Why employee recognition should be high on any SME’s agenda  

Did you know that employers who reward achievement, new behaviours, work anniversaries, and professional milestones through employee recognition programmes enjoy higher retention and engagement rates than those who don’t?  

That’s because employee recognition is critical to employee happiness, which in turn is linked with higher levels of customer satisfaction and overall business success. In a 2021 report published by Business2Community, positive feedback from peers and managers was found to enhance employee performance by up to 14%, and ongoing positive feedback can drive business performance by as much as 12%.  

But it’s not just performance that benefits from regular recognition. The report also found that 69% of employees would be motivated to stay with their company if a recognition and rewards solution was in place, and 63% of employees who received continuous recognition said they would be very unlikely to job hunt in the next 3-6 months.  

These significant figures reiterate the importance of creating a sense of purpose for your employees, but what happens when you don’t? From rising inflation rates to tightening labour markets, SMEs are already facing a slew of issues that pose a risk to business success – which will only be compounded by letting employee happiness fall by the wayside.  

Let’s dive into some of the key issues that will arise if employee recognition is not made a priority:  

Poor Productivity

Findings from a Gallup poll suggest that engagement leads to greater productivity and an increase in profitability of 21%. However, without consistent recognition for a job well done, your employees may start to question why they bother putting in such effort to receive no thanks and will likely be discouraged from putting in the same effort in the future. Times that by your entire workforce, and you’ll soon notice a drop in overall output and business success.  


“Recognition is the number one thing managers can give to their employees to inspire them for producing great work. Not even pay hikes, promotion or autonomy come closer to recognition when it comes to motivating employees.” Forbes


Homeworking Isolation

With many employees now working remotely, it can be challenging to create a sense of connection and belonging in your organisation. While some people may flourish in a homeworking environment, others may feel lonely, isolated and unmotivated to give it their all if they believe their efforts are going unseen.  

Showing everyday appreciation to your staff lets them know that they are valued and offers an incentive to stay productive and engaged in an increasingly digital landscape.  


High Employee Turnover

A common reason that prompts people to leave their jobs is that they feel overworked and unappreciated. This leads to employees looking elsewhere, which costs UK SME organisations an eye-watering £12,000 to cover – per employee.¹  

However, the cost of workplace absence and recruitment can be massively reduced by simply introducing an employee recognition solution. Just one minute spent on recognising behaviour generates 100 minutes of initiative² in return and serves as an effective way to improve trust, build connections and strengthen your core company values.  

Now that we’ve established the various issues born of poor employee recognition, let’s look at how you can measure employee engagement to tackle workplace recognition in the most effective way.   

You could create or outsource a survey to gauge employee happiness, but let’s be realistic – what is the likelihood of your teams answering honestly if they feel unhappy or critical about your company culture? Fear of rocking the proverbial boat or retaining anonymity may generate a picture that is not entirely accurate, and you’ll be no better positioned to create an effective strategy that is fit for purpose.  

Luckily, we’ve got the solution. Vivup highfive, our very own app-based Recognition and Reward platform, makes easy work of peer-to-peer recognition, celebrating employee achievements and creating a culture of continuous acknowledgement. With this centrally managed digital solution, you can:  

  • Enable real-time, peer-to-peer acknowledgements for milestones, achievements or a job well done  
  • Provide financial rewards aligned with your values  
  • Boost employee morale  
  • See engagement levels within your organisation  
  • Encourage employees to recognise each other from the top down  
  • Reduce absenteeism  
  • Attract and retain top talent  
  • Grow a positive workplace culture  
  • Inspire active participation in all areas of work life  
  • Facilitate nominations programmes E.g., ‘Employee of the Month’ 

This low cost, customisable platform not only helps you to illustrate your company values and culture in a meaningful, impactful way, but also enables you to monitor progress and improve your employee benefits offering with helpful insights right from the start. Plus, with a dedicated account manager on-hand every step of the way, you can be sure that your employees are receiving the recognition they deserve in a way that’s tailored to your business.   


Simon Berry, Vivup highfive Product Manager: 

“I believe that the success of any recognition programme lies in its simplicity and visibility. Vivup highfive has been developed to enable any individual to praise another within your company, be that peer-to-peer recognition or line management recognition, in an easy-to-use and highly visible format. It also delivers relevant and appropriate rewards within an organisation at any value. Personally, I love reading the highfives I see across our client base and internally in our company. They always bring a smile to my face, so I know the sender and recipient have even larger smiles on theirs.” 


To find out more or request a demo of Vivup highfive here, or give us a call on 01252 784 541 – and start discovering the Vivup difference for yourself!  



5 Statistics to Help Build Your Case for an Employee Recognition Strategy – Business 2 Community  

Employee Engagement on the Rise in the U.S. (gallup.com)  

3 Reasons Why Employee Recognition Will Always Matter (forbes.com)  


1 Average Employee Replacement Cost is £12,000 for SMEs | Accounts and Legal 

2 ZenHR 

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