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When was the last time you said thank you? A little recognition can go a surprisingly long way. According to a survey, 82% of people say that praise and recognition are the leading factors in improving their performance at work, and employee recognition is one of the simplest things you can action.

In fact, making your people feel valued and appreciated can have a huge impact. Making recognition a priority for your business can help your employees be more engaged, feel more respected, build better relationships and help them see the purpose of what they do.

But when you’re busy running a small business, it’s easy for recognition to fall by the wayside.

So, how do you know if your small business needs better employee recognition? Here are the three most important signs: 

They don’t feel connected to your mission or values

employee connectionWe all want to feel like we’re a part of something bigger than ourselves. According to McKinsey, 70% of employees believe that their sense of purpose is defined by their work, which means that as a leader, you’re in a position to help them feel motivated and engaged. If your employees don’t feel connected with your business and they don’t truly believe in your values, they’re less likely to go the extra mile.

Boost engagement by encouraging and rewarding value-focussed behaviours. eCards are a simple but effective way of saying thank you, by sending a digital card that highlights what they did well. For example, you could send a ‘Well Done’ card with a personal message outlining exactly what they did and why you’re grateful. In Reward Gateway for Small Business, eCards can be seen on the Recognition Wall by everyone, giving your appreciation a powerful social boost.

They don’t collaborate with their colleagues or teams

A sure-fire sign that your small business needs better employee recognition is when your employees don’t collaborate with their colleagues or the wider business. Collaboration is the key to unlocking great ideas, which means you need your employees to work as a team to keep achieving great things. Harness the power of peer-to-peer recognition to bring your people closer. 

employee collaboration

According to research from Society of Human Resources (SHRM), peer-to-peer recognition is 36% more likely to have a positive impact on your profits. It also helps build a culture of continuous recognition, which helps everybody recognise the little wins that can make a big difference to your small business. Most importantly, building strong relationships among teams makes your company a better place to be for everyone. Try encouraging your people to send eCards to each other and see how much of an impact it has on happiness and productivity!

They feel unproductive or unmotivated

Unproductive and unmotivated teams are easy to spot. Has there been a high turnover over the last 12 months? Has their output or enthusiasm seen a significant decline? If you want to avoid unhappy employees, you need to address the problem and make sure everybody feels valued and rewarded for the work they do.

stressed employee

Peer-to-peer recognition and public praise are two powerful tools at your disposal that will help people feel acknowledged.

Celebrate success by shining a spotlight on great work to the whole company, whether that’s in a company newsletter or a social gathering. Employee recognition is also about timely thanks, so consider using manager-only Instant Rewards, available in Reward Gateway for Small Business, to recognise top performers and provide a financial incentive for great work. Plus, it’s cheaper than a salary bump and makes sure you’re addressing wins in the moment.

Key takeaways

All in all, there are plenty of reasons you should make employee recognition a priority for your small business. The more valued they feel, the more likely they are to give you their best. Here are the key things you can do to improve your employee recognition in your small business:

  • Help employees feel connected to your mission and values by giving them a sense of purpose and specifically highlighting success with eCards.
  • Encourage collaboration through peer-to-peer recognition, which will build stronger relationships and contribute to a great culture in your workplace.
  • Tackle lack of productivity by shining a spotlight on great work and rewarding appropriately, whether that’s a company shout-out or an Instant Reward.

We are obsessed with our mission to make the world a better place to work. Sign up for a free trial of Reward Gateway for Small Business and let us help you motivate and reward your workforce.

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Pippa Arthur-Van Praagh

Pippa is our Product Strategy & Enablement Director, with a laser focus on refining our product to align with client needs and challenges. With over 15 years’ experience modernizing systems to better engage employees, she’s passionate about translating customer insights into innovative products that make the world a better place to work.

Product Strategy & Enablement Director

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