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Social media enhances employee incentive programs

A key step to creating a successful reward program is the public recognition that employees receive.

Social media is altering the way that businesses interact with their customers, and will soon be changing how they provide information to their employees as well. Social media has become a powerful marketing tool because of its ability to connect large numbers of people in a personal and instantaneous way. This same capability is providing companies with the means to improve the results of their employee incentive programs.

A key step to creating a successful reward program is the public recognition that employees receive. Communication and feedback send clear signals to staff members about what is expected, building a more supportive environment for the program. Personalized messages of recognition provide motivation and build a connection to the success of the company and other employees. This can change the entire culture of the organization to one that is focused on delivering better results and achieving objectives.

Using social to build a supportive environment
The California Center For Health Reporting states that this is exactly what has happened at the Mariani Nut Company when it instituted a wellness program. To lower its health insurance costs and increase employee engagement, the firm encouraged workers to get into shape and join a gym. Now, a focus on fitness has become a central part of the company's identity. Social media provides the channel for workers to share success stories, post goals or offer encouragement, and businesses could generate significantly better results if they incorporate it into their employee incentive programs.

Social media tools provide a more cooperative environment essential to achieving long-term goals. The instant communications about results and progress can incite a flurry of supportive feedback and acknowledgement from other staff members. There is no delay in the recognition that employees receive, making it more effective and easier to manage.

However, as effective as social media can be at building the right environment for success, it remains just one tool that is available to organizations. Each reward program needs to be carefully designed and monitored to ensure its success. Social media can be a valuable tool in boosting participation by giving all workers an easy way to connect to the program, but meeting long-term goals still depends on the ability of the firm to manage its initiatives. Incentive program specialists, like Xceleration, can provide the insight and resources to effectively incorporate social media into an employee reward program.

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