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Take Advantage of Technology by By Bob Kelleher From Employee Engagement For Dummies

technologyYou aren’t limited to recognition in the real world. You must also harness technology and social media to offer virtual kudos. This is particularly important for Gen Y and, to a lesser degree, Gen X employees.

Not so sure? Consider these stats from a 2012 Cisco Connected Technology Report:

  • Sixty percent of Gen Y compulsively check their smartphones for e-mails, texts, or social media updates.
  • More than two out of five members of Gen Y report that they would feel “anxious” if they were unable to check their smartphones.
  • Forty percent of Gen Y say that their company policy forbids the use of company-owned devices for personal activities. Of that group, 71 percent — almost three out of four — disregard said policies.

Gen Y in particular is immersed in technology. They came of age with the Internet at their fingertips. In addition, they prefer instant feedback — and today’s technology offers a great way to provide it, quickly and inexpensively. Giving a virtual “pat on the back” can be as simple as tweeting, sharing a message on the company’s intranet, posting on your organization’s Facebook page, texting your team, or sending a congratulatory e-mail.

You aren’t limited to using these traditional technological tools, however. One employee recognition solutions company, O.C. Tanner, offers a free mobile app, iappreciate, which enables you to nominate employees for awards and recognition, create thoughtful recognition presentations, set dates to recognize team members, invite people to recognize others, and even create certificates to save and print. Users can also use the app to send quick e-notes to team members for an “above and beyond” job. O.C. Tanner isn’t the only company offering these types of tools, however. Other organizations such as Achievers, BI WORLDWIDE, Hinda Incentives, and Kudos have gotten in on the game.

If you’re still using a bulletin board in the break room to recognize your best and brightest, don’t beat yourself up about it. But also consider using technology in your recognition efforts. It won’t just appeal to your Gen Y staff; Gen Xers and Baby Boomers will like it, too.