Meet our protagonist — the Director of Engagement and Recognition at a Fortune 1000 corporation. The scene? Employees are busy at work exceeding expectations and delivering big-time results for the business. Each day, team members capture videos on their smartphones expressing gratitude and excitement for the success of their coworkers and share them as part of the organization’s recognition program.
Cut to a clip of employees raising a glass at happy hour to toast a fellow teammate. Then to a quick “attaboy” shot with an iPhone jumping into the car after a great meeting. Or better yet, a clip of a co-worker flipping the bird in an accidental photobomb. The possibilities are endless! When people tap into the power of video recognition in the workplace, they create their very own internal version of Snapchat, Instagram or Vine.
Cut! Cut! Stop the cameras!
Is your heart racing? Are there beads of sweat forming at your forehead? I’ve spent enough time living and breathing compliance in big organizations to understand the potential concern for video recognition. In a day where videos go viral overnight, reaching millions of people online before HR gets wind of their existence, you’re right to be nervous to include video as part of your recognition strategy.
We’re in a world where video is becoming the norm for how people communicate. There’s an argument that the viral nature of video is a part of the future of recognition we can’t ignore and there’s plenty of noise being made in the recognition space regarding its importance.
My point today isn’t to downplay the reality of video in our lives but rather to ask whether or not video recognition should be the priority, or primary area of focus. I honestly believe our lenses are blurry when we assess the value and importance of video recognition when very few organizations can point to data that shows consistent and effective use of the most basic forms of recognition across the business.
What percentage of your organization’s managers use e-card recognition regularly to acknowledge the effort of their team members? What percentage of all employees consistently recognize one another for a job well done? The results are scary!
We can’t put our heads in the sand expecting the use of video to suddenly disappear. It won’t. Chances are, regardless of your program partner, video capabilities are coming to a recognition program near you. Unfortunately, the amount of time and energy organizations spend on the fundamentals of recognition, building the necessary skills with managers and measuring the results of these efforts is far too low. My suggestion is to spend time now building these skills across the organization so that when the time comes to “turn on the cameras” your organization will be prepared to use it effectively.
You may not be ready for video recognition, but it’s something to consider down the line. Millennials are ready today. Getting prepared for video in the workplace can mean the difference between an unfortunate video bringing your organization into the spotlight with an “Extra! Extra! Read All About It!” headline. That’s what we fear most with video and while the reality is that even the most holistic strategy for video recognition won’t entirely eliminate risk, you may be at greater risk without it long term.