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Gartner Reveals 7 Best Practices for Employee Social Recognition

by Derek Irvine

Recognize This! – At the heart of any success social recognition program are the relationships built through appreciation of others.

Gartner just issued their second social recognition report for 2015: “Use Seven Best Practices to Plan Your Recognition and Rewards Project.” Researched and written by Chris Pang and Yvette Cameron, the report builds on their earlier June report giving a technology overview of employee recognition and rewards software. Together, these reports provide tremendous value and insight into why and how to select, implement and get the most out of employee social recognition programs.

In addition to the seven best practices (summarized below), the report also calls attention to three key challenges and corresponding recommendations. For example, one such challenge and recommendation deals with a hesitancy to offer all methods of reaching colleagues through recognition out of a concern for user facility or compliance with options including video recognition and mobile notifications. In reality, people of all generations, backgrounds and cultures will have varying degrees of comfort with advanced options depending on their own experiences with similar systems in other programs. Offering all options gives those who enjoy advanced techniques all the benefits while still allowing those who prefer simpler forms a strong and positive experience, too.

That’s a clear message throughout the report – the importance of putting the employee first. Throughout all seven best practices, the user expectation and experience is front and center.

This doesn’t mean just how users interact with the system but, more importantly, how they interact with each other through the enabling technologies and systems. Because that’s the point of implementing social recognition – to facilitate and strengthen relationships between and among employees. It’s deep, collaborative relationships that are the hallmark of what makes us human; and it’s relationships that make us want to give that discretionary effort to help our colleagues, our customers, and our companies succeed.

What are the seven best practices?

  1. Align Your Recognition Technology Strategy With Relevant Workforce Demographics
  2. Be Clear About Your Requirements Before Crafting an RFP
  3. Ensure Support for the Many Facets of User Experience to Drive Utilization and Engagement
  4. Take a Pragmatic Approach to the Integration Strategy and Architecture
  5. Look Beyond Utilization-Based Reporting and Analytics to Workforce Insights and Business Impact
  6. Plan to Sustain Program Participation by Enlisting Marketing Support
  7. Build Agility Into Your Recognition Strategy to Adapt as Your Business Changes

How did you prepare your organization for social recognition? Who is at the center of your program? How do you facilitate the user experience to foster deeper relationships?