Over the past 10 years, technology has changed the way we handle almost everything, including how we communicate. From the increasing prevalence of cell phones to the introduction of social networks, human connections and interactions have increased and evolved. The speed at which we can communicate and the number of ways we can communicate have increased and those changes have relevance in the workplace as well as in our personal lives, which is why workplace social platforms have captured the attention of human resource professionals. Rather than locking down the use of social media networks in the office, many companies are embracing their employees’ eagerness to participate and are finding ways to leverage this enthusiasm to drive employee engagement and advocacy for the company.
Workplace social platforms offer the opportunity to build engagement by tapping into your employees’ familiarity with social sharing and social games. Building engagement in this way can also increase motivation by making recognition more public via social sharing and injecting fun into required activities via social games. A study conducted by Badgeville, a provider of gamification and behavior management platforms, and Make Their Day, a motivation firm, showed that 83 percent of respondents felt recognition was “more fulfilling than gifts or rewards.” Ninety percent said that a fun work environment was motivating. “The results of the Make Their Day study align to what we’ve seen across our customers deploying gamification solutions for workplace engagement, as well as numerous reports over the last few years on the changing face of what motivates employees today” said Ken Comee, CEO, Badgeville.
Workplace social platforms also play an integral role in building and cultivating employee advocates. Leveraging powerful tools like workplace social platforms is an important move for companies to make, as employee advocates are not always as vocal as you’d like them to be. Business advisor and writer Mike Bailey, in Social Media Today, observes, “Employee advocacy doesn’t just happen—feedback from those who’ve led successful programs paints a daunting picture.” Bailey offers quotes from several business people describing their experiences with employee advocacy. The gist is that change often needs to start and be reiterated from the top down. Social platforms, however, have the ability to push communications out laterally and give employees an opportunity to become advocates. In turn, your corporate values may be shared further and be pushed out to external communities because of your advocates.
In addition to this, new technologies have allowed you to take workplace social platforms mobile. According to Pew Research, as of May 2013 cell phone ownership in adults reached 91 percent. This number will continue to grow, so it is important that your social recognition program include a mobile strategy. Mobile technology not only gives your users the ability to participate on their devices, but it also makes program management easier because changes and updates can be made from almost anywhere and at any time.