Clever but low-cost employee awards show you care

by on May 11, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

Promote superior performance with small rewards

You’ve heard a thousand times that money isn’t the best motivator. So, if you want to recognize performance and retain your best people, what do you do? Workforce expert Kristine A. Sexter says you’ve got to be clever and creative. She offers these four guidelines:

  1. Little gestures can yield disproportionate results.
  2. One employee we know was told by his boss, “You have great work habits and I’ve learned a lot from you.” What do you think that did for his morale and feelings of self-worth? They soared! Most people want to be valued for a job well done by those they respect. A handwritten thank-you note from a boss – especially one with the little twist this manager added – breeds loyalty and keeps top people motivated. The cost: $0.00.

  3. The best employee awards are customized rewards
  4. Ask employees, “If you could spend $50 any way you wanted, how would you spend it?” Or, ask about employees’ hobbies. Then, when it comes time to reward, give something selected especially for them. It takes a little time to do this sort of thing, but the reward you offer will have emotional resonance, and will achieve more than the blunt instrument of a cash bonus.

  5. Not everyone craves public employee awards.
  6. Some people find recognition embarrassing and want to receive it privately. Only give public recognition to those who want it. How can you tell who craves the spotlight and who doesn’t? Easy. Just ask!

  7. Employee awards show recognition is not ‘just a nice thing.’

  8. It is nice, but it’s also a proven effective business strategy, especially when employee awards are aligned with corporate goals such as customer retention, sales volume or workplace safety.


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