Employee recognition: why kudos matters

5 min read  |   19 February, 2024   By Aimée Brougham-Chandler

A diverse group of smiling employees are clapping, applauding someone in what looks like a presentation.

Employee appreciation is acknowledged as one of the most effective ways to improve company culture and employee engagement.

Peer-to-peer kudos and feedback is essential for promoting a healthy company culture and retaining your people.

In this blog, we focus on why recognising your team is important for retention, morale and employee engagement - along with tips for SMEs to thank employees who have gone above & beyond. 


We'll cover:

Why is employee recognition important?

It's important to recognise your employees to support a good company culture. Saying thank you or well done for a job well done is always appreciated, and could make someone's day.

Consistently recognising your people will mean they're more likely to be resilient to busier periods, loyal to your SME and are more likely to stay working for you. 

And it's a win-win situation: research highlights that verbal, non-monetary incentives have a greater impact on employee engagement (and therefore, business performance).


When employees believe they'll be recognised by management, they're 2.7 times more likely to be highly engaged.

Organisations with formal employee recognition programmes have 31% less voluntary turnover than organisations that don't offer this type of recognition (according to research by Quantum Workplace). 

The benefits of employee recognition include: 

  • Increased productivity

  • Lower rates of turnover

  • Greater employee satisfaction & sense of belonging 

  • Better culture and morale

  • Less stress & lower sickness rates 


What does kudos mean?

Derived from Greekkudos means 'praise given for achievement'. 

Saying thanks to a colleague for a job well done would be considered kudos to them.


How can small businesses recognise their employees?

Employee recognition is as simple as thanking your employees when they do something well, put extra effort in, or complete something that's been a particular personal challenge for them.

What matters is that SMEs consistently recognise their team, and that this culture flows down from the top. If managers know that employee recognition is something that regularly and genuinely happens within your small business it'll soon become part of your everyday culture. 

Some businesses offer bonus schemes or additional benefits like private healthcare or career development programmes to ensure their people get recognised (and maybe promoted) for their hard work. Our guide to employee benefits provides additional inspiration if you're thinking of ways to give back to your team.



Breathe's Kudos recognition tool - designed for SMEs

Thanks to Breathe's Kudos feature, you can say thanks to colleagues and recognise their achievements - with a helpful note or comment for all the business to see and engage with. 

You can choose a person to recognise, and the category - or Kudos type. 


Kudos laptop & phone


The best bit? You can trial for free for 14 days, no strings.


Anyone within your organisation can send Kudos to anyone else - and it's sure to make their day.

It's now easier than ever to give & receive Kudos, in Breathe’s People Portal mobile app, where you can also keep an eye on your Kudos leaderboard, to see who's being recognised for their hard work this month. 

Create a positive company culture in your SME, avoid the pitfalls of transactional analysis and show some recognition of your people's hard work.

Kudos to that.


Author: Aimée Brougham-Chandler

An IDM-certified Digital Copywriter as of February 2023, Aimée is Breathe's Content Assistant. With a passion for guiding readers to solutions for their HR woes, she enjoys delving into & demystifying all things HR: From employee performance to health and wellbeing, leave to company culture & much more.

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