July 08, 2013

How Social Media Can Increase Employee Engagement

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Managers: What if I told you that you could leverage social media to increase your employee's engagement and job satisfaction? Do you think I've lost my new-media mind?  Let me ask this: Have you ever received an award at a company event (conference, banquet, etc.) and then the next workday, had boundless energy and motivation? 

Sure you did.  That's how recognition works, especially when it is public.  When I keynote for HR and talent management groups, I talk about three compensation plans they can offer: Financial, Emotional and Social.  (Financial = $, Emotional = working environment and Social = public praise).  The social compensation plan may not be what attracts talent, but according to research by Bersin and Associates, recognition programs can give a company 14% more engagement and reduce voluntary turnover by 31%.  That's why employee recognition is a whopping $40billion dollar industry! 

Most of the time, though, recognition is doled out annually, based on extraordinary results.  For Gen Y workers, AKA the status-update-generation, this is not fast enough.  According to a Harvard Business Review article (Mentoring Millennials), younger workers need faster feedback, if not real-time.  Most companies, though, haven't figured out how to do this.  Enter social media, the world's cheapest recognition machine. 

Recently, when I was researching for a keynote talk for security equipment manufacturer Interlogix, I came across a great case study of how a company can give social-recognition that works.  AVI-SPL, a video integration service provider, uses their facebook page to recognize milestones for employees: 15 years of service or a recently completed project.  In both cases, there is interaction with the posts, spilling over to employee's family and friends.  

AVI_SPL2 AVI_SPL1

If your company culture is Twitter-centric, that may be the best platform to give instant and public shoutouts. Same goes if your company's mostly using LinkedIn.  Here's the challenge: Can you find a way, this week, to give some much needed recognition to you employees over social?  You know they'll find out, and when they do, you'll see the results in terms of spirit and energy.

Posted at 10:20 AM in Business Effectiveness , Social Media  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)

Comments

Commentor

Tim - Great observation about Gen Y'rs: They want a lot of short and instant feedback. Social networks are the natural platform for that.

PM Hut - I'm not advocating that employees show love for their employers, but exactly the opposite.

Commentor

Expecting employees to promote the business they work for via social networks requires that real love and real dedication to the company.

The problem is, many employees abuse their companies in social media and firing them becomes a must.

Commentor

Wow Tim - I feel like you nailed it on so many levels within this post.

Your summary is validated by our own research and customer learnings:

Like Facebook notifications received throughout day, people enjoy frequent, real-time recognition (especially GenY)

More power behind the recognition when it's social and public - feels good when others know you're being recognized

Love the use of Facebook idea to recognize employees for milestones. It's a great way for employees and their friends and family to have a more intimate and personal look into a company's culture. It humanize a a brand too.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience!

Tim Ryan
www.youearnedit.com


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