by Roy Saunderson | March 17, 2017
Industry research shows 40 percent of companies now have social recognition programs in place. Besides thanking people face-to-face you can go online and use your social recognition program to instantly acknowledge staff and give them a morale booster. Follow these Top 10 Ways to Maximize Your Social Recognition Program today.

1. Use social recognition as often as you can. The success of your social recognition program is in learning to use it often. Schedule two or three times in a day to spend 10 to 15 minutes and initiate recognition messages and respond to others.

2. Become the leader of social recognition. Go on your social recognition program to set a positive example for employees and managers. Use it to help people feel appreciated for who they are and recognized for what they do. 

3. Promote the immediacy of social recognition. Social recognition programs give immediate recognition. Demonstrate how great they are for giving instant, positive feedback. Show how peers can add positive comments to others too.

4. Encourage using social recognition offline. When you have your next staff meeting, invite everyone to highlight a colleague online who has given significant help to a co-worker by expressing appreciation to them using social recognition.  

5. Digital second hand compliments. Don't forget to add your comments and commendation to other people's recognition messages, too. Whether giving a like or adding a personal comment, you help lengthen the recognition experience. 

6. Increase the connection with everyone. Use social recognition programs to connect with remote and other departmental employees and communicate recognition as soon as you hear about an employee's exceptional performance. 

7. Increase the visibility of excellent performance. Employees work all over the company and their actions can impact many but you might not see them right away. Social recognition allows you to know the great things people are doing.

8. Get all of your managers involved. Ask managers to express appreciation for staff's great work and to specifically share how they are making a difference. Communicate positive behaviors with other managers so they can comment too.

9. Increase peer-to-peer usage. Strongly encourage employees to recognize their peers on a daily basis using social recognition. Recommend when they see something they should say something on your social recognition platform.

10. Make daily accountability checks. See how you're doing in both originating recognition messages and adding comments to acknowledge what other people have already posted in the social recognition feed. Make any needed changes.

Incentive columnist Roy Saunderson is the author of Giving the Real Recognition Way. The Vistance Institute chief learning officer at Rideau Inc., Saunderson provides consulting, learning, and thought leadership services focused on helping leaders and managers give real recognition the right way. He can be reached at RoySaunderson@Rideau.com and followed on Twitter (@RoySaunderson) and at his AuthenticRecognition.com blog.