Small business and the value of employee recognition

A while back I heard someone accept an award by telling this story. He said, “I once saw a turtle on top of a fence post. The first thing that struck me was that the turtle surely had not gotten there by himself.”

The gentleman went on to accept the award on behalf of all those who had helped him get to the top of his “fence post”.

If you are the owner, employer, and/or manager of a team of people, next time you find yourself “on top of a fencepost”, make sure that you recognize the others who helped you to reach your lofty perch.

Not only is it the right thing to do, but remember, Newton’s law of gravity is especially active around fence posts. It’s handy to have people around who will want to break your fall in case you find yourself experiencing Mr. Newton’s law in an untimely descent from on high.

But don’t wait for your next Academy Award or Grammy moment to recognize your people. Do it now. Today. This week.

For decades, research conducted on exit interviews to determine why people leave a company has invariably shown that the number one reason employees leave a company on their own is because they felt that the company and/or their manager did not appreciate them. Not money - lack of recognition.

So here are two questions for you: How much would it cost your business if a key employee resigned? How much would a regular practice - or program - of employee recognition cost?

Knowing about this research, and the answer to these questions, is why I’ve made it a point over the years to interview top employee recognition experts to talk about this on my small business radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show. No one fits this profile better than my Brain Trust member, Chester Elton, co-author of The Carrot Principle (

Recently, Chester joined me to talk about the fact that employee recognition is not only a critical best practice; but, as I mentioned earlier, it’s also the right thing to do. Take a few minutes to listen to what this expert has to say. And don’t forget to leave your thoughts on this topic.

One Response to “Small business and the value of employee recognition”

  1. 1
    Chester Elton Says:

    Jim, It’s always great to spend some time with you on the show. What you’re doing is so important and valuable to so many people right now. I’m a huge fan!

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