The Power of Positive Employee Recognition in Small Business

Business Management
Denis Yankovsky September 29, 2021 9 min read
Employee Recognition

Quick Guide

    Did you know that happy employees are one of the best ways to increase work productivity

    And to lower turnover, increase engagement, and lead to more satisfied and loyal customers. 

    Or in other words – happy workers are productive workers. It’s that simple!

    When you facilitate positive employee recognition, you help create an effective and productive company culture. In fact, the novel How Full Is Your Bucket shows that employees who receive regular recognition experience: 

    • Better productivity levels
    • Positive recognition
    • More engagement 
    • More loyalty to the company 
    • Better customer satisfaction

    Employees are looking to their managers, senior management, and even co-workers to notice their hard work. They appreciate genuine, sincere, and positive recognition. 

    By appreciating your employees they feel good about themselves and they have the drive to perform better. It’s a win-win situation! 

    What Is Employee Recognition?

    Well, firstly, it ISN’T rewards or incentives. You don’t need to spend a dime to provide positive recognition. Instead, it involves acknowledging a job well done! 

    Your employees are more than just workers, they are the face of your brand. By showing appreciation for their efforts on a regular basis, you can build a team with higher morale.  

    Why Is Employee Recognition Important?

    As mentioned, if you’re looking to lower turnover and increase retention, the power of employee recognition can do wonders for your business.

    A study found that companies who invested in employee support and satisfaction had happier employees. So, when Google implemented that very same employee incentive, they saw a 37% rise in employee satisfaction. This is because financial rewards just aren’t enough to make employees productive! Employee recognition is so much more than money and promotions.

    Below we get into not just the power of employee recognition but how you can implement positive recognition into your day-to-day without breaking the bank. 

    How to Boost Positive Recognition and Engagement

    Use An All-in-One Employee App

    Do we really need to say it? The world has gone digital! And so should your positive recognition. 

    These digital all-in-one apps, like Connecteam, offer you a platform that can both increase employee recognition and encourage engagement. 

    employee communication recognition app

    You’re probably asking yourself but how? Simply put, with a multitude of features and the app’s versatility, it provides you the ability to tailor it to your company’s needs. 

    • Send company-wide updates to recognize the employee of the month, to share a work anniversary, or to just say “great work” 
    • Start a group or 1:1 chat to share recognition and allow for peer-to-peer recognition
    • Enhance engagement by allowing employees to comment and like, plus they can add GIFs, videos, photos, links, etc. 
    • Open the suggestion box to allow employees to share ideas at any time 
    • Send regular surveys to learn more about what is lacking when it comes to positive recognition 
    • Create an open-door policy so employees can approach HR or senior management
    • Review the data in real-time to know who read your messages or completed a survey, so you can follow up accordingly

    When everyone in your company has the employee app installed on their phone, you can instantly reach 100% of your staff (or only specific employees) with important updates, track delivery, and collect feedback — all in a matter of minutes. It’s so much easier to provide employees with the recognition they deserve when it takes no time and effort. 

    Connecteam – No.1 Engagement App

    Send updates, surveys, polls and be the manager everyone raves about!

    Learn More!
    employee communication app chat

    Frequently Dish Out Positive Recognition

    Employee recognition is a basic must-have in any business today. 

    Gallup reports you should be praising an employee once a week, at least. 

    “Variation in response to this question is responsible for a 10% to 20% difference in revenue and productivity. Employees who report that they’re not adequately recognized at work are three times more likely to say they’ll quit in the next year.”

    It may appear that weekly positive recognition is time-consuming, however, it has to take a regular role in the company culture to truly succeed. 

    In today’s social culture, everyone expects an instantaneous response so try to recognize when an individual or team does something great every three to four weeks at a minimum. Your employees expect this and while the baby boomers will patiently wait for it to happen, the younger generation of employees want it instantly and without any additional effort. 

    We know what you might be thinking: Having regular face-to-face interactions with all of your employees, or team meetings — is quite hard and time-consuming. Everyone is in his own rhythm,  flow, schedule, not to mention that hundreds of businesses are running “work-from-home” operations, where face-to-face interactions are very limited. Or maybe you run an operation with mostly “mobile” non-desk employees, and you barely saw them in the office even before the COVID-19 global pandemic.

    So, you must come up with an efficient strategy to dish out positive recognition that suits all of your employees.

    Don’t just rely on an “employee of the month” program or recognizing someone at the quarterly meeting. 

    Employee recognition needs to happen in real-time. Whenever you see someone going above and beyond, make sure you provide positive recognition. Send a company-wide message, include social functions like comments and likes so all employees can engage. The power of employee recognition can enrich your company. 

    Get Regular Feedback

    Collect feedback from employees to see if any initiatives you might have implemented are working. 

    You can use surveys to see if they notice any improvements since any changes were implemented. So, ask them after a meeting, on a weekly basis, after a company outing, during onboarding, etc. 

    Or create a suggestion box that employees can access at any time.

    Sometimes, it might be intimidating for employees to actually speak up and tell their honest thoughts openly because they might be afraid of criticism or some negative consequences. To help them out, consider introducing an “open-door” policy where employees can directly approach HR or senior management personally or anonymously, to share their concerns. 

    employee communication app

    Give Employees More Say

    Give your employees the ability to recommend or choose the employee of the month. Recognition of an employee’s success will help boost their connection to the company and will encourage them to achieve that same success.

    Don’t stop there, allow employees to choose the new design for the office, from the color of the walls to the furniture, and more. Ask them their thoughts on a new product you’re developing and how you should market it to potential customers. For example, you could launch a virtual suggestion box within the app to receive employee feedback on the new project plan, and make organizational decisions based on employee satisfaction surveys.

    Shine The Spotlight On Employees

    Share employee ‘spotlights’, and allow team members to nominate peers for awards. Through employee group chat, you can share birthday wishes, work anniversary milestones, personal celebrations like marriage or a new baby, team outings, and so on.

    By using customization features, you can create various groups and channels to improve individual & organization communication and share only the relevant information for employees from different teams and seniority levels.

    Take the time to recognize and celebrate exceptional employee’s personal achievements and team victories, whether in or out of the office. This way, employees will appreciate the attention and will be motivated to work harder. Now that’s a win-win.


    employee communication app chat

    Most projects and work plans fail because there is a lack of communication. Whenever something new is happening with the company, make sure you tell the employees first, they shouldn’t hear about it secondhand. 

    This will help build trust and boost employee engagement when you are transparent with employees on all company matters. Go ahead and share the KPI goals and where each stands, share company policies, talk about successes at another branch or if you’re moving location, anything and everything should be shared!

    Give Reasoning For Why The Employee Received Recognition

    Explain to your employee the reasons why you are recognizing their efforts. When you provide answers your employee will understand that they can achieve that goal and they will maintain that level of excellence. It could be something along the lines of “because you noticed the price mark was wrong we saved x amount of money.” 

    Even if it’s simple, your employee will continue to want to prove themselves, as they know their efforts are noticed. 

    Every Employee Adds Value

    It’s easily done to only award your star employee. However, you miss out on the opportunity for other employees to reach that level, even if it takes them a while longer. 

    Remember everyone works at their own pace, and your underdog could be your next star. By not providing positive recognition to all your employees, you can demoralize others who are putting their best foot forward. Make sure you explain how to gain recognition and the person in charge knows the steps to take to provide recognition. 

    Does Positive Recognition Really Impact Turnover?

    The cost of turnover alone is around 30% of an employee’s annual salary, whereas some say it could be double their yearly salary. 

    Consider the time and energy you go through during hiring and onboarding, now think how much goes into replacing the employee: 

    • Recruiting costs (advertising, interviewing, screening, etc.)
    • Onboarding costs
    • Productivity loss (at least three months pass before an employee shows value)
    • Training costs

    However, in addition to unnecessary extra costs, there are emotional costs as well. Employee morale and productivity can take a hit whenever someone leaves the company. By offering positive recognition regularly, you are increasing the likelihood that your employees will want to stay at your company. 

    Wrapping Up The Power Of Employee Recognition

    By acknowledging the people that are working with you, you not only make them feel better, you are also helping them to perform better, which, combined, translates directly into your overall business success.

    Don’t fall for the myth that you need money for employee recognition – it is just not true. Employees just need to feel acknowledged, respected and valued, for them to stay loyal and motivated. A simple supportive message, birthday greetings, or team appraisal can perfectly do the job without ANY extra cost.

    To keep your workplace communication flowing and make sure no one is forgotten, use a mobile employee communication app that stays on everyone’s phone and always finds recipients wherever they may be. 

    No.1 Employee App

    Be the manager everyone loves! Praise your employees via chat, updates, tasks, and so much more.

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    employee communications app
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