Circles Of Influence

Circles of Influence and Social Recognition

Article written by Incentive Services University

World class athletes understand that no matter how hard they train, it’s impossible to maximize performance unless they compete. They can’t be at their best unless they measure themselves against the best. Competition, visibility and recognition fuel performance. – Incentive Services University

As organizational leaders, we know that employee recognition is crucial to maintaining motivation among quality employees. We all want to be recognized for our achievements, appreciated for our efforts and commended for our contributions. A hand-written thank you note, a tasty treat, or even an extra day of vacation can all be a grateful gesture for a job well-done.

More often, though, we are influenced by something greater than internal motivation or a private gesture of thanks. Our “circles of influence” and our levels of visibility extend to our colleagues, our leaders and even our social circles. We refer to this as social recognition. Social recognition isn’t a very complex concept. If you sum it up as the public acknowledgement of merit, you’ve pretty much hit the nail on the head. So when a manager praises an employee during a private discussion, that is not social recognition. But if that same manager honors the employee in a weekly team meeting, it is social recognition. – “4 Tips for Starting a Social Recognition Program”, TribeHR Staff, January 16, 2013

While social recognition may not fit in all situations, research shows that more and more employees want to connect with their workplace community – and with one another – through technology. Use of a corporate intranet for social recognition can help employees to feel appreciated, connected and can set a standard for employee culture and expectations.

For example, you might include a “Thank You” Wall where employees are recognized for their contributions or hard work. Perhaps employee anniversaries are acknowledged on an electronic Anniversary website. Or you might create a peer-to-peer site where employees are able to virtually “recognize” one another.

“Recognition that is timely, values-driven, and open to all employees builds a more connected and fully-engaged workforce” (“The Social Workplace”, Lupfer, 2011). By acknowledging employee value and accomplishments not only privately, but publicly, you create a larger circle of influence for each and every member of your organization.

When performance becomes visible in our circles of influence, we will do almost anything to succeed. – Incentive Services University.

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