151 quick ideas to recognize and reward employees

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151 quick ideas to recognize and reward employees

  1. 1. 151 Quick Ideas to Recognize andReward Employees By Ken Lloyd, Ph.D. Franklin Lakes, NJ 1
  2. 2. 151 Quick Ideas to ... fill in blank Copyright  2007 by Ken Lloyd, Ph.D. All rights reserved under the Pan-American and In-ternational Copyright Conventions. This book may not bereproduced, in whole or in part, in any form or by anymeans electronic or mechanical, including photocopying,recording, or by any information storage and retrieval sys-tem now known or hereafter invented, without writtenpermission from the publisher, The Career Press. 151 QUICK IDEAS TO RECOGNIZE AND REWARD EMPLOYEES EDITED BY KRISTEN PARKES TYPESET BY KATE HENCHES Cover design by Ark Stein/Visual Group Printed in the U.S.A. by Book-mart PressTo order this title, please call toll-free 1-800-CAREER-1 (NJ andCanada: 201-848-0310) to order using VISA or MasterCard, or forfurther information on books from Career Press. The Career Press, Inc., 3 Tice Road, PO Box 687, Franklin Lakes, NJ 07417 www.careerpress.com Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataLloyd, Kenneth L. 151 quick ideas to recognize and reward employees / by KenLloyd. p. cm. Includes index. ISBN-13: 978-156414-945-9 ISBN-10: 1-56414-945-5 1. Incentives in industry. 2. Incentive awards. I. Title. II. Onehundred fifty-one quick ideas to recognize and reward employees. HF5549.5.I5L538 2007 658.3’142--dc22 2
  3. 3. 151 Quick Ideas 76-90 ContentsHow to Use This Book 9 1. Use Your Words 11 2. Set the Tone 12 3. Drop on By 13 4. Let’s Get Formal 14 5. The Riches of Enrichment 15 6. Nothing Like a Good Book 16 7. The Art of Articles 17 8. Turning the Corner 18 9. Subscription Recognition 19 10. What’s Right Is Write 20 11. E-mail for Excellence 21 12. Going Virtually Wide 22 13. Go for the Green 23 14. Cards Online 24 15. Cards Offline 25 16. Take a Break 27 17. Now Hear This 28 18. A Touch of Class 29 19. The Rewards of Teaching 30 20. Certified and Bona Fide Leaders 31 21. Good Points 33 3
  4. 4. 151 Quick Ideas to Inspire Your Staff22. Take Care of Yourself 3423. Primo Parking 3524. Promotional Opportunities 3625. Keep Your Eye on the Wall 3726. A Polished Reward 3927. What’s Cooking? 4028. Perfect for the Wall or Desk 4129. Special Silly Trophies 4230. On the Spot 4331. Table for Two 4532. Be a Sport 4633. See a Sport 4734. For the Sports 4835. A Great Pad 4936. Let’s Do Lunch Here 5037. Let’s Do Lunch There 5138. It’s a Gas 5239. The Rewards of Carpooling 5340. Entertaining Ideas 5541. Try This on for Size 5642. Greetings and Salutations 5743. Stamps of Approval 5844. A Message From the President 5945. Hot Wheels 6046. I See Your Performance and I Raise You 6247. Recognizing Your Employees and More 6348. Here’s a Suggestion 6449. Post the Good Words 6550. A New Newsletter 6751. Stop the Presses 6852. Add Recognition With Ads 6953. Use Your Headlines 70 4
  5. 5. 151 Quick Ideas 76-9054. Executive Dining 7155. Peer-to-Peer 7256. Happy Anniversary 7457. Savvy About Sabbaticals 7558. When Opportunity Knocks 7659. Knocking Around for Opportunities 7760. The Employees Are Entitled 7861. Featured Employees 8062. Significant Others 8163. Holiday Happenings 8264. Give the Employees a Hand, Literally 8365. Give Your Employees a Hand, Figuratively 8466. It’s About Time 8567. Go for the Goal 8768. Let’s Do Lunch 8869. Bottled-Up Rewards 8970. Surveys Serve All 9071. The Value of Video 9172. Rewards for Referrals 9373. Mentors Mean More 9474. Creative Teams 9575. Pre-hire Presence 9676. Flower Power 9877. In the Employee’s Name 9978. Early to Close 10079. Coffee, Tea, and Treats 10180. Degrees of Freedom 10281. Day Care for the Little Ones 10382. Convenience of a Concierge 10483. Getting in Shape 10684. Voluntary Recognition 10785. Win That Vacation 108 5
  6. 6. 151 Quick Ideas to Inspire Your Staff 86. The Field Trip 109 87. Side-by-Side With Topsiders 110 88. In Association With 112 89. Happy Birthday 113 90. Cash in Hand 114 91. In Focus 115 92. Just for You 116 93. Discounts Count 117 94. Hail With the Chief 118 95. Looking Down the Road 119 96. Cards Talk 120 97. Make Things Pop With Balloons 122 98. Guru for a Day 123 99. Employee of the Month 124100. Employee of the Year 125101. Proven Improvement 126102. Outside Input 127103. The Message of the Massage 128104. Meditate About This 129105. Ergonomically Speaking 131106. Feng Shui Today 132107. In and About the Office 133108. Artful Management 134109. A Little Shut-Eye 135110. Taken for a Ride 136111. Name Recognition 137112. For All to See 138113. It’s That Time of the Yearbook 140114. On the Road 141115. In Cool Companies 142116. Technically Speaking 143 6
  7. 7. 151 Quick Ideas 76-90117. It’s About Time 144118. For Sparkling Performance 146119. Treats and Eats 147120. One-on-One With a Pro 148121. Your Grab Bag 150122. Take Training Personally 151123. It’s a Picnic 152124. Retreat and Recharge 153125. Time-Released Recognition 154126. Stress Relief 155127. Strike a Pose 156128. Deep-Rooted Forms of Recognition 158129. Please Pass the Recognition 159130. Amusing Outings 160131. How Random 161132. A Basket of Recognition 162133. Significant Assignments 163134. For the New Hires 164135. A Good Sign 166136. It’s Your Day 167137. The Rewards of Retirement Plans 168138. Bonus Time 169139. Other Options 170140. Your Talented Team 171141. The Awards Banquet 172142. Great Saves 173143. A Word of Advice 174144. While You Were Out 175145. A True Open Door Policy 176146. Let’s Get Oriented 178147. The Sky’s the Limit 179 7
  8. 8. 151 Quick Ideas to Inspire Your Staff148. Lateral Moves 180149. 360 Degrees of Freedom 181150. Recipe for Success 183151. The Best Rewards 184Index 185About the Author 191 8
  9. 9. 151 Quick Ideas 76-90 How to Use This Book This book is filled with proven recognition and reward strat-egies to help you build your employees’ self-esteem, job satis-faction, and productivity. Just as you would not go to a restaurant and order everyitem on the menu at one sitting, you should not try to apply all ofthese ideas at once. The best approach is to read through thebook and take the following steps: ◆ Circle the ideas you like best. ◆ Highlight the ones you can start now. ◆ Set longer-term dates to implement your other favorites. ◆ Come back to the book every 90 days to select additional ideas. Give your employees copies of this book and meet withthem to discuss the ideas they like best, and set some dates toimplement those that are feasible as well. If you want to use aparticular idea, but it does not perfectly fit your company, do alittle brainstorming with your team and you will most likely comeup with a perfect solution. It is important to remember that all of the ideas in this bookhave been successfully applied in businesses large and smallthroughout the world. And there is every reason to believe theywill have an equally successful impact in your company! 9
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  11. 11. 1 Use Your Words One of the most compelling, powerful, and effective waysto reward and recognize your employees is also the cheapest.All you have to do is open your mouth and give your employeesthe thanks and appreciation they deserve for a job well done.When employees hear you say, “Great job!” they feel betterabout themselves, their work, and the company itself, and thismotivates them towardeven higher levels of per-formance so they’ll receive Assignmentmore of this feedback in the If you only use thefuture. words “Great job!” after The best time to provide your employees performthis type of credit and rec- well, the words can loseognition is as close to the their impact. Make a list ofemployee’s excellent be- at least 20 of the most en-havior as possible. If you ergizing and enthusiasticcan give this feedback in words you can use, such asfront of other employees, “Terrific work!” “Out-the impact is even greater. standing performance!”Those other employees will “Amazing outcome!” andstart to think about ways “Dazzling results!”they can improve their per-formance so they can be onthe receiving end of praisefrom you. Epilogue Employees continue to hear your positive words long after you have spoken them. 11
  12. 12. 151 Quick Ideas to Recognize and Reward Employees 2 Set the Tone Rewards and recognition do not exist in a vacuum, andtheir impact hinges on the workplace context and culture. Ifthe environment is harsh or cold, all of your efforts to rewardand recognize employees will fall short. For example, if a man-ager typically treats employees with indifference, any positivefeedback or rewards he or she provides will be received withskepticism at best. However, the same feedback or rewardsfrom a more supportive manager will be well received. As a result, if you want rewards and recognition to work, it Assignment is essential to set a tone Look over the listing of that is positive, friendly, employees in your depart- fair, and premised on re- ment and related areas and spect and trust. put a “+” next to those you One easy way to help regularly greet, a “0” next set this tone is to avoid the to those you occasionally common managerial prac- greet, and a “–” next to tice of looking through em- those you rarely or never ployees rather than talking greet. Now set a timetable to them. By saying “hello” to make all of them a “+.” to your employees around the office, perhaps askinghow things are going, and then listening, your employees aregoing to feel appreciated, important, and respected, and theseare great rewards. Epilogue Employees who rarely hear “hello” from their manager find it much easier to say “good bye.” 12
