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HR Professionals Not Quite Ready for Social Recognition

While knowing its importance in building organizational strength, most HR professionals are not quite ready for social recognition.

As corporate social media use continues to grow, a new survey found that, surprisingly many HR professionals are they themselves not wholly comfortable with the concept.

The survey of more than 400 HR professionals, which was sponsored by global employee recognition provider Michael C. Fina and conducted by human capital advisors Accelir, examined organizations’ current use of employee recognition programs. Key results show increasing interest in early recognition strategies, the continued value of service awards, and indecision about social media’s role.

“As professionals try to strike a balance among their blended work and personal social profiles, we recommend that organizations consider adding social elements to their recognition programs based on their company culture and employee base,” said Ashley Fina, President of Michael C. Fina. “Some employees and companies might respond well to social recognition, but others prefer that the praise stay between the manager and employee.”

Uneven Support of Social Recognition in the Workplace

While social media has transformed HR domains such as recruiting and talent acquisition, more than 82 percent of survey respondents said their organizations do not currently include social media in their rewards and recognition programs, and only 28 percent planned to add social recognition to their current programs. More than half of respondents (55 percent) said they do not want their workforce recognitions shared via their personal social media networks including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

“Although social recognition is getting mixed support among HR executives, organizations are starting to realize that recognizing an employee’s work earlier, even at the one-year mark, is important for building a strong, long-lasting connection and personal relationship that will have a positive impact on the individual and help the company increase overall engagement,” added Fina.

Early Recognition Key Growth Area for Still-Powerful Service Rewards

Ninety-one percent of survey respondents utilize service awards, and those surveyed say that service awards continue to play a vital role in their employee recognition strategies. In fact, nearly 70 percent of survey respondents – regardless of their own tenure – agreed that employees should be recognized and rewarded for their service beginning with their one-year work anniversary.

Employee engagement is the most important driver of overall employee recognition programs (54 percent) followed by happy employees (23 percent) and worker retention (11 percent). Currently, respondents are executing recognition programs by offering employees selectable gifts (66 percent), certificates (52 percent), congratulatory emails (41 percent) and non-selectable gift (40 percent) often at the five-year employment mark and beyond.

For more information about the Rewards & Recognition Trends Survey, please visit

Michael C. Fina sponsored the Rewards & Recognition Trends Survey, which was conducted by Accelir, a human capital advisory firm. The research focused on the employee recognition strategies and programs of more than 400 respondents surveyed in June/July 2013.


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