It’s Important to Comment and Not Just Like Recognition

Whether you have a vendor designed social recognition program, or an enterprise social networking service like Yammer or Jive, learn to use them to their maximum recognition effectiveness.

The recommendation I am giving to you is the value of adding comments to your social news feed.

Social recognition programs and social networking programs provide a social news feed for your employees. They allow individuals with the same Internet domain and approved email addresses, to communicate with each other behind your company’s firewall. You can send and receive positive feedback, post specific upcoming announcements, celebrate personal and work anniversaries, and, of course, write up recognition comments and acknowledgments to one or more employees for the contributions they’ve made.

If you visualize these programs in the same design configuration as Facebook, then you’ll know the news feed display allows for “likes”, “reply”, “share” and “more”. With the reply feature, they usually cue up a person in the reply box with the grey text “write a reply.”

Facebook has put a greater emphasis, of late, on what they call “meaningful interactions”. And that is exactly what you want to have happen with your employees’ expressions of recognition online, too. It seems Facebook’s fancy algorithm weighs posts against the different elements of a post’s content, such as likes versus comments.

For example, Adam Moressi, Head of News Feed at Facebook, shared in Tweets (Jan 11, 2018) how “Comments tend to [b]e more meaningful than likes for one. Another is when someone adds context to something the[y] find and share. [P]eople find the story more meaning[ful] than when they don’t.”

The principle is this – it’s nice to like a recognition comment or moment of praise. But it’s even better if you can add and send a comment.

We all like to see someone recognized and acknowledged for an amazing job that their boss, or a colleague, has commended them for. Facebook has conditioned us to look at the number count next to the Likes and quickly add our contributing click to the list.

By all means like what other people have said. Don’t stop doing that.

However, what I am proposing is that when you go on your social news feed, besides liking someone’s online praise, make time to add a comment too.

Make it your mission to like all recognition expressions, plus, write your own personal comment for those people you feel impressed to communicate with.

Remember that “likes” devoid of comments is merely a tally. Comments, on the other hand, are worth their weight in gold. They have richly communicated information that can be text-mined for insights and future development.

What needs to be in a replying comment? Some, or all of the following ideas, might be considered and are far from exhaustive:

  1. Acknowledge: You acknowledge and commend a person for whatever the peer or immediate supervisor/manager has recognized them for.
  2. Add: Write positive feedback to the person for what you’ve known about them beforehand, and perhaps highlight personal attributes that you see displayed by them in this recent positive action.
  3. Emote: Share your personal feelings for the individual, as appropriate, and express pride in their positive behaviors and actions on the job.
  4. Clarity: Be clear and specific about what it was that stood out for you when you read the writer’s initial recognition comment.
  5. Connect: Amidst the busyness of the workday, make your comment such that it connects with the person one-on-one, and is viewed as a meaningful interaction for the recipient.

Recognition Reflection: Do you make time to add written comments to people’s recognition posts on your social recognition program or social networking service?

Roy is no longer writing new content for this site (he has retired!), but you can subscribe to Engage2Excel’s blog as Engage2Excel will be taking Roy’s place writing about similar topics on employee recognition and retention, leadership and strategy.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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