  13. 13. Quick Ideas 2 to 3 3 Drop on By A powerful source of recognition for your employees is thelevel of interest that you focus on them and their work. If youare inaccessible or basically invisible, your employees can eas-ily sense they are not particularly valuable to you or the com-pany. When you manage bywandering around, one ad-vantage is that you can use Assignmentall of your senses to get a Write down the num-better idea of how a depart- ber of times per day thatment is operating. you visit your team without On a more subtle level, any specific agenda orby spending time in your scheduled meeting. If youemployees’ work areas, you are averaging less than oneare rewarding your employ- visit per day, commit rightees. You are essentially tell- now to move that averageing them that although you to more than one visit perhave a great deal of impor- day.tant work that needs your at-tention, your team is even more important. Your visits are not basedupon resolving a specific problem, and they are free of any agendaother than a desire to meet with the employees, see how things aregoing, ask a few questions, and answer even more. You are not bearing gifts nor are you doling out cash. Youare providing ongoing psychological rewards that build the em-ployees’ sense of self-worth and competence. Epilogue Your presence is often the best present you can give your employees. 13
  14. 14. 151 Quick Ideas to Recognize and Reward Employees 4 Let’s Get Formal Regardless of the informal thanks, credit, and recognitionyou give to your employees, a great source of meaningful re-wards for them comes from receiving formal feedback on theirperformance at least once a year. Many managers tend to delay these sit-down meetings orforget about them altogether, typically mouthing the mantra, “Idon’t have time.” This type of thinking destroys a valuable rec- ognition opportunity. Assignment It is highly rewarding for an employee to have a First, set a date to clear idea of how he or she meet with each of your is doing and where im- employees to review their provement may be needed. performance. Second, set When an employee is not a time a few days ahead given this feedback, it is akin of this meeting to get pre- to shooting arrows at a tar- pared and look over your get, but not seeing where employees’ performance they are hitting. and notes you may have The most obvious mes- made during informal sages in formal review ses- meetings with them during sions deal with the this period. employees’ performance, but the deeper message isthat you have a genuine interest in the employees and their ca-reers, and this is one of the greatest rewards you can provide. Epilogue If you want to have a meeting of the minds with your employees, no one will mind if you start with a meeting. 14
  15. 15. Quick Ideas 4 to 5 5 The Riches of Enrichment Employees sense high levels of recognition and rewardwhen management enriches their jobs. Some managers oper-ate under the misconception that enrichment means givingemployees more work, typically more of the same work. Thisis merely expanding theirjobs horizontally. In this sce- Assignmentnario, rather than feeling re-warded, employees feel At some point, hope-used. fully in the near future, all Real enrichment ex- of your employees will bepands the employees’ jobs ready for job enrichment.vertically by providing them To help prepare for this,with more autonomy, con- look over each employee’strol, and decision-making job and list at least five spe-responsibilities. They are cific ways to enrich it.given increased opportuni-ties to think and grow, and, in many respects, they are able toact as managers of their own jobs. When jobs are truly en-riched, employee performance improves in many different ways,especially in terms of the quality of their work. Job enrichment is not simply handed to all employees, butrather is earned by those whose performance is consistentlystrong. It is a reward for excellence, and employees in en-riched positions tend to experience increased feelings of confi-dence, achievement, and personal competence. Epilogue When jobs are enriched, employees and their companies are enriched, too. 15
  16. 16. 151 Quick Ideas to Recognize and Reward Employees 6 Nothing Like a Good Book A great way to recognize and reward an employee is togive him or her a book. Obviously, you have millions of choices,but you can set some parameters by looking at the individualemployee and the position he or she holds. Many of the bestrewards are tailored to fit whoever is receiving them, and youcan easily do this with a book. For example, if you have an employee who has manage-ment potential, you can certainly give a book on management.However, you can just as easily give a novel that includes a character who displays outstanding managerial Assignment skills. Write down the names If you want to make of each of your employees this reward more tailored and then list two or three or personalized, you can books that would be perfect give a book that deals with for each of them. Order the the employee’s hobbies or books and have them ready outside interests, or a well- for the next time one of reviewed book you believe these employees does your employee will enjoy. something great. Regardless of the book you select, you should personalize it by inscribingit. Use a good pen, write the employee a short praiseful note,and then sign and date it. Epilogue Giving a book without any inscription is like giving a trophy without any engraving. 16
  17. 17. 7 Quick Ideas 6 to 7 The Art of Articles Your employees like to know that you are thinking of them,and not just in a general sense, but also as individuals. One ofthe best ways to recognize their individuality is to send them anarticle that is particularly appropriate to their interests. The article can deal with some work-related matters, or itcan focus on your employee’s general interests or hobbies. Youcan give the employee a hard copy of the article in person, oryou can just as easily send it as an attachment. Either way, themessage is clear: you regard this employee as a valued indi-vidual on your team. In this way, you are actually providing two rewards. First,there is the psychologicalreward that comes from Assignmentbeing remembered and rec-ognized by one’s manager. Make a list of yourAnd, secondly, there is the employees’ objectives andtangible reward of the ar- interests, and then activelyticle itself. look for relevant articles. When you give the The objective is to sendarticle to the employee, each employee at least onebe sure to attach a short article every other month.note that includes theemployee’s name and afew positive words about how you thought this article ties rightinto this individual’s goals, interests, or hobbies. Epilogue Articles that you provide to your employees help build unity—they are truly articles of confederation. 17
  18. 18. 151 Quick Ideas to Recognize and Reward Employees 8 Turning the Corner Every manager is going to have an employee who struggles.With a good deal of coaching, guidance, support, and perhaps abit of luck, that employee may experience a turnaround. When you have an employee who makes this kind of transi-tion, you have a golden opportunity to provide some recognition.Recognition at this point is positive reinforcement that will encour-age this employee to continue his or her successful behaviors. This employee should be given an award indicating that heor she is the most improved player. Whether at a special staff meeting or as part of a larger recognition program, Assignment employees who make great Make a list of your improvement should be employees who are strug- singled out in front of the gling. Note the key areas group and praised for their where they need to improve totally improved perfor- and the specific steps they mance. They could be should take. Meet with given a special award, the them, gather their inputs, TIP Award for Totally and have them sign off on a Improved Performance, document where they com- exclusively for employees mit to taking these steps. who have tipped the scales and are now performing at a TIP-TOP level. Thisaward can be accompanied by any number of goodies that arelisted in forthcoming chapters. Epilogue Performance improvement is contagious, and it can eas- ily be spread by recognition and rewards. 18
