Employee Motivation Through the Social NetworkHow important is it to encourage a company culture that places value in employee motivation? Hint: vastly important. Reward and recognition are powerful in stimulating and perpetuating active employee engagement in a healthy workplace. Happy employees are the foundation of any happy, thriving company, and employee motivation should be at the forefront of its priorities. With more and more companies using social networking as an internal tool, it provides an opportunity to take employee motivation and recognition to a completely different, 21st century level. In doing some research on employee motivation and recognition through social networks, I stumbled across an article on the Engagement Strategies Magazine Web site that talks about how TD Canada utilizes its internal social network for employee motivation and recognition.

In a nutshell, the company has established a program where employees can post stories on the internal social network about things they’ve done or observed others doing in support of providing a positive customer experience. TD Canada has had great success with the program. Benefits of using such an internal social network for encouraging employee motivation go beyond the warm, fuzzy feelings that swapping nice stories about coworkers can generate (though this can still be considered a positive by-product of the process). Additional side effects of such a program include:

Validation encourages retention. Nobody likes feeling as if they’re a workhorse burdened by thankless tasks. At the same time, a kind word goes a long way. The unappreciated workhorse eventually breaks down and makes room for a new employee (with all of the costs involved), and so on. If, however, an employee’s efforts are rewarded by the validation of his or her coworkers, the likelihood that the employee will stick around for the long, loyal haul is galvanized.

Sharing otherwise untold stories builds a stronger team. Being part of a company’s rich fabric of stories gets an employee personally involved in the direction of the overall story being told. I think this is how Han Solo got suckered into coming back to help the Rebel Alliance — he was already waist deep in the story by the time he made the decision to return to it.

Collaboration is bolstered by connections. Reading about the heroic deeds of fellow coworkers encourages employees to connect with one another and it motivates them to embark upon heroic deeds of their own. Higgins saved the company’s mainframe from ninjas? Johnson won’t be outdone! He’ll make sure the coffee stockroom never dries up.

Validation encourages promotion. Big Brother doesn’t always have to be watching for an employee’s deeds to get duly rewarded. With peers shouting out from the top of the internal social network mountain, management’s ears are bound to perk up and take notice.

Details about TD Canada’s program for employee motivation through the social network, its methods, and its rewards, are featured in ‘Wow Moments’ Helps TD Canada Trust Nurture Employee Engagement, Growth.