Gartner flag early adoption of social recognition


social recognition

Adoption of social recognition technology is on the rise. In this recent report from IT research and advisory firm Gartner, close to 1 in 5 respondents are using it already. 25% plan to introduce it in the next 2 years. And the bigger picture projection is that social recognition will reach the early mainstream adoption point by the end of 2018.

The adoption of many HR SaaS applications such as social recognition is being fuelled, in part, by the shift to mobile. Research such as the 2015 KPMG HR Transformation Survey (formerly the Towers Watson 2015 HR Service Delivery and Technology Survey) shows a steady rise in employer interest towards the use of mobile technologies with more than 6 in 10 respondents planning to use them. More HR practitioners are realising the powerful solutions this kind of software provides. And early adopters could well be gaining an advantage over competitors who haven’t yet embraced it.

Is early adoption a risk?

It doesn’t have to be if you are asking the right questions, both internally as well as of potential providers. Undoubtedly HR must balance the need for innovative engagement with a responsibility to mitigate risk but Gartner’s report refers to the fact that ER platforms, particularly dedicated recognition platforms, are already demonstrating their ability to provide considerable benefits to organisations.

What do you need to consider before looking for an employee recognition platform?

So where do you start? The report highlights the key questions, stressing that HR leaders must be clear about how any platform could fit and enhance their company’s total reward model. How will future rewards strategies be affected? How do departments currently deal with recognition and reward in your company? What works and what doesn’t work? While many companies currently have policies for recognition and rewards, they’re often failing to deliver at an operational level.

The report also suggests looking at practical considerations, which are often overlooked in the adoption of any new application. Bandwidth requirements for example. Or the number of human resources information systems that might need to interface with the new platform.

And then it’s time to start contemplating who might be the right provider for your organisation. Gartner’s research identifies 5 key criteria to help you ask the right questions when searching for the right platform for your company.

  • How well does the vendor’s recognition strategy align to your organisation’s recognition and rewards strategy?
  • How flexible are the programme components ? In other words, what support do you get with the set up and design of the recognition programme? What’s the user experience like for everyone who’ll be involved in its use? How powerful is the recognition moment itself and does it offer the rewards fulfilment you need? And what support is offered towards your own internal marketing effort of the program?
  • What are the reporting and analytics like? How helpful are the standard reports and what kind of customisation is available? If you need customisation, is it possible to get a feel for the kind of effort it’ll require?
  • What kind of service and support is available as part of the core platform?
  • What will be the total costs of implementing and running the platform? Make sure you factor in the costs of any optional services that may be needed.

Working through these steps allows you to assess exactly what you need to achieve from your ER platform. When you’re ready to think about who’s the best provider to accomplish the right business results, Gartner’s research also points you towards the social employee recognition market leaders. Workstars are proud to make their list.


Jason Harney

Founder, also Director of Product and Marketing at Workstars. Jason has been instrumental in progressing social recognition software to the forefront of HR, against a backdrop of the traditional reward industry. As HR strategy begins to shift and innovate to meet the people and social challenges of the day. Trust, culture, values and engagement, matter more than ever. This is where Jason spends his time.