  19. 19. 9 Quick Ideas 8 to 9 Subscription Recognition It is quite rewarding for your employees to see that you aregenuinely interested in their growth, development, and success,and one way for them to literally grasp your commitment inthese areas is to give them a subscription to a magazine orjournal that relates to their job responsibilities and objectives. The subscription should be in the employee’s name be-cause this clearly focusesthe recognition on thenamed individual. This can Assignmentbe a source of additional Review the responsi-recognition if the employee bilities and objectives ofthen forwards the magazine each of your employees,to others who may be inter- and then match them upested in one or more of the with possible magazines orarticles. journals, whether hard The recognition from copy or online. Let yourthe subscription can be fur- employees know the maga-ther compounded if you let zines or journals you arethe employee know you considering, and then ask ifwould be glad to set up a they have a preference.departmental brown-baglunch if there is an article he or she would like to discuss. Theoffer to run this type of discussion is rewarding in and of itself,and actually leading such a session offers additional opportuni-ties for recognition. Epilogue Giving a magazine subscription is tantamount to giving a timed-release capsule that regularly provides a healthy dose of recognition. 19
  20. 20. 151 Quick Ideas to Recognize and Reward Employees 10 What’s Right Is Write One of the most old-fashioned ways of providing recogni-tion is also one of the most effective. Although many peoplefind the notion of picking up a pen and writing anything to any-one an archaic and time-consuming task, it is a great way toshow another individual that you have made an extra effort torecognize his or her accomplishment. This does not mean that you have to write an epic novel orspew some fancy and flowing prose. A short handwritten note that specifically mentions the individual’s name fol- Assignment lowed by words of praise Take out a pen and pa- for his or her success is al- per and try this technique ways well received and by writing a brief note of well remembered. recognition to yourself for A particularly interest- a recent success. When ing point is that many you read it, you are guar- people are less likely to anteed to feel good. And throw out a handwritten when your employee gets note. They tend to file it one, he or she will feel even away, and then look back better. at it every once in a while. This means that your writ- ten note continues to pro-vide recognition and good feelings well after you have put thepen back in your drawer. Epilogue A handwritten note gives your employees a hand today and tomorrow. 20
  21. 21. Quick Ideas 10 to 11 11 E-mail for Excellence Another highly effective way to spell out credit and recog-nition for an employee is to send an e-mail that waxes glow-ingly over his or her accomplishment. The first step in writingthis is to use upbeat language in the subject line, such as “Ex-cellent Work!” or “Congratulations!” The next step is to put the employee’s name before any ofthe text you write. The tendency with office e-mail is to simplywrite a message, and this isfine for most online business Assignmentcommunication, but not fora note of recognition. Take a look at your A similar point applies employees right now.to the end of this laudatory There is at least one whosemessage. Before you hit performance merits recog-“Send,” be sure to include nition today, but you haveyour name. Even though been too busy to provide it.most business e-mail ends Send this employee an e-with the last sentence of the mail that praises his or hermessage, that is not enough work. And don’t be sur-for a laudatory note. If you prised if you receive anreally want to personalize it equally appreciative e-mailand emphasize the signifi- in response.cance of your employee’saccomplishment, add your name, and not with your title or phoneextension under it. Epilogue When you give thanks, you get thanks. And more. 21
  22. 22. 151 Quick Ideas to Recognize and Reward Employees 12 Going Virtually Wide You can easily compound the power of your laudatory e-mail messages by clicking “cc” and simultaneously sendingcopies to various significant others in your organization. Takingthis extra step has several compelling advantages, the first ofwhich is that it makes the employee feel extra proud, positive,and pumped because his or her accomplishment has been placedbefore so many important eyeballs. On a broader basis, by going wide with your message, youhave helped put a spotlight on your employee that can help generate additional oppor- tunities for his or her Assignment growth and advancement within the company. In ad- To save time down the dition, when your employ- road, write out a list of se- ees perform well, it also nior corporate players who means that you have should receive copies of the helped set the stage for praiseful e-mail notes that their success. In this way, you send to your employ- you are sending a positive ees for their accomplish- message about yourself to ments. Now put an asterisk topside management as by each topsider who might well. need a friendly prompt to The icing on this cor- send their own congratula- porate cake arrives when tory note as well. a topside manager sends a congratulatory note back to 22
  23. 23. Quick Ideas 12 to 13the employee. This feeds the employee a second portion ofrecognition, and that is very tasty indeed. Epilogue When you make others look, you look good. 13 Go for the Green If you had a chance toprovide recognition to a rap-idly growing number of em- Assignmentployees on a matter of realimportance to them, you Make a list of 10 ac-would probably jump at the tions that you can take inopportunity. That’s exactly order to make your work-what managers worldwide place more environmentallyare doing right now when it friendly. Rank each item incomes to implementing pro- your list in terms of impor-grams that are environmen- tance and cost, and then settally friendly. a schedule to implement Eco-friendly steps span each over the next 12a huge spectrum that can months.include putting out organic 23
  24. 24. 151 Quick Ideas to Recognize and Reward Employeesfruit for the employees, providing health-oriented perks, usingrecycled materials, switching to solar power, and even rede-signing a company’s ventilation system to reduce toxins in theair. Although interest in going green is more common amongyoung employees, it is shared by growing ranks of employeesof all ages. When managers implement these types of pro-grams, employees literally and figuratively feel better aboutworking for the company, and the idea of working for such aforward-thinking company is a source of pride and recogni-tion when describing their work to others. It is profoundly rewarding for employees to sense thatmanagement is proactively taking steps to deal with issues thatare meaningful to them. Epilogue When you are friendly to the environment, it is friendly to you. 14 Cards Online It is always best to provide recognition as close to anemployee’s successful performance as possible, and you cando so at the speed of light by sending an online card. There are numerous sites that offer cards for any oc-casion, and with a little searching, you can find one thatperfectly fits the person and the situation. The nice thingabout this type of recognition is that you are connectingwith several of the employee’s senses at the same time.With an online card, an employee’s sense of touch, sound, 24
  25. 25. Quick Ideas 13 to 15 Assignment Because timing is of the essence, go to any search engine and enter the phrase “online cards.” Visit several sites and copy the addresses of those with cards that have the best fit with your team. If you see any cards that are particularly appropriate for your employees, write the employees’ names next to the address.and sight are all involved, and this makes the recognition allthe more memorable. When employees receive an online card, they tend to smileand feel good for the moment and beyond. After all, if the cardfits really well, they are not likely to delete it. Rather, they willsave it and return to it several times, repeatedly experiencingthose good feelings of recognition. Epilogue Online cards are on time, on track, on target, and live on and on and on. 15 Cards Offline Another highly effective way to provide recognition to youremployees is to go traditional and select an appropriate greet-ing card from a bricks-and-mortar store. Even in today’s vir-tual world, employees still appreciate holding a clever andattractive card that is meant solely for them. 25
  26. 26. 151 Quick Ideas to Recognize and Reward Employees Assignment To avoid having to look for that perfect card at the last minute, make a list of the stores you fre- quent that have gift card sections. Set aside five minutes each time you visit these stores to look through the card section. Over the next month, com- mit to buying at least one card for each of your employees. The key strategy is to select a card that not only fits theoccasion, but also fits your employee’s personality. Once youhave selected that perfect card, be sure to add a few words ofthanks or congratulations in your own handwriting, and thensign the card. If you simply sign your name, you are letting thecard do all the talking, and that lessens its impact. Also, do not just plop the card in your employee’s mail slotor on his or her desk. The recognition will really hit home if youhand the card to the employee and offer a few words of thanksand recognition when doing so. Epilogue A great card for a great performance can have a great impact. 26
