by Alex Palmer | August 19, 2015
Incentive planners and small businesses have a new online option for recognizing and rewarding employees. Hallmark Business Connections, the b2b subsidiary of Minneapolis-based Hallmark Cards, Inc., has unveiled a new centralized platform for small businesses and managers to recognize workers and sales reps on its Shop at Hallmark Business Connections website. 

The microsite has added a new category: Recognition Awards, which includes a range of themes (e.g. Teamwork, Seasonal Thanks, or Recognizing Innovation), and can be personalized with a message. These awards are then sent via email or as a paper certificate, accompanied by a redeemable gift card.

"Employee recognition establishes a culture of sustained employee enrichment, which acknowledges all the contributions that move a company forward," Jonathan McClellan, director of employee recognition, said in a statement. 

These awards can be tailored depending on the recipient (co-worker, customer, or employee) as well as the tone (celebratory, contemporary, or formal). They fall broadly into four categories: Achievement Awards, Congratulation Awards, Holiday Awards, and Thank You Awards.

The new category joins two other existing b2b offerings. The first, Business Greeting Cards, provides managers with tools for recognizing special occasions for their employees or customers: a new baby, wedding, or a simple customer appreciation card. The second, the Business Holiday Cards section offers cards to use for more general celebrations, such as New Year's, Thanksgiving, and Independence Day.

For all categories of cards and e-cards, users can select pre-written sentiments or create their own. The offering aims to make it easier for companies to recognize worker excellence and recognize milestones or other achievements. 

"This new offering will enable smaller businesses, or independent owners, the opportunity to personalize their communication and better connect with their employees," added McClellan. "Managers can select the appropriate incentive for each unique situation and build a more meaningful relationship with their employees."