Thursday, October 22, 2015

Small Business: The Implementation of Rewards and Recognition

As a small business owner you may also find yourself being the head supervisor of your employees. Regardless of the type of product or service that you produce, you have individuals dedicating their time towards making your business successful. When business owners and employees consider the topic of rewards, they instantly assume that they come in the form of bonuses and raises in pay. In fact, many will be surprised that employees often appreciate other types of rewards.

Rewarding employees and motivating their performance in your business does not have to cost you a large amount of money. You will be surprised to learn that most employees prefer different types of recognition. It is important to remember that deciding upon employee rewards and recognition will not be an easy task as you choose what is best individually and collectively. But the overall goal of your rewards program is to maintain organizational commitment and culture that promotes appreciation for the work that the employees do.

This post will hopefully help you begin your own business rewards and recognition program.

1.       Identify what work behavior you want to recognize.
Are you showing appreciation for their job performance, attendance, and innovative ideas? This is the beginning of the process. Has the specific employee excelled in sales, team work, or leadership? You need to establish what it is that you want to reward to develop the core of the program.  

2.       Introduce the recognition program.

Your idea for this program may sound great to both yourself and other managers, but if your employees do not feel the same you will not have a successful program. Without the employees support of the program, you’re bound to see a decrease in commitment and lower performance. This is the time where you take your ideas and communicate with your employees to see what would motivate them. Together you can combine ideas to develop the best rewards.

3.       Alignment of rewards program and business goals.

Are you rewarding behaviors that promote the service or product of your business? Additionally, you should make sure that the rewards would be accepted in your culture. Introducing new ideas is fun, but you should make sure that the idea will fit into the organizational culture that you want to encourage.

Now that you have the plan, what are the rewards?

Recognizing the good work produced by your employees is important. People enjoy acknowledgement and gratitude for the work that they do. Following this theory, you will find that your employees are loyal to your business.

1.       Praise

You can acknowledge and thank your employees by simple word of mouth, through email, or a hand written note. It may seem silly to some, but this form of recognition goes far in regards to their performance. If someone acknowledges the work you have done and appreciates it, you are more likely to keep doing what you are doing because you feel valued for it.

2.       Flexibility

If an employee has demonstrated their commitment to seeing the product through in your business, giving them the flexibility of leaving early one day or changing their hours may be an option. This is the idea of family-work balance, by valuing the individual you can also respect the life aside from your business.


3.       Gift cards
This option indirectly includes money, but it’s more personable. It proves to your employees that you have taken the time to get to know them and their interests. Not only are you rewarding their performance, but you are demonstrating that you care.


4.       Opportunities and Responsibilities

If your employee has demonstrated success in a certain area of your business plan, see where else their talents could be used. Furthermore, you can involve them in decisions if you find them to have the knowledge required to do so. You can also think of other projects that they could lead or manage.

You can still give out those perfect attendance awards or plaques if you find that your employees appreciate that. But the best way of having organizational commitment and a motivated workforce, is to be aware of the uniqueness of each individual and how they impact the company. This rewards and recognition program has the ability to build a strong team environment, promote positive behaviors, and encourage continuous interest. The program does not have to be costly to your company. It is simply about the effort you put forth as the supervisor of your business, to appreciate the team that you have.
Written by:  
Marissa L. Fazekas
Kutztown University Small Business Development Center