  27. 27. 16 Quick Ideas 15 to 16 Take a Break For the employees who have worked extra hard and at-tained outstanding results, an excellent reward is an afternoonor a full day off with pay. This type of recognition instantlyshows that you appreciate your employees’ diligence and dedi-cation, and you understand the sacrifices they have made to get the job done. This reward is best Assignment given as a surprise, rather Look carefully at the than stipulated as a possible performance of each of outcome if certain goals are your employees and see if met. If you present the pos- there are any whose per- sibility of time off at the out- formance could merit a half set of the project, but the day or full day off. For project falls short or other those who are in that range, time-consuming projects look at the calendar for an- develop just as this one is ticipated completion dates wrapping up, there can be and anticipated projects for problems. them, and then circle the Besides, surprising an possible days on which this employee with time off is far time off could be given. more fun, and that’s a great addition to any workplace. When you give out this re-ward, be sure to do so in person if possible, or at least by tele-phone. The more you personalize it, the greater its impact. 27
  28. 28. 151 Quick Ideas to Recognize and Reward Employees Epilogue When employees work extra hard and are rewarded with extra time off, they return with extra energy, focus, and dedication. 17 Now Hear This If you put a slight wrinkle on the notion of time off fromwork, you come up with another terrific way to reward your employees, namely the op- portunity to go off-site to Assignment hear a great speaker. This Almost every day there reward gives your employ- are newspaper announce- ees a combination of time ments about speakers off, education, information, coming to your area. Make and entertainment. a list of these speakers, You can select from a their topics, and appear- vast array of speakers that ance dates, and then match includes management gu- this list with the names of rus, government leaders, your employees who de- prized athletes, military serve to attend and whose heroes, hot chefs, glitzy ty- interests and availability coons, newsmakers and point to a good fit. Book shakers, heralded authors, them to attend and meet hyper motivators, stand-up with them individually to comedians, movie stars, and give them the news. more. It is best to pick 28
  29. 29. Quick Ideas 16 to 18speakers who can pique your employees’ interests, as this willcompound the reward and the enjoyment. There is something exciting about seeing famous speakersin person, and there can even be more excitement when latertelling friends and significant others about the event. When youremployees return to work, a good piece of that excitement willcome back with them. Epilogue When employees go off-site to hear an amazing speaker, there is far more than meets the eye—or the ears. 18 A Touch of Class When employees per-form well, one of the most Assignmentmeaningful rewards youcan give them is an oppor- Make a list of your em-tunity to attend seminars, ployees who merit this re-classes, educational pro- ward. Hopefully, it will begrams, or even pursue a your entire team. Go to anydegree. Employees typi- major search engine andcally have strong motiva- start the hunt for the per-tions to learn, grow, and fect educational programs.develop, and rewards that Match each employee withhelp meet these needs are programs that best fit theirtruly energizing. individual needs, skills, and You can now choose objectives. When the time isfrom a tremendous menu right, let the school bells ring. 29
  30. 30. 151 Quick Ideas to Recognize and Reward Employeesof educational options both online and off, and there are coursesavailable on just about every imaginable subject. And further,there is a vast array of providers that includes public and pri-vate universities and colleges, private training companies, gov-ernmental training programs, professional associations, industryconventions, and numerous companies interested in trainingpeople to use their products. With all of these options, you are now in a position to tailorany training to your individual employees. For example, somemay respond well to supervisory or managerial training, whileothers will be far more appreciative of specific technical train-ing. The better the fit, the better the reward. Epilogue Employee growth and development are the keys to a company’s growth and development. 19 The Rewards of Teaching After you have rewarded an employee by sending him orher to a seminar, class, course, or other educational program,you can take the reward to higher levels by inviting this indi-vidual to conduct a mini-seminar for the other employees. Thismini-session would focus on the highlights of whatever youremployee learned. When you allow an employee to run an entire trainingsession, you are fulfilling some of his or her most important 30
  31. 31. Quick Ideas 18 to 20psychological needs, namelythe needs for recognition, re- Assignmentsponsibility, achievement,and growth. This step also If you have any em-rewards your employee with ployees who recently at-firsthand experience in pub- tended an educationallic speaking, planning and or- program, invite them to putganization, and training. on a mini-seminar for the An additional benefit is rest of the team. To helpthat your employee will have make this session or anyto learn the course content future sessions a success,particularly well in order to take care of the administra-teach it. And, on a broader tive details such as reserv-basis, this approach will in- ing the meeting room,crease the likelihood that the setting it up for the discus-best content from the origi- sion, having notepads andnal program will actually be pens ready, and orderingapplied on the job. some light snacks. Epilogue When employees teach what they have learned, every- one learns some important lessons. 20 Certified and Bona Fide Leaders A strategic management development program exclusiveto your company can be a great source of recognition for youremployees. This type of program, which can be designed by an 31
  32. 32. 151 Quick Ideas to Recognize and Reward Employees internal team of managers or by an outside firm, pro- Assignment vides your supervisory and managerial employ- Future managers and ees with a complete man- supervisors tend to learn agement development most of their leadership program. skills from their own man- agers, typically through Such a program is day-to-day interactions. more than a bunch of Think about what you classes loosely strung to- would teach your employ- gether and given a catchy ees if you were to do so in label. Rather, this program a classroom. Develop a list includes a formal curricu- of managerial topics where lum, regular classes both your expertise is particu- online and off, homework, larly strong, and then de- and exams. Employees velop a lesson plan to teach feel rewarded and special your employees in each of when selected to attend. these areas. They enjoy having the op- portunity to learn and grow, and their inclusionimplies that management recognizes them, respects them, andhas positive expectations for them. Beyond these intangible rewards, these programs are liter-ally capped off with a graduation ceremony for those who com-plete the full curriculum. Each graduate is rewarded with aframed personalized diploma designating that they are certifiedsupervisors and managers for your company. Epilogue When companies plant seeds of knowledge, the employees blossom. 32
  33. 33. Quick Ideas 20 to 21 21 Good Points One of the best ways to connect a personalized rewardwith excellent behavior is to reward employees with points whenthey perform well. The employees can then take their pointsand use them to pick outany rewards they wouldlike from various online re- Assignmentward sites. The more Go to one of the majorpoints they accumulate, the search engines and enterbetter the goods and good- the keywords “online,”ies available to them. “employee,” and “re- One advantage of this wards.” Click on some ofapproach is that you can the online providers, reviewgive your employees their their product offerings andpoints immediately after terms, and then select onethey perform well. This that looks like the best fittype of instant gratification for your company and yourhelps lock-in their stellar team. The one you selectbehavior. In addition, they should provide you withenjoy any positive com- everything you need to startments you might provide this program right now.when lavishing these pointsupon them. The positive feelings continue when your employees goonline to pick out their rewards. There is something particularlyexciting about earning this type of shopping spree. When theydo pick out that special reward, it is a perfect fit, and that makesany reward more long-lasting. 33
