#RecognizeThis: Stay Close, Celebrate Virtually on LinkedIn Live

December 14, 2020 Jess Huckins


How does recognition actually impact real, live humans – especially right now, during the holiday season, when the physical distance between us feels monumental? To start, 66% of employees feel that giving and receiving thanks during the pandemic has helped them feel more connected to their colleagues.  

It was this data point that kicked off our new LinkedIn Live series, #RecognizeThis. In the inaugural episodeElizabeth Swenson, senior manager of customer success, joined Dr. Patti Fletcher, VP of brand marketing, to discuss Liz’s seven-year anniversary with Workhuman®, how she’s been staying in touch with her colleagues, and the impact of 2020 on her work-life harmony.  
 “We’re in the fourth Industrial Revolution,” Patti said. “The majority of decisions we are receiving are made by machines, which means that we humans now have an opportunity to really bring our full selves to work. It’s our creativity, our innovation – things that machines can’t learn – that are more important than ever.”  

Staying connected in a pandemic 

Over her years at Workhuman, Liz has been through an office move, a company name change, and the growth of her team from eight to 50+ people. She started the company softball team and has volunteered to organize charity initiatives. Even though life has changed for her (as it has for everyone) this year, she has been grateful for the tools we have to keep in touch.  

“That’s one thing that really makes Workhuman great is that we do have a recognition program where I’ve been able to stay connected with everybody,” she said. 

Patti joked about the “seven-year itch,” which is something we typically talk about from a marriage perspective: “The thing about working is it requires a commitment. … You’ve got to keep committed. You have to keep investing. You need the people around you to feel valued. It’s very much like a marriage.” 

Liz explained that this analogy really hit home for her when she received her service milestone award. At Workhuman, she said, “we receive messages from our colleagues to commemorate the events and to remind you of everything that you’ve worked on and done with them over the past year.  

“When I got my award, a lot of my colleagues highlighted these different events … that we’ve done together as a company and as a team. It was really great to have all those memories brought back up through the experience.”   

Celebrating major life events 

Liz and I have something in common – we both bought new houses in 2020. If making that kind of major financial decision in the midst of a global pandemic isn’t worthy of celebration, I don’t know what is. But when you can’t have a housewarming party and celebrate with the people closest to you, it puts a bit of a damper on the experience.   

“I do have several great friends here, and one of them actually gave me what we call a life event award for buying a new house. And a lot of people were able to go in and congratulate me for the experience,” she said. “I was able to share pictures and it’s really humanized the time with my colleagues even though we’re at home.” 

During the Q&A at the end, Liz explained that organizations can set up and support these celebrations for all kinds of life events – “anything in someone’s life that is not directly related to work because we’re talking about the work-life harmony, not balance anymore.”  

Liz works with several Workhuman customers, and she explained that many have even set up awards for non-work events beyond house purchases, weddings, and new babies, such as: 

  • Birthdays, because “there are no more balloons or cakes in the office.” 

  • New hires, because they’re being “onboarded on their computers and not in person, so they’re missing out on all the fun.” 

  • Well wishes, “for people who have gotten sick.”  

  • Volunteer work, “to recognize people for going above and beyond in their communities during this time.”  

“That’s amazing,” Patti said. “We can see through your own experience just how important that is. Celebrate the big. Celebrate the small. I absolutely love it.” 

Watch the full episode above for more stories and photos from Liz, who goes into additional detail about being a working parent throughout the pandemic.  

#RecognizeThis will be highlighting these human stories, backed by real data, every other week in the new year. Join us on LinkedIn Live to experience it firsthand.  


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