As social media takes an increasingly predominant place in our personal and work lives, it also raises questions about potential connections to employee motivation, performance and rewards. I chronicled this trend in a recent post, noting the challenges employers face in encouraging productive use of social networks by their employees.
Today, Paul Hebert of Incentive Intelligence introduces an intriguing new twist on the topic. Taking the psychological principle of social proof as a stepping-off point, Paul uses a study done to determine the most effective way to influence hotel guests to reuse their towels in order to illustrate the power of social influence in impacting behavior.
From Paul's post:
Social networks allow information to surface and let's people see what others LIKE THEM are doing - making it more likely they will follow that lead. If a salesperson can see that other salespeople like them are making sales and finding leads - they are more likely to work a bit harder. If your employees see others working outside their job descriptions to help the company - they will want to do the same.
Using social networks isn't just posting the top performers at the end of the program - that's still necessary. Leveraging social networks in your program is about having a continuous stream of information that shows people are hitting targets, trying new ideas, helping other departments - reinforcing those behaviors and communicating that these behaviors are common and are standard operating procedures.
The question is whether employers, many of whom are still wrestling with the risks and control issues surrounding employee social media use, will recognize the enormous opportunity they have to leverage these tools to make a positive difference in employee - and organizational - performance.
What about you? How can you use the concept of social influence to augment your reward programs and practices?