Social recognition goes places top-down recognition can’t follow

Social recognition, or peer-to-peer recognition, brings more to your business than a traditional top-down approach to recognition. In this blog, we’ll outline what social recognition is, and why it has an edge over recognition that focuses on management-led recognition.

Defining social recognition

Social recognition does have some things in common with traditional recognition. It still relies on passing positive, validating messages between employees.

What’s different is that it sets aside your usual company structure and hierarchy to do that. Rather than messages of recognition flowing from more senior employees down, they move in any direction.

With social recognition, hierarchy, department, or location don’t prevent staff from celebrating their colleagues’ day-to-day achievements. There are some real benefits to using a platform to put that recognition in a single, public space. We’ll outline a few of them in this article.

Your staff express what’s important to each other, not just what’s important to you

What employees recognise each other for is an expression of the things that matter to them. All the moments where an employee goes out of their way to make their colleagues’ lives easier.

Whether it’s someone handling a client call while a colleague is sick, taking time to train peers on new software, , or even just making sure no one’s birthday gets forgotten, it’s all valuable.

Putting those moments in a central, public platform is a message to colleagues, from colleagues. It says, “This is the kind of behaviour we value, this is how to be a great member of our team.” As a result, everyone in the business knows what it looks like to live your values.

Leadership can dictate the broad strokes of company culture and values, but they can’t fill in the gaps about what’s valuable the way your employees can between themselves.

Relationships between peers flourish

Everyone has the need to know their work and their presence is treasured and welcomed. Hearing and seeing appreciation is a vital part of feeling like a real member of a team. This is one of social recognition’s great strengths.

Social recognition shifts the focus away from employees waiting for validation from managers, and puts more emphasis on the value employees bring to their peers.

Employees that know they’re respected and valued by their colleagues are going to have an easier time collaborating, succeeding and producing valuable work.

Not only does social recognition produce those feelings of inclusion and value, it goes one further. It gives those employees a sense of pride by putting their colleagues’ expressions of value in the public for your whole company to see.

When these messages come from colleagues, not managers, they build connection between colleagues, strengthening bonds in the workplace.

Positive behaviours ingrain your values

As we’ve pointed out a few times, the behaviours that are recognised are the behaviours that get repeated.

When you channel that recognition through a proper social recognition platform, you can hold all those behaviours against your values. For instance, at Love2shop Business Services and Appreciate Group, we channel messages of social recognition through values like empathy, dynamism, credibility, or respect.

This makes your values tangible. They’re connected to everything from your biggest achievements to the smallest acts of empathy between staff.  These routine moments of joy, expressed between employees, become a way to ingrain your company’s values into everyday behaviour.

Without having to hit your staff over the head by telling them what your values should look like in practice, your colleagues show each other.

We’re only scratching the surface

Social recognition, as part of a wider internal campaign to improve your company’s culture, has more benefits than we have time to go over in just one article. Certainly more than the benefits we outlined here. If you want to talk more about how recognition, and social recognition, can improve your business, you’re always welcome to get in touch.