Virgin Media uses social media-based recognition

Virgin Media has evolved its recognition programme, Shout, from a paper-based scheme to a social media-based model in line with the organisation’s focus on technology in recent years.

The scheme started at Virgin Mobile, where it was managed by an external provider. Staff filled in a form, known as a ‘Shout’, and handed it to a colleague, who pinned it to the back of their desk.

When Virgin Mobile was rebranded to Virgin Media in February 2007, the recognition programme was added to the company intranet, and in 2009 employee profile pages were introduced, like those used on Facebook, on which the Shouts could be displayed.

Emily Scammell, engagement and employee insight manager at Virgin Media, says: “Bringing [the programme] in to be part of each employee’s profile makes it a more sociable process. [Employees] may not be looking for someone’s Shouts, but they will see how they have been recognised. There is also a live feed of Shouts displayed on the front page of our intranet.”

Employees’ profile pages also display their contact details, job role and team, a profile image, and an ‘About Me’ tab, where staff can give details about when they joined the company, their hobbies and their favourite film.

Shouts can be downloaded from profile pages for use in employees’ appraisals with their manager, although managers receive an email each time one of their team receives a Shout. Managers are encouraged to recognise Shouts in team meetings.

Virgin’s recognition programme is open to almost 18,000 employees, and an average of 543 Shouts are registered each day and 19,000 each month.