If you’re a small business owner with 50 to 500 employees, your employee retention challenges are unique. Your business runs on tight margins and depends on getting the most value from all its resources. The most important of these is, undeniably, employee talent. 

Small businesses have to get a lot done with a smaller staff. Your employees are the lifeblood of your company. They need to be motivated to be as productive and innovative as possible, and to stick with your company long enough to weather the usual storms. 

Employee turnover must be avoided at all costs, especially when you’re running a small business. When a member of the team leaves the company, all the other members of your staff feel the pressure of increased workload. Work quality suffers. Client relations are impacted. And it takes months (and thousands of dollars) to recover after hiring and training a new hire. Understandably, improving employee retention rates is at the top of every small business CEO’s priority list.

The best way to reduce turnover and increase retention is to create a culture where all members of your organization feel recognized and valued. That’s where incentive plans for small businesses come into play.

Enterprises Invest in Employee Recognition—But Small Businesses Don’t

Most enterprise-level companies have some form of employee incentive program in place. They rely on points systems, department-wide competitions, online stores, or tiered rewards programs to help engage their employees and motivate everyone toward greater productivity. One study revealed that US companies spend over $100 billion annually on employee incentives. Another Canadian study reported that almost 90% of surveyed companies have some sort of formal recognition program in place.

We’d be willing to bet that many of the firms in that remaining 10% are small businesses.

When margins are tight and staff numbers are small, it makes sense that many companies would avoid spending on “extras” like incentive programs. But employee recognition programs have been proven to increase retention, engagement, and performance. If a phenomenal program costs a mere 5% of your total payroll but has the potential to save five times that amount in turnover costs, employee recognition becomes less of an “extra” and more of a necessity.

Why Employee Recognition Really Does Work

The science behind employee recognition is really pretty simple. When you incentivize, recognize and reward your employees, you inspire them to take pride in their work and to undertake more of it. You deepen employee trust. You create a culture where everyone feels appreciated for their efforts. And you therefore retain your best talent for much longer than you would otherwise. Incentive programs help raise employee morale, job satisfaction, and loyalty. All of that prevents turnover.

Many standard reward programs fail to live up to these expectations. Often, travel programs only target the top 5% of performers at a company. Points systems usually offer low-value rewards tied to ineffectual behaviors. But when a comprehensive recognition program is designed thoughtfully and according to best practices, you’ll tap into what really matters to your employees and reap the rewards of their appreciation.

Incentive programs work when they’re strategically designed for success. The best programs are built on meaningful metrics that actually impact your business. They involve differentiated goals that are both motivational and achievable by the majority of employees—alongside rewards that are doled out on a regularly calculated basis. Over the years, a program like this inspires more and more employees to produce higher-quality work and to continue providing your customers with enthusiastic service. Happy employees increase the value of your brand, because happy employees lead to happy customers.

How to Create Incentive Plans For Small Businesses

How can your small business recognize, reward, and retain employees? Start by looking beyond standard benefits, like health insurance or pay raises, that don’t motivate employees on a personal level. Travel incentives or extra time off can theoretically improve morale, but the effects are short-lived and don’t benefit enough people within your organization. When comparing monetary incentives vs. non-monetary incentives, non-monetary programs deliver the highest ROI in terms of employee engagement, motivation, and satisfaction.

Every small business needs a reward system that motivates employees to meet specific goals, recognizes them for achieving those goals, and grants rewards that employees will actually want to wear or use. These rewards may include items like branded apparel, which can be worn as a badge of honor. This level of prestige will make other employees want to earn those rewards, too.

No matter what kind of program you envision, the best way to ensure success is to partner with an employee recognition firm that has enough experience to help you maximize your return on investment. Don’t just settle for a standard, prefabricated incentive program. With expert guidance, you can create a custom incentive plan that elevates your small business and helps you achieve the major growth you’ve been hoping for.

Looking In On Successful Small Business Incentive Plans

At Inproma, we create employee recognition and reward programs for businesses of all sizes. Our enterprise-level programs are designed to accommodate thousands of employees—and we use the same principles to craft programs for smaller businesses that are just as effective.

What makes our incentive programs so successful? They offer cost-effective ways to reward all members of your organization, including the entry-level, junior and mid-career employees often overlooked by other programs. All members of your organization are included and no one is overlooked. Over time, employees can rise through a leveling system that’s based on individual performance and team achievement. Everyone has a chance to win a reward, and there are new winners all the time.

Our programs are also customized to meet your specific needs. When you partner with Inproma, we’ll get to work by first understanding your unique recognition, reward and retention challenges. We’ll design your incentive program around your business goals and budget. You’ll get the full benefit of our expertise as we suggest easy ways to improve your recognition process. We source reward items, establish fulfillment protocols and set up online apps and sites where your employees can monitor and receive their rewards.

Other valuable services small business owners receive when working with Inproma include:

  • Personalized service and consulting
  • In-house embroidery and direct to garment services
  • Printing, inventory fulfillment, kitting, graphic design, web design, marketing/PR and employee coaching services
  • Long-term incentive programs
  • Company web-stores that enable employees to choose their rewards
  • Reporting capabilities including budget tracking, order summaries, totals by user, inventory usage and financial compliance
  • A disaster recovery plan
  • A supply-on-demand uniform store that prevents overstock issues, enables logo editing and ships within three to five business days
  • Forecasting models that predict what items you may want to purchase in bulk
  • The ability to keep popular items on-hand and in greater supply

Inproma takes care of all the details of designing and maintaining a strategic employee rewards program. All you have to do is help us craft a vision for what you want your program to accomplish, and we handle the rest.

How to Begin

Small business owners juggle a lot of responsibilities. Developing a customized employee reward and incentive program shouldn’t be one of them. Inproma has vast experience in creating incentive plans for small businesses, providing branded products, and making morale-improving recommendations. Our employee reward and incentive plans can be tailored to meet your retention goals and budget, perfectly. 

Your unique small business retention challenges call for custom solutions. At Inproma there’s no such thing as “one-size-fits-all.” Let us develop incentive programs and strategies to help your small business incentivize, recognize, and reward your employees. The results will show when productivity improves, absenteeism and turnover go down, and you save on labor costs.

Contact Inproma Now

Inproma believes small business employees deserve large amounts of job satisfaction. Our custom employee reward and incentive programs can help you boost employee morale and raise retention rates. To get started on a small business incentive plan customized for your unique retention challenges, let’s talk.

Inproma’s custom employee incentive programs get results. From design to fulfillment, we can handle all the behind-the-scenes requirements. If your employee benefits aren’t producing the results you need, or your current incentive program isn’t getting anywhere, let’s talk.

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