  34. 34. 151 Quick Ideas to Recognize and Reward Employees Epilogue When employees can earn valuable points for perfor- mance, they engage in less pointless behavior. 22 Take Care of Yourself Everyone wins when employees strive to maintain ex-cellent health, and now there are cutting-edge steps you cantake to reward your employees for pursuing healthierlifestyles. Some of the positive outcomes include richer andfuller lives, improved performance and attendance on thejob, and even reduced insurance premiums. The idea is to estab- lish a wellness program Assignment and reward employees Contact your HR depart- who participate in it. ment or your company’s There can be any num- health-care provider and ber of rewards, such as ask about incentives for a reduction in co-pay- your employees and for ments for doctor visits or the company if you imple- prescription drugs. You can ment a wellness program. also offer reduced If your provider gives you deductibles, or even cash little more than a strange or other tangible prizes. look, then you should look Wellness programs for another provider. typically require an initial doctor visit to check your employees’ blood pres- sure, cholesterol, weight, 34
  35. 35. Quick Ideas 21 to 23and the like. Once this is completed, the employees who followthe doctor’s instructions to improve their health are given therewards. When employees engage in healthier lifestyles, they oftenlook and feel better, which is a great reward in and of itself.And when other tangible rewards are placed on top of this, it isnot uncommon to find many employees hopping onto the healthierbandwagon. Epilogue Rewarding employees for a healthy lifestyle is a gift they will always carry. 23 Primo Parking For employees whodrive or carpool to work, the Assignmentreward of a great parking Take a look at yourspace literally and figura- company’s parking situationtively has its place in an and select one spot that canoverall recognition pro- be used for this reward pro-gram. A spot that is near the gram. Try to base this rewardentrance is always appre- on performance that actuallyciated, especially in outdoor relates to driving to work, suchlots during the hot, humid, as attendance, safety, or tardi-or hazy months of the sum- ness. The final step is to an-mer and the cold and icy nounce the program andmonths of winter. conduct a drawing for all quali- fied employees. 35
  36. 36. 151 Quick Ideas to Recognize and Reward Employees There are some additional steps that can make this rewardparticularly appealing, such as giving the parking space a spe-cial designation. This can include a sign that prominently an-nounces that it is reserved for company superstars, or specialcolored lines that distinguish this space from all others. You can tack another reward onto this by posting onlinephotos of the super employees as they proudly stand by theircars in this super space. For an even longer-term impact, youcan add the names of these winning employees onto the signthat denotes this spot. By doing so, you have actually turnedthis sign into a trophy. Epilogue The chance of winning a special parking spot can drive people to work even harder. 24 Promotional Opportunities One of the best ways to recognize and reward outstandingperformance is to promote employees who consistently dem-onstrate excellence in their work. In many respects, promotionis the ultimate reward at work because it fulfills the successfulemployees’ needs for recognition, achievement, responsibility,and personal growth. Employees also enjoy the more tangiblerewards that typically accompany a promotion, such as a raiseor a better office or workstation. When promotions are carried out equitably, there are evenrewards for employees who are not promoted. For example, 36
  37. 37. Quick Ideas 23 to 25it is rewarding for employ-ees to see that the company Assignmentpromotes from within, and Look carefully at yourthis can further energize employees and rate each onthem to work harder to re- a scale from 1 to 10 in termsceive a similar reward. of promotability, with 10 be- You can make a pro- ing the best. For those whomotion even more reward- rank high, review the ad-ing by accompanying it vancement opportunities inwith a formal announce- your department and com-ment, a photo opportunity, pany at large, and considerand a personal note to the moving them up if possible.employee. Employees re- At the same time, meet withmember every promotion each employee at the lowerin their career, and these end of the continuum andsmall steps make every start designing a develop-promotion even more mental program with them.memorable. Epilogue When you promote an employee, you are also promot- ing productivity, commitment, and motivation. 25 Keep Your Eye on the Wall You can dramatically increase the positive impact of anyreward by simultaneously providing some publicity. An out-standing way to do this is to designate one wall for employeerecognition. 37
  38. 38. 151 Quick Ideas to Recognize and Reward Employees It can be called the “Wall of Fame,” and there shouldbe nothing on it except items that focus on employee re-wards, recognition, and appreciation. This is where you would place photos, an- nouncements, and com- Assignment mendations regarding Take a tour of your of- your employees’ out- fices, work area, or build- standing work and accom- ing and look for the perfect plishments. The Wall wall that can be trans- should be in an area with formed into the Wall of a good deal of employee Fame. Once you have traffic, and employees made your choice and lined should be able to stop and up the necessary approv- look at the postings with- als, make sure the wall has out creating a bottleneck. its own unique color and an The Wall of Fame eye-catching graphic. turns any single reward Once it’s ready, put the into a double reward. The word out to all. first is the reward itself, and the second is having a photo and write-up onthis wall. Employees sense high levels of recognition ev-ery time they see themselves on it, and the rewards keepcoming when coworkers mention that they saw them on“the Wall.” Epilogue A Wall of Fame is the corporate equivalent to having one’s name in lights. 38
  39. 39. Quick Ideas 25 to 26 26 A Polished Reward One gleaming example of a highly visible reward that isconsistently well receivedis a free carwash. Whenyour team has been per- Assignmentforming well and you are Go to your favoriteseeking a sweeping re- search engine and enterward, this one really your geographical locationshines. and the words “mobile On a basic level, a carwash.” Check out eachnewly washed car saves site and contact those thatyour employees time and look best. You can negoti-money, two commodities ate prices, and be sure tothat your employees truly check references. Whenvalue. In a broader sense, the time arrives to book athis reward tells your em- date, try for a Friday. Em-ployees that you care ployees love a shiny car forabout them whether they the weekend.are on the job or off. Tim-ing the carwash with thecompletion of a major project or the start of a new businesscycle is an excellent way to psychologically wipe the slateclean and start fresh. As employees go to and from work for days and possiblyweeks after the carwash, the good feelings associated withthis reward will be riding with them. And to keep this rewardfair, don’t forget to give carwash vouchers to employees whocarpool or take public transportation to work. 39
  40. 40. 151 Quick Ideas to Recognize and Reward Employees Epilogue Giving your employees a free carwash is a great reflec- tion on you and your company. 27 What’s Cooking? If you are looking for a fun reward, you and some of yourfellow managers should replace your managerial garb with chef’s apparel and cook a meal for your employees. Assignment Some of the popular offer- ings include pancakes and Meet with your fellow eggs for breakfast, burgers managers to discuss this and salads for lunch, or a reward and the logistics of pasta dinner. applying it in your depart- On the one hand, this is ment or company. Select a tasty way to say thanks to the meal that works best for your employees for doing a all of you. A quick search great job. At the same time, online or in your local phone when you are cooking up a directory will help you line meal for your employees, up all of the food, cooking you are also cooking up op- equipment, silverware, portunities for them to get plates, and other items to know you better. You needed to make this a very may be a highly accessible palatable reward. and communicative man- ager, but when you sport anapron and a chef’s hat, even the most miniscule barriers tocommunication fall by the wayside. Importantly, the lines of 40
  41. 41. Quick Ideas 26 to 28communication that are opened at these meals tend to stayopen long afterwards. These events not only reward your team,they build your team. Epilogue Cooking a meal for your employees gives them recogni- tion they can savor, and that’s food for thought. 28 Perfect for the Wall or Desk When employees accomplish great feats, whether in termsof special projects, work beyond the call of duty, or meetingextra challenging goals,there are some traditional Assignmentrewards that are still verypopular. In this regard, Look at your employ-trophies, plaques, rib- ees who may be carryingbons, and certificates are out particularly demandingamong the most enduring assignments and ask your-rewards for outstanding self if there are any whoperformance. merit this type of reward. If These rewards are par- so, contact a local or onlineticularly compelling when award company and checkthey are personalized not out the offerings. When youonly with the employee’s find what you like, write aname, but also with a few personalized inscription,laudatory comments that place your order, and sched- ule the ceremony. 41
