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Ice Bucket Challenge demonstrates Employee Engagement Behaviour

Sep 09, 2014

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has gone viral with people pouring ice buckets over their head and even donating, though...

Here, we say, employee engagement is also like an ice bucket challenge. How?  

We at BI WORLDWIDE™ are very interested in this social viral phenomenon due to the unusual behaviour of people participating in it so enthusiastically. Off late, our pantry conversations have been about wondering what, if anything, this viral craze has proven about human behaviour. There are a few universal truths that seem to apply, especially as they relate to our customers and to the business of employee engagement and recognition. Here are a few points observed:

  1. Need to be recognised. When good work is tied with recognition, people tend to participate more. So, writing a check for Rs. 1000 for medical research along with the chance of showing everyone in your social network on how brave, unselfish and trendy you are, works magic!

Takeaway: People will change their behaviour in astonishing ways, given the right motivation and the chance to be recognised in public for it.

  1. Desire to make a difference.  Each one of us dreams of making the world we live in, a better place. Similarly, in every organisation, most people want to do a good job. A well planned engagement program that recognises employees’ job will become an example for others to follow; just like how simple and appealing the Ice Bucket Challenge inspired a lot of people.

Takeaway: Tap into this desire to do well and your employees will accomplish amazing things. Recognise them for it and these behaviours will become deep-seated in your organisation’s culture.

  1. Connection to social. Ice Bucket Challenge’s appeal was enhanced due to the public recognition where social media gave instant fame. The same can be applied to empower your employees by giving them an employee recognition platform that integrates what people love about social media (a real-time feed, comments, likes, etc). The platform should have the ability to recognise hard work or achievement of goals in front of their peers and leaders.

Takeaway: BI WORLDWIDE™’s G5 platform is the most advanced social recognition system ever, because, it allows our customers to integrate social in a responsible but highly effective way throughout their entire organisation.

  1. Leading the way. One of the challenge’s appeals was the participation of admired celebrities and respected public figures drenching themselves in ice cubes. Similarly, the leaders of an organisation should set the standard for recognition by participating and encouraging their employees to adopt it into their daily work lives.

Takeaway: When employees see their leaders get excited about a company-wide initiative, they are more likely to get on board!

So, while the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge will likely fade away as quickly as it came about, it is a great example of how the desire to do something good and be publically recognised for it can be a powerful driver of behaviour change and can produce incredible results.

To learn more about how BI WORLDWIDE™ can help design an employee engagement program that encourages behaviour change and creates a culture of recognition in your organisation, contact us.


BI WORLDWIDE, is a global performance improvement company and has been in operation for over 60 years. Fusing Domain Expertise, Cutting Edge Technology, Rewards Fulfillment, and Campaign Execution Capabilities, BI WORLDWIDE provides end-to-end solutions to implement effective Employee Recognition, Channel Rewards and Customer Loyalty programs.

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