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How To Recognize Employees In A Small Business

By Erika Rahman
Illustration of a Carl the yeti standing on a chair with a superhero cape.

More than 99% of all organizations in the US are classified as small businesses. With more than 31.7 million entities in 2020 alone, the SME community is larger than ever – and one of the most important elements of the national economy!

From CEOs and middle managers to entry-level positions, it takes a village to run your small business day in and day out. You might not have as many resources as other businesses, but you’ll still want to thank your awesome employees for a job well done. That’s why implementing a winning employee recognition program is exactly what your SME needs this year.

image with text - Using employee recognition programs can help boost employee loyalty, productivity, and profits.

Employee recognition programs are used to develop a culture of gratitude in any small business. By nurturing meaningful feedback, reward giving, and year-round recognition, your small business could start moving the needle forward on employee loyalty, profits, and productivity.

Let’s explore some of the most common ways to start improving employee engagement in a small business, and why you should do it in the first place.

Recognizing employees in a small company – what’s it good for?

Even in a small to medium-sized business, the principles of recognizing your employees still matter – a lot. But we know what you’re thinking: 'There's just a small number of us — we don't need a program!'

Well, yes and no. Recognizing the hard work of your employees matters more than you might think.

Today, only 19% of employees find themselves meaningfully engaged with their work. Disinterested and disheartened, 81% of the workforce will eventually start to feel burned out, unappreciated, and just plain tired. Recent estimates suggest that unengaged employees are more likely to leave their positions, work at a slower pace, and generally detach themselves from the goals of your business. Yikes.

image with text - Recognized employees are 63% less likely to look for a new job.

Recognizing the hard work, milestones, and accomplishments of your employees is more than skin deep. It creates more than just good vibes (although that’s definitely a thing), and we have the stats to prove it!

  • Recognized employees are 63% less likely to look for a new job
  • Roughly 72% of small businesses say that recognition boosts engagement
  • Airtight recognition programs boost employee performance by 11.1%

It’s easy to see that employee recognition programs aren’t just expensive buzzwords; they’re impactful solutions that cultivate a culture of gratefulness in any workforce!

How to recognize employees in a small business

Below are a couple of SME recognition techniques that work for businesses of all sizes.

• Peer to peer recognition

Did you know that peer to peer recognition is more powerful than any other form of feedback? Integrate ways for the entire team to recognize each other, connecting them with meaningful interactions.

• Awards and badges

Who needs Employee of the Quarter when you can issue ‘coolest looking cubicle’ awards and ‘plant queen’ badges? Feel free to get as creative as you want, even throwing peer to peer feedback into the mix.

• Public announcements

Make the whole team aware of awesome accomplishments with public announcements. Employee engagement software is a great platform for this, as well as social media pages.

• Monetary benefits

Kick gift cards to the curb with flexible spending benefits like Thanks Matters cards! Don’t forget to issue spot recognitions and surprise gifts every once in a while.

• Milestone tracking

Tracking your employee’s work anniversary, birthday, and performance history is a great way to send a ‘thank you’ at the perfect moment. It’s all about the little things.

Improving employee engagement in a small business

If you already have an established employee recognition program at your SME, congratulations! You’re well on your way to creating holistic, meaningful interactions between yourself and your employees. Now it’s time to improve what you already have to get even better results.

Offer management training

Managers are the first point of contact between employees and the leadership team. Turn your managerial workforce into a powerhouse of recognition by providing them with leadership training and peer to peer feedback.

Create feedback channels

Speaking of feedback, try implementing surveys, panels, and other open-door reporting policies that let employees be heard.

Scale up the system

image with text - Be sure to implement space for growth in your recognition program.

You might only have 5 team members now, but who knows what the future holds? Be sure to implement space for growth in your recognition program, especially as your employee roster continues growing!

How Motivosity helps with small business employee recognition

So you want to start work on an employee recognition program. Good for you! You’re making a serious commitment to your employees, one they’ll undoubtedly appreciate for years to come.

No matter how you want to structure your small business employee recognition program, Motivosity’s got your back. With decades of combined experience in the field, our crew offers unique ways to construct winning plans in just a few taps. Connect, recognize, lead, and listen to your team in all new ways, harnessing the power of gratitude in every step you take.

Turn your small business culture into something everyone wants to work for. Demo our software today to see our solutions in action, or call (801) 758-7188 to chat with the team. We’re looking forward to partnering with you soon!