  42. 42. 151 Quick Ideas to Recognize and Reward Employeesdescribe what he or she has done. If you want to raise therecognition a few decibels, give out these rewards in a cer-emony. At such an event, speak glowingly of the employee’saccomplishment, express your appreciation and congratulations,hand the award to him or her, and then pose for a photo for theWall of Fame and company Website. Employees typically put these awards in their offices, anda good piece of the satisfaction they felt on the day they re-ceived them will come back every time they glance at theirtrophy, plaque, or certificate. Epilogue Giving out traditional rewards can be a great tradition in your company. 29 Special Silly Trophies If you are looking for a fun way to recognize and rewardyour employees, come up with an original trophy to honorperformance on a specific project, program, or event. It canbe anything you want—a rock, a dented can, an archaic cellphone, a used running shoe…. This trophy is typically passed from one winning indi-vidual or team to another. It adorns a desk or work area for agiven amount of time and is then conferred to the next personor team that earns it. 42
  43. 43. Quick Ideas 28 to 30 Assignment Look at your employees’ projects on an individual and group basis, and try to find one that lends itself particularly well to this type of reward. Original trophies are especially enticing on projects that call for spirited com- petition within your team. Write down at least 10 trophy ideas, and then pick the one that looks like the most fun. You can call these trophies whatever you wish. For ex-ample, perhaps there was an employee from yesteryear whoselong hours and dedication greatly surpassed all others. You couldname a trophy after this person and award it to the employeewho demonstrates dedication and persistence far beyond thecall of duty. This trophy could be a broken clock, as the winningemployee obviously has no idea of the time. Epilogue A seemingly meaningless trophy can be a highly mean- ingful reward. 30 On the Spot A spot bonus is one of the best ways to provide recognitionand rewards right on the heels of desired behaviors. This is a 43
  44. 44. 151 Quick Ideas to Recognize and Reward Employees reward that you immedi- ately give to an employee Assignment when you catch him or her Make a list of 10 items doing something terrific. that would be excellent spot The bonus itself bonuses for your employ- should not be visible to ees, and then bring all of your employees until you them to work. From now see outstanding behav- on, whenever you walk ior. At that instant, pull it around your employees’ out of your pocket or work areas, have at least purse and hand it to that one spot bonus with you. employee. Be sure to Try to be extra observant, offer hearty congratula- and make it your goal to tions and thanks. If give out at least one spot there are other employ- bonus over the next two ees around, that’s even weeks. better. This reward can be whatever works best foryou and your employees, all the way from a cool gift certifi-cate to cold cash. For maximum impact, be sure to placethis reward in special wrapping that clearly designates whatit is. This is a great way to build excitement, suspense, andtradition. When you give one of these bonuses, be sure tonote it in the employee’s file. Epilogue Spot bonuses are a great way to reduce spotty performance. 44
  45. 45. 31 Quick Ideas 30 to 31 Table for Two For your employees who are putting in extra long hours,one fulfilling reward is a dinner for two. However, this is morethan simply picking a restaurant and then handing them a mealticket. If you want this to be a rewarding meal in all respects, pickout not only an excellent restaurant, but also one that your em-ployee may have mentioned glowingly in the past. If he or shehas not noted a restaurant by name, try to learn the kinds of foods he or she prefers and then make your choice. Assignment Rewarding your hard- Make a list of your working employees with employees and their favor- dinner at the latest trendy ite restaurants or foods. If eatery can be a big turkey you cannot come up with if your employee does not anything, it’s time to spend like the food. more time getting to know Your hard-working your employees. When you employee probably missed see any of them repeatedly a good number of dinners working extreme hours, with his or her significant hand them a certificate for other, so be sure to include that ideal meal. this individual as well. He or she plays a key role in your employee’s life, andsome thanks and recognition for this individual can make thoselong work hours a little more palatable. Epilogue Dinner for two is a perfect reward for employees who are literally and figuratively hungry. 45
  46. 46. 151 Quick Ideas to Recognize and Reward Employees 32 Be a Sport If you are looking for a healthy, exciting, and fun way togenerate recognition for your employees, take a look at company-sponsored athletic teams. You can easily find leagues in mostcities for such sports as bowling, soccer, softball, volleyball,and many more. When employees are on a company athletic team, recogni-tion comes from all over the lot. Employees on these teams get recognition every time the team does anything, start- Assignment ing with the team’s forma- Contact your local tion and ending with its parks and recreation de- final game. This recogni- partment for information on tion also includes write-ups company-sponsored teams and photos on the com- in your area. Give your em- pany Website and Wall of ployees a summary of these Fame. programs, and then conduct There is a great deal a poll to see how many em- of recognition tossed back ployees are interested play- and forth among the play- ing any of these sports. Total ers on these teams, and it it all up, select the most is turbocharged when it popular sport, put your name comes from teammates on the top of the list, and let who happen to be part of the signups begin. senior management. In fact, conversations among teammates often includemore than sports, and they can easily open doors to choiceassignments and opportunities. 46
  47. 47. Quick Ideas 32 to 33 Epilogue Both on the field and off, being on a company team can be highly rewarding for all of the players. 33 See a Sport Tickets to sporting events are a terrific way to reward indi-vidual or group performance. If employees meet specific ob-jectives, they are rewardedwith tickets to a local sport- Assignmenting event, such as a base-ball game. Look over the projects anticipated for the next Depending on the few months and see if anyproject and participants, lend themselves to this typethese rewards can be given of reward. If you find one,to a few employees or even spell out the specific objec-the entire department. In tives, contact the closestfact, when you make this a professional sports organi-group award, you are likely zation and start lining upto see more team-oriented the tickets, and thenbehaviors among the em- present the project to yourployees. You are also likely employees.to hear the employees in-corporate more sports vo-cabulary into their daily work as they strive to handle curveballs,play hardball, and avoid striking out. If they meet the goals and get to go to a ballgame, you canboost the recognition by giving them coupons for free food and 47
  48. 48. 151 Quick Ideas to Recognize and Reward Employeesbeverages at the park. For some additional recognition, contactthe ballpark ahead of time and have the employees’ namesflashed on the scoreboard for an official welcome. Epilogue While professional athletes stretch every day, your em- ployees are likely to stretch when given the opportunity to win tickets to a game. 34 For the Sports In keeping with the theme of linking recognition Assignment and rewards to sports, If your employees are there are some hands-on midway in a project right rewards in this area that now and you would like to work and play particularly give them a rewarding well. These sporting re- boost, go to your friendly wards are long on fun, and search engine and enter the they include items such as words “promotional” and Nerf footballs, Frisbees, “logo.” Look over the Koosh balls, golf balls, ten- sports-oriented offerings nis balls, and kites. and order some that your These rewards should employees will enjoy. be handed out with over- When the items arrive, stated pomp and circum- have your ceremony, and stance. If you would like be sure to set aside some them to have a longer-term time to roll up your sleeves impact, you can have your and play. company name placed on them. And if you are giving 48
  49. 49. Quick Ideas 33 to 35out the item because of performance on a particular project orevent, you should have that noted on it as well. Every time youremployee plays with one of these rewards, even for years tocome, the good feelings are rekindled every time the award isthrown, kicked, passed, or flown. Epilogue Employers and employees can score all sorts of points when the rewards are sports items. 35 A Great Pad If you are looking for adifferent way for your em-ployees to feel recognized Assignmentand rewarded every time Look at the perfor-they sit down at their com- mance of your employeesputers, one of the best is the in terms of their ability topersonalized mouse pad. make the best use of theirThis is one of those fun re- computers. If there are anywards that you can give to who are a virtual cut aboveyour employees for their abil- the others, they may be FITity to work around computer employees. Make your se-glitches, squelch ridiculous e- lection, go to your choicemail, control the amount of search engine, enter themail stored in their inboxes, words “custom” andor successfully handle other “mouse pad,” and you’lltechie problems. find a mouse pad that is the This mouse pad should perfect fit.include the company name 49
  50. 50. 151 Quick Ideas to Recognize and Reward Employeesand logo, the employee’s name, and the name of the re-ward. Perhaps these employees are designated as Friendsof Information Technology, or FIT. These FIT employeesshould receive their pads at an over-the-top ceremony, fol-lowed by photos on the Website and Wall of Fame. Whenever these employees boot up their computers, theywill briefly flash back on the good times associated with thisreward, and that is a great way to start any day. Epilogue In spite of their location, mouse pads are anything but underhanded rewards. 36 Let’s Do Lunch Here When your team or a Assignment key person on it meets an important goal or mile- Look over your em- stone, a casual and enjoy- ployees on an individual and able way to reward and group basis to determine if recognize the accomplish- any are about to reach an ment is with light lunch important objective. If so, right in the department. check the calendars and set up an in-house lunch. Fri- The objective of these days are often the best days, casual and light-spirited and be sure to invite the get-togethers is to focus entire department and se- attention on your deserv- nior management. ing employees, rather than focusing on the food that 50
  51. 51. Quick Ideas 35 to 37is being served. As for the actual condiments, you can go asbasic as pizza, sub sandwiches, or a deli platter. Or, if the hon-oree or honorees have a favorite food, then that should be theselection du jour. As part of this event, be sure to take a few minutes tosingle out the individual or group and say a few laudatory wordsin front of all the attendees. You can make the experience evenmore significant for everyone by inviting some of the company’ssenior managers to attend and say a few words. Epilogue With a light celebratory lunch in the department, the most important items being served are recognition, atten- tion, and appreciation. 37 Let’s Do Lunch There If you want to raise the stakes (and possibly the steaks) inthese celebratory lunches for your employees, you should holdthe event off-site at a local restaurant. You can personalize itby selecting an eatery that is preferred by the individual orteam that you wish to recognize. One major advantage of holding a recognition lunch off-campus is that there are fewer work-related interruptions anddistractions, and this makes the honorees the center of atten-tion. This also allows all of the employees to absorb the fullimpact of this type of recognition. In fact, not only do the hon-orees sense a high degree of recognition at these lunches, all ofthe employees who are invited to attend feel personally recog-nized as well. 51
  52. 52. 151 Quick Ideas to Recognize and Reward Employees Assignment If the performance of any of your employ- ees as individuals or groups merit this type of reward, or you anticipate that they will soon be doing so, contact some of the favorite local res- taurants, check for a private or semi-private area, and make a reservation at the one that works best. When the time is right, you should have no reservations about announcing the lunch and inviting some senior managers to at- tend as well. Epilogue When you reward your employees with lunch at a favor- ite restaurant, the honorees sense that they are the real “spe- cials of the day.” 38 It’s a Gas Many studies are finding that gasoline prices are of majorimportance to growing numbers of employees. As a result, someof today’s best rewards are gasoline gift cards. They look likeplastic gift cards from any retailer, and they have a dollar amountright on the front, typically $25, $50, or $100. Because rewards work best when they meet your employ-ees’ needs, gasoline gift cards certainly fit the bill. They clearly 52
  53. 53. Quick Ideas 37 to 39demonstrate that youlooked carefully for a re- Assignmentward that your employeescan actually use. While One of the easiestthere certainly is a place for ways to purchase these“warm and fuzzy” rewards, cards is online. Use anythere is also a place for search engine and enter thefunctional rewards, espe- words “gasoline” and “giftcially those that fill the em- cards.” You will quicklyployees’ needs while also find all sorts of options forfilling their gas tanks. all sorts of prices. Select Your employees will and order the cards yousense a good deal of rec- want, and when they arrive,ognition when you hand start giving them out forthem one of these cards, excellent performance.and they will relive some ofthose positive feelings when they use their cards to fill up theircars and get back on the road. Epilogue Gasoline gift cards are fulfilling rewards that truly gener- ate miles of smiles. 39 The Rewards of Carpooling Even if you do nothing but encourage your employees tocarpool, you are actually setting the stage for them to receiveseveral inherent rewards. For example, carpooling allows themto travel in carpool lanes, save wear-and-tear on their cars,save money in gas and repairs, get to know some of their co-workers, experience less stress, and help the environment. 53
  54. 54. 151 Quick Ideas to Recognize and Reward Employees You can make this practice even more rewarding forcarpoolers by adding some incentives such as special parkingand free car washes, or you can go a step further and enter allof them, plus those who take public transportation, into a monthlydrawing where they can win prizes such as movie tickets,supermarket gift cards, and, of course, gasoline gift cards. Assignment Send an e-mail to your employees an- nouncing the carpool incentive program, and ask all who are interested to let you know. Re- view the names and addresses of those who respond, and let them know if there is a pos- sible match. Be sure to inform all new em- ployees about this program, as any new hire could be a perfect carpooling buddy for some- one who is still driving solo. And don’t forget to post the names of the employees in the win- ning carpools. Epilogue A carpool incentive program is a great vehicle for driv- ing many of your company’s messages home, and driving them to work as well. 54
  55. 55. Quick Ideas 39 to 40 40 Entertaining Ideas When employees work extra long hours and complete aseemingly unending project, a rewarding way to put a period atthe end of the sentence is to take them to see a movie, a play,or other entertainment dur-ing the day. On that day, Assignmentbring your employees to-gether as if you are holding If your employees willa departmental meeting, soon be wrapping up aand then surprise them by highly demanding project,announcing that all of you start scanning newspaperswill soon be leaving for and online services for asomething special. special entertainment event You can tell them as their reward. As soon aswhere they are going, or you lock in a completionkeep it a secret and let the date for the project, lock inexcitement and suspense tickets for the entertain-build along the way. And to ment, and lock in the trans-make the travel more fun portation, too.and memorable, the pre-ferred mode of transporta-tion is one or more limousines, although a bus will surely do.Try to select an event that is in great demand and has receivedrave reviews, and be sure the program ends in time for theemployees to get back and leave work at a normal hour. Epilogue When you reward your employees by taking them to en- tertaining events, they are more likely to entertain your ideas, inputs, and suggestions. 55
  56. 56. 151 Quick Ideas to Recognize and Reward Employees 41 Try This on for Size Apparel can be a very fitting reward for your employ-ees. You can generate high levels of fun and recognitionby giving out clothing, ranging from T-shirts or boxer shorts to pricier items such as designer ties and scarves. Assignment When a major project wraps up, you can also Start building an inven- show up at work with tory of apparel to give out hats, shirts, blouses, or when your employees de- sweatshirts; have a mini- serve it. Look carefully at ceremony; and give them your employees to get an out. These items are par- idea of the kind of clothing ticularly popular when they prefer, and make sure they include your com- that whatever you give is pany logo. in line with the season. You You can go even fur- can order the apparel at ther in linking apparel to your favorite online or recognition by designating offline store, and you can one particular item of use these same resources clothing as the highest to emblazon the selections honor in your company. It with your company logo. can be given out for out- standing performance in any area that you desire,such as sales, cost reduction, community service, or em-ployee development. This item, typically a very nice jacket,sweater, or hat, would have its own special color, and noth-ing like it should be given out by your company. 56
  57. 57. Quick Ideas 41 to 42 Epilogue Recognizing and rewarding employees with apparel is a warm and fuzzy strategy that typically wears well with everyone. 42 Greetings and Salutations You have a great opportunity to provide recognition to youremployees when you bring visitors through the department.Many managers stroll rightthrough with the visitors intow, but say nothing to Assignmentthe employees along theway. This actually means The next time you takethat the managers are a visitor through the de-showing the visitors partment, set aside a fewnothing, because depart- extra minutes for somements are nothing with- meet-and-greet with yourout the employees. team. To build the recog- nition even further, think of When a manager ig- something positive to saynores the team in these about your employees assituations, the message to you pass through theirthe employees is that they work areas.are unimportant and insig-nificant. However, if yousimply say “hello” to your employees as you and your visitorsamble by, the employees sense high levels of recognition andself-worth. And if you add the employees’ names and evenstop to make quick introductions and exchange a few words,their sense of personal recognition is even greater. 57
  58. 58. 151 Quick Ideas to Recognize and Reward Employees There will obviously be times when you and your visitorsmust rush through the department because of time constraints,but even then, a nod or a smile to your team can go a long way. Epilogue When you bring visitors through your department and say nothing, you are actually saying something quite nega- tive. A minute of recognition can bring hours of satisfaction. 43 Stamps of Approval One of the newest ways to recognize and reward Assignment your employees for outstand- Look at your employ- ing performance is with U.S. ees’ performance, select a postage stamps. You can few individuals or a group now put photos of your em- that merit this recognition, ployees on these stamps, and and then take some photos they can be used just like with a digital camera. Just regular stamps. for fun, don’t tell your em- This starts with a picture ployees why you are doing of whoever has merited rec- this. Go to an established ognition, whether it’s an in- site, such as stamps.com, dividual, group, or entire and follow the prompts. Be department. Once you have ready with the camera selected your favorite pic- when you give out these fun ture, go online to one of the rewards. many postage sites, upload the photo, crop it, add your 58
  59. 59. Quick Ideas 42 to 44own text, add the company logo if you wish, and then place yourorder. In a matter of days, the stamps will arrive at your office. You can use these stamps on business correspondence,or you can give them to your employees for their own use.Either way, this is a highly personalized reward, and it is agreat way to spread the word about your employees’ excel-lent performance. Epilogue Personalized postage stamps literally go a long way to- ward recognizing your employees and pushing the envelope in this area. 44 A Message From the President If you have an employee or group whose performance,accomplishments, or growth have been off the chart, one out-standing way to recognize and reward this achievement is witha personal note from the company president. The note shouldoffer personalized congratulations for a particular success, alongwith encouragement to keep up the good work. This message can be sent by e-mail or as a traditional let-ter. While both approaches will be well received, a traditionalletter includes company letterhead and logo plus an original sig-nature from the president. The aesthetics of this approach faroutweigh e-mail, and an employee is likely to hold onto a letterfor a long time. A letter is more likely to be framed than thesame message via e-mail. This type of recognition can be evenmore compelling if the president personally delivers the letterand stays around for a few minutes to chat. 59
  60. 60. 151 Quick Ideas to Recognize and Reward Employees Assignment Meet with the company president to set the stage for this type of recognition. Tell the presi- dent about any employees who are on the road to meriting this recognition, and ask for his or her thoughts as to who deserves this honor. When your employee or employees meet the objectives in question, contact the president im- mediately and put this recognition program in motion. Epilogue Personalized recognition from the company president is the highest form of corporate praise, and it places the em- ployees on a high as well. 45 Hot Wheels If you want to turbo-charge your recognition and rewardprogram, give the best performer the use of powerhouse carfor a couple of weeks or longer. Some of the cars of choiceinclude the Porsche Boxster, BMW Z4, and Corvette. This can be an appropriate reward in contests that havemeasurable results, such as those based on sales volume, dol-lars collected in credit, or number of units produced. You can 60
  61. 61. Quick Ideas 44 to 45also use this reward in programs that are not directly focusedon productivity, such as a drawing for all employees who havenot missed work or have been accident-free for a stipulatedamount of time. This reward also works well in broader recognition pro-grams, such as by awarding the Employee of the Monthwith one of these cars for a month. Some companies actu-ally own cars for this purpose, while others have lease orrental arrangements. Assignment Use your favorite online search engine, car dealership, or car broker to check out the costs of renting or leasing one of these cars. Once you find the best deal for your company, an- nounce the program and be sure to include pho- tos. When you give the keys to the employee, the ceremony should resemble the christening of a new jet, complete with throngs of applaud- ing employees. Epilogue For a memorable reward that combines excitement, glam- our, and pizzazz, try rewarding your employee’s high perfor- mance with the use of a high-performance car. 61
  62. 62. 151 Quick Ideas to Recognize and Reward Employees 46 I See Your Performance and I Raise You For employees who consistently demonstrate outstandingperformance, one of the best rewards is a raise. This is a greatway to tell your employees that you are satisfied with theirattainment of specific goals as well as their overall performance. When you have employees who merit a raise, think care-fully when determining the actual amount. A raise that is per-ceived as too low can be interpreted as an insult or a sign of dissatisfaction. And sur- prisingly, a raise that is too Assignment high can actually make em- Before providing any ployees feel uneasy and raises, it is important to not confused. An exorbitant in- only review your employ- crease in salary also raises ees’ performance, but also the question of what you to review your company’s will do for an encore next raise policies, practices, and year. standards; the financial There is a great oppor- plans and budgetary con- tunity for compelling recog- straints; and how your com- nition right before the raise pany prefers to position its appears in an employee’s pay levels relative to other paycheck. At that time, sit companies in your area. down with each such em- ployee and express your satisfaction with his or herwork and the pleasure you derive in giving the raise. Wrap upthe session with the hope for more of these types of meetingsin the future. 62
  63. 63. Quick Ideas 46 to 47 Epilogue When you reward an employee with a raise, you are simultaneously raising employee satisfaction, motivation, morale, and commitment. 47 Recognizing Your Employees and More Your employees are not the only ones who make majorsacrifices when job demands reach a boiling point. Many em-ployees in the workplace cauldron have significant others wholose shared quality time during the crunch. When these crunches extend into months or longer, that loss changes Assignment from quality time to quan- As you review each tity time. employee’s performance In addition to providing during the periods of ex- recognition and rewards to tremely extended hours, your employees during find out the name of his or these periods, a thoughtful her significant other, and step is to provide some rec- then select a special gift ognition for their significant they can share. As soon as others. You can do this by you see a point where your sending them a personal employee can come up for note of appreciation and air, send off the note and thanks. gift. And don’t be surprised Along with the note, if you receive an even you should include a spe- nicer note in return. cial gift, preferably some- thing that your employeeand his or her significant other can do together, such asdinner at a great restaurant, tickets to a play, or even a 63

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