Business owners seem to be always searching for some “secret ingredient” that will strengthen and grow their business.  It is very common to utilize traditional marketing, and advertising means to achieve these goals. However, many business owners overlook the importance and power of appreciation and recognition.  Incorporating recognition and appreciation into your business model can significantly strengthen and build your company.

Remember, it’s people – not machines – who create and build your bottom line.  No matter how busy you are as a business owner, always take the time to show gratitude and appreciate for the people involved in your business.  Small acts of kindness can have a tremendous impact on the future success of your company.

Below are a few ways that integrate appreciation and recognition into your business:

Employee Recognition

Since your employees are your most valuable asset and resource, investing in them is only common sense.  Most importantly, treat them like team members, not just employees. This is the first step in appreciating your employees.  You are in this together – as a team. As the business owner, team member appreciation is a significant part of the equation in motivating and inspiring those who work for you.

Since your team members are one of a business’s most valuable assets, recognizing and appreciating your team members is naturally one of the most beneficial investments you can make towards your success. As human beings, your team members have a choice in how they spend their time – they can choose to use their time productively or not. Show your team members that you notice and value their contribution to the company’s vision and goals.  

Do not overlook and underestimate the value of employee appreciation.  A valuable piece of advice can be found in this quote: “A person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected.”  Do you want your team members to feel appreciated and motivated to do more, or would you instead them feel unappreciated and lack the motivation to do any more than what is minimally required of them?

There are numerous ways to show your appreciation for your team members.  Physical or material gifts are always good ideas – appreciation or award dinners, personalized awards, gift cards, or informal, team-building events outside of the workplace. Team member recognition does not always have to be large, grand gestures, though.  Often, a sincere “thank you,” or verbal commendation is sufficient. Even something like an afternoon off or early clock out on Friday is always appreciated.

However, recognition should go beyond performance goals and achievements.  Be sure to acknowledge personal traits as well, like loyalty, a positive attitude, etc.  Show those you value these traits to inspire your team members to strive for these even more.

Supplier Recognition

Do not forget your main suppliers need to feel appreciated as well.  Even a simple “thank you” card can go a long way to strengthening your working relationship.  Suppliers who feel appreciated and valued are more willing to go above and beyond for you if the situation requires.  

Client Recognition

Make sure your clients feel appreciated and recognized.  Be sure to tell them how much you value their business. If you do, they will be far more likely to return to you for repeat business and recommend you to others.  Some companies even go so far as to give some of their most valued customers a customized plaque recognizing their loyalty and support. Most customers will proudly display these in their home or place of business, providing you with some extra positive exposure to potential new clients.

Third-Party Certifications and Recognition

As consumers are doing more research on companies before doing business with them, third-party certifications are becoming increasingly more critical for companies to have.  Well-known certifications or recommendations can help your business stand out from the crowd and give you more validity as an outstanding or exceptional entity.

Business Recognition Award Programs

If your business has reached some new goals or made significant achievements, find a business award program to help you get the word out there.  There are awards program databases available online even to help you find the right program. While a nomination from a consumer or other business is excellent, it is also acceptable to self-nominate at times.  Even the nomination itself can be as an essential source of recognition and exposure. This boosts your public exposure to new clients, help you stand out from your competitors, and present your company in a positive manner.