New research from American Express has found that almost all (94%) small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) gift rewards to their employees, with half (51%) saying that motivating their workforce is the main reason for doing so.
Creating a positive culture has a direct long term benefit for smaller firms with a third (34%) saying they have seen enhanced retention rates due to passing on rewards accumulated by the business.
The research indicates that SMEs vary in how they gift rewards among their teams. Over a third (38%) of employers offer rewards specifically to high performing employees, such as ‘staff member of the month’, whereas nearly a quarter (23%) make rewards available to all employees. 21% focus their company’s benefits structure on long-standing members of staff.
Employees of SMEs are also feeling the benefit of working for companies that offer rewards. Nine in 10 (89%) stated they have been gifted a reward of some kind by their employer.
Almost half of personnel (46%) say this makes them feel truly valued, whereas 44% felt their company was rewarding their hard work and dedication. In addition, a third (33%) admitted they felt motivated to work harder.
Jose Carvalho, senior vice-president at American Express, said: “SMEs are reaping the benefits of actively showing employees appreciation for their hard work.
"A simple thank you goes a long way and will not only make employees feel good, but will benefit a business in the process.
“Our study also shows that a number of SMEs are gifting rewards accrued through spending on a credit card, such as high street vouchers (46%).”
Additionally, the research found that even employees of SMEs who do not receive rewards (6%), still recognise the benefits of a rewards-based culture.
Two in five of these employees (42%) think staff members receiving rewards is a positive, while more than a third (37%) believe rewards would make them work harder.
To help SMEs make the most of the opportunities for accruing and gifting rewards, American Express has put together top tips for employers: