The holiday shopping season is under way, and it’s time to think about the gifts you give your employees.

Here’s a tip to get you started. Rewarding your employees should be about one thing, and one thing only: making them feel like they’re understood and appreciated.

That might sound obvious or simple, but it isn’t. It means learning what makes each of your team members tick, and finding the thing that best expresses how much you value his or her contribution. A generic, one-size-fits-all gift doesn’t communicate that message, and can even leave your employees feeling unappreciated.

Listen and learn
So how do you find that perfect gift?

The same way you might find a gift for your family: by listening to your employees and learning about what they like. Maybe you have an employee who is a film buff. Getting passes to a screening of their favorite actor’s new movie might send that message. Or perhaps someone on your team is a big fan of a particular author. Go out and find a signed copy of that author’s newest work.

You get the idea. Again, employee rewards are about the employee and recognizing his or her value. Do that successfully, and you’ll have mastered one of the best ways of boosting morale and productivity in your organization.

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