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Dec 9, 2016

Building Employee Recognition in SMEs

Some say there are enough challenges facing SMEs without suggesting they also have to incorporate employee recognition. However, it is becoming clearer that recognising staff for the work they do helps to build a company’s culture. This is particularly true when a recognition programme encourages staff to repeat desired behaviours, which support company values and goals.

Why is recognition important for SMEs?

Recognition is important because SMEs are BUSY: busy scaling their business; busy making new sales; busy finding new staff etc. During this time a company’s culture is forming and it is important that the culture supports its goals and objectives. Why?

Because recognised staff are more engaged staff, who give their best, commit to a company’s culture, values and objectives, while building company success.

But how can SMEs give recognition?

How can recognition be given to individuals and teams? Social recognition gives the SME an accessible, affordable and supportive recognition tool. It is their very own private social network, which promotes three, key essentials:

  • The recognition of individuals and teams by peers and managers
  • The communication of best practice and of organisational culture
  • The identification and modelling of behaviours to colleagues

All organisations, regardless of their size, will benefit from encouraging these activities. In particular, this is true for growing SMEs. Academics like Robin Dunbar suggest that individuals can maintain stable social relations with between 100-150 people. Others suggest this number is as low as 50 relationships. Applying this range to SMEs, when employee numbers rise above 50, SME leadership will need a platform to support organisational cohesion.

A Social Recognition Platform

Company-wide recognition, communications and behaviours can be supported using a social recognition platform like Kudos®, which will deliver and drive these three key essentials, 24/7. What helps is that Kudos® is scalable, agile, mobile, secure and affordable:

  • Scalable: Kudos® is SaaS: as you grow it grows with you – from 50 to 5000 colleagues
  • Agile: as your business changes Kudos® reflects and support the changes you make
  • Mobile: Kudos® recognition is given quickly and easily, regardless of your location
  • Secure Cloud-hosting: secure, certified, off-site infrastructure offers a fast and reliable platform
  • Cost: Kudos® costs the price of a cup of coffee & a scone per month per colleague

3 compelling reasons for SMEs to remember these essentials:

There are three compelling reasons why every SME leadership team should not forget these key essentials.

  1. Recognition is the foremost driver of engagement: if you receive the recognition you deserve you become more engaged and willing to give discretionary effort, something every SME needs.
  2. Communicating your company culture is critical because when it comes to business success, ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast.’
  3. Staff learn the best way to do a job by sharing their best ideas, knowledge and skills.

Implementing a recognition platform is a simple, yet effective, way to show your employees that they are valued. SMEs, and organisations of all sizes, that recognise their employees will create a healthier corporate culture and build a stronger business position. 


Dr. Paul Gadie

At Gift Innovations, Dr. Paul Gadie assists companies to develop a culture of employee recognition & appreciation. In addition, he lectures in Theology at the University of Limerick, Ireland. His research interests include Church leadership, governance & how current business practice informs these activities.

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Dr. Paul Gadie

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