The power of social recognition in employee engagement – Interview with Ketti Salemme of TINYpulse


Share on LinkedIn


Today’s interview is with Ketti Salemme, Senior Communications Manager at TINYpulse, an employee engagement platform that combines pulse surveys, peer recognition, and performance reviews. Ketti joins me today to talk about employee engagement, surveys and creative work hacks that drive the development of a great culture and employee satisfaction.

This interview follows on from my recent interview – Insights from inside some of the world’s highest performing organisations – Interview with Brian MacNeice – and is number 211 in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things, providing valuable insights, helping businesses innovate and delivering great service and experience to both their customers and their employees.

Here’s the highlights of my interview with Ketti:

  • TINYpulse is an employee engagement platform.
  • All of TINYpulse’s employee engagement surveys are anonymous.
  • They believe that anonymous surveys are the best way to go as it really protects employee interests and opinions so they don’t have to ‘play politics’ and it establishes trust amongst the team.
  • TINYpulse’s clients consistently achieve in the range of 75-90% response rates on their surveys.
  • This is helped by leaders consistently acting on the feedback.
  • Even if a company is deemed to have a great culture and is very open and transparent, they still benefit from asking for anonymous feedback from employees.
  • The majority of TINYpulse’s platform is anonymous.
  • However, the only element where anonymity is optional is a feature called ‘Cheers For Peers’, which is their most popular feature. This is where employees can send ‘cheers’ or kudos to clients, prospects, peers and co-workers to thank them for a job well-done or something like that. These ‘cheers’ can also be shared on channels like Slack or Twitter.
  • The reason that they decided to make anonymity optional on this particular element is that recognition is so much more meaningful if it is personalised.
  • In fact, some employees of some of their clients have been known to use their accumulated ‘cheers’ and have integrated them into their CV so that they can evidence the great feedback that they have received from their colleagues.
  • We need to remember sometimes what it means to be human.
  • TINYpulse are also fans of creative work hacks that improve culture and employee satisfaction.
  • For example, some they have seen their clients use and they also use include:
    • Chair races around the office as a fun way to break up the day,
    • Taking the team to the park for lunch,
    • Taking your team out bowling or to happy hour.
  • This little ‘hacks’ don’t need to be huge events but just little things that can go a long way to improve morale and build relationships within and across teams.
  • Their research shows that only 24% of employees feel connected to their peers, which is 11% lower than last year.
  • They found in their 2017 Employee Engagement report that the drivers of this drop in connection is due to a perceived drop in transparency and communication.
  • Whether this is true or not, it is important that managers and leaders pay attention to these insights particularly in a low unemployment labour market. Therefore, it is imperative that leaders and managers continue to pay attention to and invest in peer and team connectivity.
  • Communication needs to be both reflective and responsive.
  • To combat this at TINYpulse they have established a cultural committee that monitors their internal engagement results and will meet every 1-2 weeks to discuss and assess their results and make sure that they are on top of and respond to any communication, transparency or any other issue.
  • TINYpulse work with clients that have as few as 5 employees and their largest client has 150,000 employees.
  • Ketti believes that smaller organisations should pulse their employees more frequently (i.e every week) whilst monthly tends to be better for larger organisations.
  • However, the key is to keep the surveys simple, short and focused so that you can maximise response rates and actionable feedback.
  • It’s surprising that we ask customers for feedback and encourage them to name team members that stood out for them as we understand how motivating that can be for our people. Yet, we often forget to do the same thing internally.
  • Providing learning and growth opportunities, particularly for Millennials, is becoming an increasingly important part of employee engagement, happiness and satisfaction. These could range from things like a series of brown-bag lunches to the establishment of a conference fund to which employees can apply and, if successful, they will get sent to a new and relevant conference.
  • Wow service/experience for Ketti is when some truly listens to you and takes your feedback seriously.
  • Giving someone your time and attention is such a huge gift.
  • Check out

About Ketti

Ketti SalemmeKetti Salemme is a Senior Communications Manager at TINYpulse, where she was employee #4. She has been interviewed by CNBC, Business Insider, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and many others major publications as an employee engagement expert.

Having traveling to 23 countries and lived in 3, she now resides in Seattle, where she loves to cook, run, and explore new bars/restaurants.

Check out, say Hi to them and Ketti on Twitter @TINYpulse and @Kettianne and feel free to connect with Ketti on LinkedIn here.

Photo Credit: throgers Flickr via Compfight cc

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Adrian Swinscoe
Adrian Swinscoe brings over 25 years experience to focusing on helping companies large and small develop and implement customer focused, sustainable growth strategies.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here