Business and Technology Insights

Social Recognition – A Powerful HR Tool in Digital Era

 
March 19, 2018

Man is by nature a social animal…

– Aristotle, Philosopher

This age-old saying finds relevance even today; more so in this digital age, which we find ourselves in.

The human species is distinguished by social values. We are constantly driven by self-satisfying feelings of competence, value, and meaning. We strive to connect with one another. We crave appreciation. We enjoy rewards. These traits have evolved with time and undergone major changes but the basic premise remains the same.

Changing workplaces

This brings us back to the present day. All of us spend a lot of our time at work and meet people. It is only imperative that we forge meaningful relationships with our co-workers, partners, and customers. However, the work and the workplaces have changed.  Workplaces are becoming more global, agile, digital, mobile, multigenerational, open culture, and more social in every possible way. It would be prudent to say that recognition techniques and monetary reward system, which were in use a decade ago, now appear less effective.

The Times Jobs study suggests that 90% employees are willing to stay longer with the organization, on being appreciated at work, whereas 82% employees are willing to work harder on appreciation from their bosses. Rewards & recognition is a proven technique to make employees happier, satisfied, and secure with their current jobs leading to direct improvements in sales, loyalty, productivity, and profits. Organizations are well aware of the valuable contribution, which top performers make towards the growth of the company, and it is important for them to inculcate a sense of inclusivity and belongingness within their employees.

Evolving Rewards & Recognition

Modern recognition programs are fast replacing traditional recognition techniques. In the wake of this digital era, global enterprises and their connected, digitally savvy employees look forward to a new, improved recognition system rather than the traditional reward-based approach. This new system is being widely acknowledged as “Social Recognition”. Social collaboration tools have added immensely to this movement. With no hesitation, whatsoever, we can affirm, “Social media has become the second nature of human beings!!” Businesses around the globe are constantly posed with the challenge to enable effective social recognition tools for an engaging employee experience, especially for the young millennials.

Modern day cloud-based integrated talent management suites provide rewards & recognition platforms where employees can share their achievements publicly. ‘Likes’ and ‘Shares’ on their achievement posts by colleagues motivates them and also sets a benchmark for peers to strive for the same. Recognition is leveraging social features of the virtual corporate network, where achievers are awarded with ‘Digital trophy’, showcasing their contribution, featuring in their profiles. Social collaboration tools play a pivotal role towards real-time and continuous feedback mechanisms and effective performance management.

Moving towards Social Recognition

Organizations can leverage these platforms to instill company culture by means of value-based recognition, building trust as an employer to attract and retain talent. Social recognition is not only about receiving reward but also motivating employees to acknowledge and recognize others.

In his article in Harvard Business Review, Professor Adam Grant from Wharton discusses employee traits in terms of “Givers” and “Takers”. Givers are employees who go extra mile to support their colleagues, while Takers usually take favors. He quotes studies, which show that Givers are more productive than their colleagues. Socially recognizing Givers will not only provide them encouragement but also motivate other employees, who fear the risk of giving, to contribute more to others and thus to the overall success of the organization. Such practices will also help to build a culture of giving thereby improving reputation of the organization. One can expect tools and functionality in next-generation talent management solutions to analyze employee attributes and identify “Givers” and “Takers”.

Social Recognition is a deep-rooted concept. Technological advancement, cloud computing, social media proliferation, and a wide array of automation tools have made social recognition a reality, and this wave is here to stay.

Change is continuous and the future shall unravel more secrets about mankind and its tryst with social behavior. Do share your experiences with social recognition techniques at your workplace.

Bhavik Shah is a Functional Consultant in the CHROMA™ - Platform Solutions unit at TCS. He has over 13 years of experience in Talent Management (TM) software solutions both in technical and functional roles. He hold a BE degree in Information Technology from Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal.