Why is social recognition a key to success?

So, what does social recognition truly bring to the table, and why do I believe it is a key to success? It fosters a positive work environment characterized by mutual respect and appreciation. Studies also indicate that companies implementing a culture of social recognition experience increased employee engagement and productivity.

And that is where engagement comes into play. It is quite straightforward: when employees feel appreciated and recognized, they are motivated to perform their best and contribute to achieving the company's goals. They walk that extra mile. They actively engage in their work because they are driven by it, which brings them happiness.

Contributes to company success

In short, social recognition has a direct positive impact on the organisation’s performance. By fostering a culture of recognition, HR professionals can facilitate an environment where employees thrive, perform at their highest level, and contribute to the success of the company.

HR has also embraced the trend. When it is observed that increased employee engagement leads to higher productivity, lower turnover rates, and reduced recruitment costs, it would be unwise not to capitalize on these opportunities.

Remember personal recognition as well

At the same time, it is important to emphasise that social recognition should not replace personal recognition. This means that while acknowledging people in social settings is essential, we should not forget the importance of offering individual recognition to each person.

One-on-one recognition allows us to demonstrate care and respect in a more personal and meaningful manner, and this should be maintained as a valuable practice while actively promoting social recognition in the workplace.

5 tips for actively working with social recognition in the workplace:

checkFoster a culture of recognition

Create a work environment where colleagues genuinely care for each other. Encourage leaders and employees to give each other a pat on the back and say, "well done!" It is about celebrating together, publicly recognising individuals for their contributions, and encouraging positive feedback.

checkHighlight achievements

When giving recognition, be specific about what the individual has done well. Let them know what made their efforts unique and valuable. This way, they will see that their hard work is noticed and appreciated.

checkEncourage employees to praise each other

Encourage everyone to pat each other on the back and acknowledge each other's achievements. This can happen through digital platforms, team meetings, or simply in casual conversations. Recognizing each other's efforts helps build teamwork and creates a positive vibe at work.

checkTailor the feedback

People find motivation in different ways, so tailor the feedback to each individual. Some may like public praise, while others prefer a more private approach. Consider everyone's preferences and tailor praise accordingly.

checkOffer praise regularly and frequently

Praise should be an ongoing practice, not limited to special occasions. Foster a culture where mutual recognition occurs regularly. This contributes to sustaining both group and individual engagement and motivation over time.