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Social media set to change how companies recognize workers

The use of social media in employee reward programs will become one of the top trends in the human resources industry over the next year.

Social media has allowed companies to reach consumers in new ways. The personalized interactions through these channels has helped firms improve customer service and build brand loyalty. Some firms are even beginning to use the technology to engage their employees and create a fun, supportive work environment.

Incentive Magazine noted that the use of social media in employee reward programs will become one of the top trends in the human resources industry over the next year. The technology is expected to race ahead of traditional recognition portals as businesses look to improve interactions among staff members. Now, a new study is showing just how effective social media tools can be in motivating workers.

Badgeville conducted a survey of more than 1,200 employees to determine the best engagement strategies, and the results state that companies don't need to dedicate a lot of resources to cash rewards. An overwhelming number of respondents (70 percent) said that their most meaningful recognition initiatives had no dollar value attached to it. Eighty-three percent said that fair recognition for contributions was more important than any rewards.

Use social networks to connect employees
These results show that it is extremely important for organizations to create employee reward recognition programs in which managers and coworkers can publicly acknowledge individuals' hard work. Social media technology enables businesses to create an extensive network of that can be used to promote a supportive and fun work environment. These networks allow employees to receive praise from multiple sources, boosting reward programs' impact. The Badgeville study found that 88 percent of respondents were motivated by praise from managers, while 76 percent said that recognition from peers was very or extremely motivating.

The appeal of social media is it enables companies to expand incentive programs throughout their organization. Employees can connect with others at any time to share encouragement. With the addition of mobile devices, the networks can also include remote workforces and individuals on the road. The more people that are involved in reward programs, the more effective and fun they can be. Improving results from incentive programs often depends on creating the right environment. The study found that a fun work environment ranked higher for motivating staff members than job titles, cash or other gifts.

"Workplace technology today, such as gamification, provides many new opportunities for non-tangible recognition," said employee motivation specialist Cindy Ventrice in a statement. "With nearly one-fifth of meaningful recognition being delivered virtually, it is clear that these methods can be effective."

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