Virtual versus Tangible Recognition

August 19th, 2014
Ann Lyons by Ann Lyons

Most of us are bombarded with social media content and we are receiving more junk-mail than ever before. Relevant messages can be deleted too easily with the press of a button. It’s a case of information overload! Human Resources have the added challenge of attracting and retaining ‘Millennials’ or ‘Generation Y’ employees who grew up with the Internet and who are adept users of social media.

Is virtual recognition a little too convenient? Social recognition platforms are being developed to accommodate this growing generation of Internet-savvy employees. I agree that social recognition can assist in the task of engaging and motivating employees, but I wonder if Human Resources are relying solely on this method and other virtual solutions such as e-cards and virtual credit cards. These may be convenient and fast solutions, but do they deliver in the context of this ‘media’ onslaught?


Congratulations to Rory Mcilroy who was delighted to receive the recognition of his peers


Stand out from the media bombardment 

Employee recognition needs to be differentiated to stand out from the crowd. This can be achieved using more tangible methods of recognising employees, from the handwritten ‘Thank You’ card to the handshake when presenting a tangible gift. This approach may be considered old-fashioned by some but recognition is a tradition that continues to attract and retain good employees. No matter what their age, employees still like to feel that you have gone to some trouble to recognise them. 


A modern choice of gifts that respects tradition

The time of presenting the gold watch has long gone and it is now possible to offer a modern choice of tangible gifts, facilitated online, while also respecting and supporting the tradition of employee recognition. Companies have to move with the times, but they also need to consider their values and ensure that their employees feel valued. A question to consider is ‘how much of your gesture will employees remember in a years time’. Tangible gifts will continue to remind employees of their value and your appreciation.  



Ann Lyons

Gift Innovations 

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