A little recognition goes a long way – ask your mother. Speaking up and saying how much you enjoyed dinner meant a lot to her after she spent the afternoon measuring, mixing, and cooking a meal for your family.
Employees are no different. Employee recognition is one factor small business owners can control when it comes to managing employee turnover.
There are so many benefits to recognizing your employees for their accomplishments and successes, and the best part? Employee recognition is usually free.
We’ll tell you why small business owners should focus on employee recognition to create a happier workplace and reduce employee turnover below.
What is employee recognition?
Any act with a purpose of recognizing, awarding, or thanking an employee (or group of employees) at your organization is considered employee recognition.
Employee recognition is usually of the “top-down” variety, meaning the leaders at an organization recognize the lower-level employees at the organization and not vice versa. Small businesses usually handle employee recognition differently from enterprises or large corporations because of both the size of the organization and the number and relationship with employees.
Examples of employee recognition
Below are some examples of employee recognition activities you may consider putting into practice at your small business.
Employee Appreciation Day
If you want to start focusing on employee recognition, there’s no better way to send the message to your staff than by starting an annual Employee Appreciation Day. These appreciation days are common for larger organizations, but not necessarily so for small businesses.
Employee appreciation days can be filled with anything you feel your staff would enjoy. Here are a few ideas to consider for yours:
- Popcorn or cotton candy machine
- Have a local restaurant or food truck cater
- Hold a barbecue or cookout
- Play games like sack races, bean bag toss, etc.
- Hold a drawing for a prize
Something important to keep in mind about employee appreciation days: There is usually no financial component. While you will spend a little money on the party and food, there’s no cash bonus or raise involved so it’s a one-time expense.
Unique employee awards
You can (and should) recognize your top performers each month. Some small businesses like to use fun titles for awards to make the process of giving and receiving these awards more entertaining. For example, if you want to give someone an award for being the employee with the most sales that month, you might call the award the Top Dog Award.
Awards don’t cost money to give, but you can add to the effect by shelling out a few bucks to get a plaque engraved or print a simple document and sign it. Your employees will look forward to “Awards Day” each month, quarter, or year.
Annual or quarterly bonuses
Money talks, and that’s the simple truth. Sometimes, the best way to show your employees that you appreciate and recognize their achievements is by offering a sweet bonus each year or after every quarter. It doesn’t have to be a huge bonus to show your appreciation.
An annual or quarterly employee appreciation bonus is given in relation to performance, so each employees’ bonus amount will be different.
Remember to stay within your financial constraints – you want to recognize your employees, not leave them without a stable job!
Employee of the month
One tried and true tactic of employee recognition that you might be forgetting about is instating an Employee of the Month program. Come up with a few valuable but inexpensive perks to offer your employee of the month – a coveted parking space, a free breakfast at the office, a day off – whatever you can swing, do it.
Your employees will look forward to being the Employee of the Month and you may see boosts in performance as they compete for the next month’s spot.
Employee recognition is so important in small business. If you’ve got a great team, don’t hesitate to tell and show them that. The above suggestions don’t cost very much, with the exception of offering bonuses, and go a long way in showing your employees that you appreciate the hard work they put in for your company.
Do you have any methods you use to recognize your best employees? We’d love to hear about them!