Guest AuthorJayanth Narayan

What is Social Recognition?

By Jayanth Narayan

Over the last few months, multiple HR folks have been asking me about Social Recognition. Given that I have generally been a late adopter of technology trends, I really didn’t have a good answer for what Social Recognition was. So I spent a few weeks reading about Social Recognition, talking to folks who are experts in Social media with respect to businesses. Here is my short understanding of what Social Recognition really means and the business impact it can have for organizations.

1) Those who have seen the movie “The Social Network” would recall that “Facebook” was about taking the social experience of college and creating an internet equivalent of the in-person social experience. In the same way “Social Recognition” is the internet equivalent of broadcasting employee recognition stories and allowing anyone interested to Comment, Like and follow the activities/thread related to a Recognition story.

2) Should HR folks think about Social Recognition – YES in a big way. Outside of the small costs involved in a technology platform to enable Social Recognition, everything else is free. Depending on how the employees use the tool, it has potential to become a highly engaging & employee location independent website. Plus it creates a healthy competition among managers to do more recognition within their teams/groups. The ones who use Recognition and the ones who don’t, become clearly visible on the portal.

3) Well! – Social Collaboration platforms within organizations made a lot of noise but have not really taken off – i.e. organizations are not yet ready to pay for these platforms, which means they don’t see tangible value yet. In the case of Recognition, the Social Recognition platform sits on top of a tangible Recognition program, which means that activities are already happening in the organization and the platform is only used to broadcast and spread the news. So chances are – more people will actually logon to the portal for nominating, reviewing, redeeming etc. So Social Recognition is not a new destination employees need to visit, but an addition to the same place where employees were anyway visiting. So unless you have strong underlying Recognition platform in place, introducing just Social Recognition will be futile.

Summary: Focus on establishing a strong Employee Recognition program first and build a Social Recognition platform on top of it. Just like in the movie “The Social Network”, Social Recognition is about taking the offline Recognition experience onto the internet to turbo-charge the impact of the program.

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Jayanth 2I head Rideau Recognition Solutions’ Asia-Pacific division, Rideau India. Rideau is the leader in online recognition solutions to keep employees engaged and productive. I have been involved in the Business Process & IT outsourcing industry for the last 12 years and hold an MBA in HR from XLRI, Jamshedpur and a bachelor’s degree in Engineering from BITS, Pilani. I have an extremely strong interest and passion for the art and science of Employee Recognition and will be taking great pleasure in sharing and exchanging information on how recognition and relationships can impact the workplace, particularly in India and the surrounding regions.

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