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Why Does Social Recognition Matter And How To Practice It?

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Last Updated on

A decade ago, social recognition wasn't a topic that HR experts were talking about. But, as workplaces started embracing employee recognition, its social aspect, too, entered the scene.

Read our: Ultimate Guide To Employee Rewards and Recognition

So, we can say social recognition has gained significant traction in recent years.

In this blog, we go over the fundamentals of social recognition in just about five minutes.

Read on!

What is social recognition?

Typically, social recognition is when we take a social approach to reward and recognition programs.

In other words, social recognition is a method of recognizing employees socially.

Social recognition can be a simple "thank you" in a team meeting to a callout in the weekly newsletter. It can also be monetary or non-monetary benefits and even a digital badge or shout-out.

Normally, it sounds easy to recognize one other in the workplace socially. But, in today's complex environment, recognition campaigns are hard too. It's even tougher for remote workplaces, where people feel easily disconnected.

It is where the need for a common forum of social recognition comes into play. And when we say that, we can only think about going digital.

What does digital social recognition look like?

Digital social recognition involves a common platform where employees may see who was recognized by whom and why.

Being digital, it allows recognition to be instant and spontaneous.

It serves as a place where employees can gather and share their workplace experiences. Also, it allows for subsequent reactions from them. Like, say, congratulating each other in the comments section.

Social recognition can extend beyond professional achievements. It can also celebrate employees' personal milestones and life events. For example, employees getting married, having a kid, or celebrating a birthday.

Such personal touch can create genuine connections with one another. It leads to increased engagement and, as a result, higher productivity at work.

Here's an example of social recognition from Vantage Circle's employee recognition solution.

It includes a recognition feed where employees can see, like, and comment on previous recognitions.


Picture courtesy: Employee appreciation post via Vantage Circle's Employee Rewards and Recognition Platform

Now let’s know the differences between social and traditional employee recognition.

Differences between traditional recognition and social recognition system

1. Traditional recognition is usually a top-down practice.

But, social recognition is non-hierarchical. Everyone in an organization can participate, regardless of seniority or physical location.

2. Social recognition is less expensive than traditional recognition. Instead of relying on pay or benefits, social recognition can turn the workplace's sense of belonging into a "reward."

3. Traditional recognition, such as yearly awards, is delayed efforts. Thus, it is both dehumanizing and demotivating.

But social recognition is instantly communicated throughout the company, making it real-time.

4. Traditional recognition is not an all-encompassing experience. It is reliant on performance bonuses and service rewards rather than experiences.

Besides rewards and bonuses, social recognition can improve the employee experience by strengthening peer ties. It is a major source of motivation, and when it becomes a company habit, it becomes the foundation of an inclusive and collaborative workplace.

5. Generic thanks and gifts in formal recognition are tedious and monotonous.

But social recognition can be fun, enjoyable, and natural at the same time.

Furthermore, social platforms allow using gifs, emoticons, and other amusing elements.

Social recognition is only effective when employees recognize one another voluntarily. “Predetermined award timing is a common employee recognition problem,” says SHRM.

1. Newsletters

A wonderful method to promote good work is to mention their names in a monthly/weekly newsletter.

2. Notice boards

Notice boards are one of the oldest ways to make a public announcement.
A well-designed, engaging notice board can entice people to stop walking, glance away from their phones, and absorb relevant messages. The only catch is that your board ideas must be very good.

3. Social intranet platform

A social intranet serves the same functions as social media apps in the workplace. It is a platform for internal communication and cooperation that allows employees to interact and create relationships. A social intranet promotes information exchange, interactions among colleagues, and collaboration around common goals.

4. Company’s social media pages

Your company's social media pages are great for sharing messages with a bigger crowd. The most effective social media for businesses include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

5. Social recognition software

Apart from social media, a social recognition platform like Vantage Circle can help. It enables peer-to-peer recognition, boosts employee engagement, and offers instant rewards.

Our platform includes the following features that are highly suitable for social recognition:

A. Single sign-on (SSO) and seamless HRMS and chat applications interfaces.

B. You can interact with the recognition posts by liking, commenting, and sharing.

C. It is a points-based rewards system that allows choosing between monetary or non-monetary awards.

Read our blog on: Points Based Rewards System: A Complete Guide For HRs

D. It’s easy-to-use mobile version making recognitions immediate and hassle-free.

E. The gamified features like leaderboards and badges encourage friendly peer competition.

F. Vantage Pulse helps managers create custom surveys. It takes employee feedback and gains insights into employee performance. It uses analytics for the same.

Check out our client success stories to learn how our rewards and recognition solution assists them with their job.

Why does social recognition matter?


1. Boosts employee engagement

Many employees, particularly those working from home, may feel their efforts go unnoticed. Naturally, this can lead to a drop in engagement and, as a result, a drop in staff retention.

A social recognition program that allows all employees to instantly see, support, and remark on their peers' achievements can enhance engagement and job happiness.

