Research by financial services company American Express has found that 94 per cent of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) have gifted rewards to their employees, including high street vouchers or tokens to enjoy a night out.
The survey also uncovered that more than half (51 per cent) of SMEs that took part in the survey cited employee motivation as the main reason for doing so. Creating this positive culture has a direct long-term benefit for smaller firms with a third (34 per cent) saying they have seen enhanced staff retention rates due to passing on rewards accumulated by the business.
Unsurprisingly, the research also found that SMEs vary in how they gift rewards among their teams. More than a third (38 per cent) of employers offer rewards specifically to high performing employees, such as ‘staff member of the month’, whereas nearly a quarter (23 per cent) make rewards available to all employees. Also, 21 per cent focus their company’s benefits structure on long-standing members of staff.
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 per cent).”
Greg Heath, managing director at Lancashire-based Derbyshire Booth, said that not only clients use gifted staff rewards, but he uses them himself: “This is something I have seen with clients who are SMEs, but we also do it. SME clients have used vouchers for meals, theme parks even beauty treatments.
“Personally I prefer the meals out vouchers for our staff. It helps support local businesses financially, motivates staff and – from a PR point of view – allows other local businesses whose vouchers we buy to know our business is supporting them. Its a win-win situation in my mind," he said.