The Power of Positive Employee Recognition in Small Business

Business Management
Denis Yankovsky September 6, 2020 11 min read

Quick Guide

    Do you know that happy employees are one of the best ways to increase work productivity and create happy, satisfied customers? In other words: yes, happy workers are productive workers. As simple as that.

    When you facilitate employee recognition to say thank you, you help create a positive and productive company culture. Employees much appreciate genuine, sincere, specific recognition from managers, senior managers, and even coworkers. This recognition makes employees feel great and valued, which in turn leads to better results for your company. 

    When employees feel appreciated, they feel more self-worth which leads to a happier and more productive employee.

    What is employee recognition? Well, firstly, it ISN’T rewards/incentives. Employee recognition is not all rewards because you really don’t have to spend money to recognize employees. Instead, it is all about the acknowledgment of a job well done and paying attention to the people’s efforts. That’s it. All you need to do is show employees the respect they deserve — show them that you notice and appreciate all the hard work they are doing on a regular basis.

    Employee recognition is a powerful engagement tool

    Why Is Employee Recognition Important?

    You want to lower turnover and increase retention? Start with employee recognition. 

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

    Focusing on turnover, the cost 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 employee recognition regularly, you are increasing the likelihood that your employees will want to stay at your company. 

    How Full Is Your Bucket shows that employees who receive regular recognition experience: 

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

    Connecteam's employee engagement software

    How Often Should I Praise Employees?

    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 recognition is time-consuming, however it has to take a regular role in the company culture. 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 wants 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 2020 has turned hundreds of businesses into complete “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.

    In both cases, using Connecteam — a mobile-friendly employee communication app for instantly communicating with individuals or teams is a total game-changer: in fact, 71% of Millennials say an organization’s use of modern technology will influence whether they want to work there. 66% of Gen Xers and 53% of baby boomers feel the same. 

    Connecteam offers a modern and flexible, mobile-first engagement platform, so you can tailor it to your specific needs and use case. The app is designed to be simple and intuitive to use, so it requires no training from team members.

    Connecteam allows managers and business owners to stay in control, track your employees’ performance and wellbeing, and show them your appreciation and recognition, whenever needed, and reach 100% of your team, regardless of the location. 

    Use Connecteam, an All-in-one Mobile App, to Boost Recognition and Engagement:

    Drive Productivity With Happy, Motivated Employees

    With Connecteam communication app, employee recognition takes no time and effort, becoming a native part of your company culture. Start a free trial or sign up for a free plan and start engaging your employees today!

    Learn more

    1. Send Frequent Updates

    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 they know it. Send a company-wide message, include social functions like comments and likes so all employees can engage.

    You can also use an employee app to create media-rich training materials, including links, PDFs, videos, images to use for digital employee training courses, and new hires onboarding checklists. 

    Connecteam tip: Send regular updates with both formal updates, such as attendance policy, and fun announcements with GIFs and interactive content, allowing people to like and comment. You can also create funny polls and contests. By sending interesting different updates, you’re getting your team actually interested in opening them — this way it creates a habit, increases engagement, and open rates, so no important message will slip through the cracks again.

    2. 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. Create your own or choose from a template to send surveys on a regular basis – 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 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 / senior management personally or anonymously, to share their concerns. 

    Connecteam tip: The best way to engage users to not just read, but actively engage in the communication flow and provide feedback — is asking them questions, creating polls and tests. Based on the topic, you can make answering those voluntary or set it as a necessary requirement.

    Employee training

    3. 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.

    Connecteam tip: When employees are more involved in what is happening with the company, they are more engaged and more loyal in the long run, reducing the turnover rate and performing better.

    4. 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.

    Connecteam tip: Consider organizing dedicated appreciation days, when it’s all about your employees, their successes, and achievements. No matter if you do it virtually, or by gathering in the same place — create fun and engaging activities, organize team-building games, publicly praise your people’s achievements and share their stories, to let them feel important, valued, and appreciated in the team. 

    5. Communicate!

    Most projects 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!

    communication is key in small business to boost employee recognition

    So all-in-one communication tool, like Connecteam, is a must-have for any team in 2020, especially if your schedules are tough, and your employees are constantly on the go. 

    Connecteam’s modern communication toolbox is designed to create a different experience for you and your team:

    • Targeted communication – lets you target your relevant audience in a click, whether it’s an individual, a team, or the entire organization.
    • Measurable communication – helps to stay in the know with detailed dashboards, and actionable insights.
    • Dedicated follow-ups – will provide you the ability to do dedicated follow-ups only with relevant team members that haven’t read your updates.
    • Prescheduled updates – allow preset updates to be launched at specific dates and times in the future.
    • Automatic reminders – will increase the likelihood that your team members will actually read and engage with your updates and announcements, and take the required actions.
    • Engagement features – will make your team interact with your content, thanks to comments, likes, GIFs, media files, attachments, and locations available.
    • Employee directory – will provide your team with a fully searchable employee directory that allows team members to get in touch and reach important work contacts without sharing mobile numbers or spending time on emails. 

    Connecteam tip: When everyone in your company has a workplace communication 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. 

    • Birthday Wishes
    • Work Anniversary Congratulations
    • Monthly Plan Leaders Celebration
    • Results or Initiatives Acknowledgement
    • End-of-year party announcement

    Whatever it may be — the relevant people will get it when you want, and if someone misses it, you can always send a personal reminder. When you do it all the time, it becomes a natural part of your company culture and builds a mutual gratification spirit in your team. 

    So sign up for free and start engaging your employees with employee recognition in a click.

    Bottom Line On Employee Recognition

    By acknowledging that 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. If you’re really committed to driving employee engagement and internal communications in your company, check out our best practices and learn how other companies are using Connecteam, to achieve those goals.

    Test the Power of Employee Recognition with Connecteam

    Lower turnover and boost retention, along with engagement and morale with employee recognition. Connecteam makes it a breeze to send out recognition company-wide.

    Start for free
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