2. Fosters your organizational values and overall positivity

Social recognition can also help organizations showcase their values and positive culture.

Recognizing the success of a campaign, for example, promotes the qualities of innovation and dedication. Likewise, celebrating a personal event, such as a birthday, adds to a good, inclusive, and human workplace.

3. Increased retention and decreased absence of staff

Since the beginning of this blog, we have been saying appreciation makes employees happy. And happy employees will stick around as they enjoy coming to work.

A Gallup survey says organizations with engaged teams see 81% lower absenteeism. They even take lesser sick leaves compared to workplaces that don't appreciate them.

4. Uncover the silent heroes

Every organization has some "Silent Superstars" at the entry-level. They are the ones who create wonderful results but stay under the radar of usual employee recognition.

But, people who receive enough recognition will only stay in entry-level positions for a short time.

Recognition takes them forward, proving their readiness to take on bigger responsibilities. They gain their peers' and seniors' trust and respect in a very short period.

How to practice social recognition?

1. Make it instant and frequent.

Strike while the iron is hot. And push your employees to strive to perform their best continually.

Don't wait. If an employee does an outstanding job or goes above and above, recognize them immediately.

More than 90% of employees say that when they are recognized for work, they are more inclined to repeat it.

2. Make it engaging.

Look for ways to customize your recognitions with humorous gifs/ photographs, like, and comments section. A point-based rewards system is another fantastic way to make showing appreciation appealing.

3. Invest in a recognition software


Take time to appreciate employees, and they will reciprocate in a thousand ways.- Dr. Bob Nelson

If you're considering moving recognition online or starting your employee recognition effort from scratch, you must invest in employee recognition software.

Apart from being engaging, it has the following benefits:

Recognition software allows managers to evaluate the effectiveness of the initiative better. They know what is working for their employees, and it's the potential return on investment.

Recognition software ensures that every employee, regardless of location or organization level, can get the same recognition experience.

When implementing an employee recognition program, HR can expect minimal headaches. It comes with less admin work after it's set up, integrated with existing systems, and launched.

Digital platforms like Vantage Circle replace the archaic concept of a once-a-year employee appreciation ritual. With Vantage Rewards, well-deserving VCian receive immediate appreciation for work well done by their managers and teammates.


Book a personalized demo with us for your unique employee spotlight needs!

4. Make it inclusive.

Everyone should be able to engage in your social recognition program. It must encompass everyone from entry-level workers to leaders.

5. Showcase top leadership's support.

The support of senior management is critical to the success of any social recognition initiatives.

Employees regard senior management as credible. As a result, if senior leadership encourages them to do so, they are more inclined to recognize each other.

Impact of social recognition on business

1. Impact on financial success

Implementing a program that encourages managers to recognize employees led to a 14 to 29 percent boost in profit. - Harvard Business Review.

Research from Gallup supports this claim. It talks about a 21 percent rise in profitability for businesses with highly engaged employees.

It's because appreciated employees take ownership of their work. In return, it yields better efficiency and speeds up business growth.

2. Impact on employer brand

When you work in human resources, you understand how important it is to attract and keep great talent. And for that, you must be able to differentiate your brand from its competitors.

According to Gallup's study:

Social recognition contributes to a friendly and upbeat environment.Such environments foster a positive culture with employer loyalty and a good retention rate. The same benefits extend beyond income and benefits, attracting prospective employees.

3. Impact on customers

What’s happening inside the organization is felt on the outside by the customers.

Studies have found that companies with high employee engagement scores had twice the customer loyalty (repeat purchases, recommendations to friends) than companies with average employee engagement levels.- Hay Group.

The beauty of social recognition is that it goes beyond internal-only recognition. It also opens the door to receiving external recognition from customers, clients, or even vendors.


The key to customer happiness is to prioritize employee happiness. They also attract new clientele by providing exceptional experiences. It's simple: happy employees lead to happy customers.

4. Impact on leadership

What gets recognized gets repeated.

Employees seek leaders not only for guidance and security but also for recognition. And, as a leader, your recognition is invaluable. When your staff sees that you acknowledge their efforts, it puts a greater sense of purpose in their work.

In times of crisis, it helps team members overcome uncertainty.

It also serves as a fantastic learning tool for others and a means of moving from mental tiredness to a sense of inspiration.

Leadership now also entails being vulnerable, listening closely, and showing an interest in developing their fellow people. Recognizing employees’ achievements and feedback demonstrates that their leaders stand by their side and want them to succeed.

And when employees understand that their leader is their advocate, good things happen for everyone.

For all such benefits, we can now see a lot of leaders seeking professional coaching to help them develop the art of expressing praise and delivering constructive criticism.

This article is written by Susmita Sarma, a digital marketer at Vantage Circle. She was involved with media relations before shifting her interest to research and creative writing. Apart from being a classical music buff, she keeps a keen interest in anchoring and cooking. For any related queries, contact editor@vantagecircle.com

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