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What is Social Recognition?

Steven Green
by Steven Green on February 21, 2017

What is Social Recognition | TemboSocialSocial Recognition is the process of providing employees with the tools to create meaningful relationships with each other. By empowering them to celebrate the successes and behaviours they experience each day that they feel improve the employee and customer experience, you give them an opportunity to simultaneously shape workplace culture and build a personal legacy for themselves.

I wrote that in 2012. Here’s where we stand in 2017.



Learn how a values-based recognition program in SharePoint or Office365 can turn employee praise into performance.

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Social Recognition is now just ‘Recognition’

What used to be a niche is now the norm. Traditional monetary reward systems have proven to been poor motivators. Evidence suggests they actually do harm.

Humans aren’t horses. We enjoy rewards, but remunerative carrots don’t motivate us. Not for long, anyway. We thrive when driven by inner forces - self-satisfying feelings of competence, value and meaning. Modern recognition programs connect us to those feelings. With an extra plus: instead of making praise one-to-one, they stream it to the organization. One-to-many.

But there’s a catch. (There’s always a catch, isn’t there?) Work and the workplace have changed.   

In the scattershot digital workplace, intranets are gravity  

“The office” is not what it was. Employees have flex hours. Some spend a day or two at home. Some hardly step in the office at all. Companies have a development team in one city and a marketing team in another.  Some hot desk. Some don’t even have offices.  The cloud is the new boardroom. A crackerjack, centralized online platform is the best way to knit these organizational threads into a ball that your engaged cats like to play with. They are the best place to show them - and everyone up and down the org chart - how important their contributions are.

Gratitude is contagious

Engaged employees are more productive and happier at work. Healthier, too. They put more discretionary effort into relationships with customers, partners, suppliers and other constituents. Worker-to-worker and worker-to-customer feeback loops form and cascade.  But you already know this.


Recognition tools have matured into two-way engagement channels

Companies have realized that front-line employees are vaults of productivity and process improvements.  Which leads to greater profit. Giving them spaces where they can share that information and influence decisions makes them feel connected and - you guessed it - recognized.

The growing use and sophistication of Pulse Surveys reflects how critical it is to not just record the feelings, gaps and needs of a workforce, but to do something about it.  Pronto.

Recognition tools have matured into two-way engagement channelsThe Royal Bank of Canada saw great success with TemboSocial Comments  - using it to create a place for dialogue and feedback that reached 80,000 employees across 50 countries.  

Collaboration tools are the hottest ticket on the Internet these days. And why not? They make it easy to scaffold small ideas into big plans by simplifying dialogue and collecting instant feedback on viability, challenges and so on. For bigger organizations, the intranet is a natural home for distributing ideas and capturing feedback.  


Recognition tools have taken on more responsibility

Workforces have decentralized. Legacy recognition programs have been re-thought and unified. This has created efficiency and workflow gaps that new tools and ideas are just starting to fill. I’ve seen this first-hand with our Awards and Nominations module, which has become a must for many of our integrations. It’s an efficient and intuitive bridge that blows the dust off formal award systems that are unwieldly in the Digital Workplace - and adds some polish in the process.

Read our free eBook Five Keys to Modernizing Your Formal Awards Program.


Hot Recognition Topics in 2017

Recognition is the key mechanism of modern employee recognition and engagement, and it’s here to stay. There's so much supporting literature and research, and its power so pronounced, that it has grown beyond justification.

But there's still uncertainty around how to start and maintain these programs. How to evaluate and benchmark them. And particularly, how to bring legacy recognition programs under one intranet roof.

It just so happens that we do these three things extremely well. See what recent TemboSocial customer New Relic had to say about their December 2016 launch of TemboSocial Recognition. Follow this blog as we explore these topics in depth over the next few months.


Learn how you can transform recognition into a business asset by celebrating success and reinforcing desired behaviors in your organization.

Learn More


Steven Green
Written by Steven Green

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