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Employees resist using social media for recognition programs

More businesses are turning to reward and recognition programs and employee engagement strategies to build a strong corporate culture.

The average tenure for employees continues to fall. Workers typically stay with a company only a few years before moving onto a new opportunity elsewhere. This is reducing firms' ability to maintain a competitive advantage with increased productivity and expertise.

To combat this issue, more businesses are turning to reward and recognition programs and employee engagement strategies to build a strong corporate culture. The more connected that staff members feel to their coworkers, supervisors and company brands, the less likely they are to seek other opportunities. Employee reward programs have become valuable tools for improving morale and accomplishing specific business objectives. These initiatives provide energy and excitement that help departments meet their goals.

Part of the challenge in motivating teams is creating a common vision for diverse groups to get all members moving in the same direction. A sense of community and belonging is essential to success in building shared goals, so organizations are continually searching for new ways to connect workers. Initially, social media may seem like an ideal solution. It provides a centralized forum for employees to share stories with, recognize and thank their co-workers, but a new survey shows that people are surprisingly resistant to receiving praise over social media.

In its 2014 Trends Report, Accelir found that just 20 percent of companies use social media sites in reward and recognition programs. More than half of respondents (55 percent) stated they didn't want to use social media in their rewards initiatives despite frequently using the technology to attract job candidates.

Companies can find success with social media
A big reason for the hesitation in implementing social media into incentive programs is the attitudes of the employees themselves. Only 25 percent of staff members stated they are comfortable with sharing professional accomplishments across personal networks. However, many organizations that have used social media to acknowledge hard work and commitment have found success with the platforms.

Human Resource Executive Online stated that social media is particularly effective with peer-to-peer recognition. The informal setting lets companies encourage employees to share photos, video or emails, acknowledging the contributions of their co-workers. The source offered a success story of TD Bank, which uses an internal network to help thousands of employees spread among 1,100 branches feel accepted.

"It's powerful because it gives employees a voice and the opportunity to be heard online," Gary Dean, TD Bank's intranet-communications manager, told the source. "It makes employees feel more part of a community."

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