Employee Recognition, Are there Better Ways?

Business decisions

How many articles or books have you read about employee recognition?  As a manager, supervisor, or business owner we know the benefits of recognizing an employee when they go above and beyond the call of duty.

Recognition makes people feel valued and when it comes right down to it that feeling is worth more than any gift.  But, a gift is nice to receive every now and then.

What often happens is managers or employers will have “standard gifts” for anyone caught doing good such as;  Sally smoothed over an upset customer and she received a $10 dollar Starbucks card.  Bill made an “up-sale” and received a $10 Starbucks card.

Reward cards are great, but if everyone receives the same card no matter what they do, it could get old, even though they appreciate it.  So why not surprise your staff members?

When you give tangible rewards, make those rewards specific to the person or to the accomplishment that is being celebrated.  For example Sara was faced with a customer that was angry because the product she purchased did not work as promised.  Sara, not only apologized to the customer, but went up and beyond by finding and demonstrating a product that would meet the customer’s needs and then did an even exchange for the old product, which saved the customer money.

The customer was so happy that she bought three more of the item for family members. Sara was a hero to the customer, and the company earned the loyalty of this customer because of Sara’s actions.

Sara’s boss knows how much Sara likes getting her nails done so he purchased a certificate at her favorite nail salon and presented it to her as a gift of recognition for her actions in excellent customer service.

Each of our employees is unique and as managers or business owners we need to challenge ourselves to come up with specific ideas and ways to reward and acknowledge them differently when we feel that they have earned something extra for the “up and beyond.”

The difference in the rewards (because we have made them personal) will make a huge difference in how they respond to our appreciation for their service to the business.

What ideas can you come up with that are different and unique?  Please share them with us.

Happy Thursday everyone!


12 thoughts on “Employee Recognition, Are there Better Ways?

  1. Is there a problem with spending the same amount on each reward though? By the way – that photo is exactly what I was looking for earlier – where did you find it? 🙂

    • Hi Stu, I am one that spends the same amount of money, usually within cents for each employees gift. I never want one to feel slighted, as that will cause other issues. I found this picture on istockphoto.com You have to pay for the photos but you can use them all that you want once you purchase them. They usually range from $1 on up.

    • I agree David relationships are the most important aspect of employee relations, which we do in our practice. But I can tell you that a surprise appreciation gift does a lot as they do not expect it, but they certainly light up when they get one.

  2. Wonderful Tina! I agree with David’s comment too. Both actually unite each other in some degree. If you truly know your team members; you know what they like to do in their free time. Which would help in the event you do give them a gift. One of the Academic Chairs I work with bought me a beautiful transport carrier for cupcakes. I truly treasure the gift because she took the time to know me. Great post, as always 🙂

  3. Yes! that is what I am talking about Judy. The gift is not something that happens on a regular basis. Cultivating relationships is what grows the team together. But when you do give a special appreciation gift it makes them so excited, it is well worth the time and thought that is put into giving it to them.

  4. Interesting post, Tina. Quite a few years ago I became the safety manager at a manufacturing facility. I had the distinct pleasure of succeeding a guy whom the entire workforce despised. I was doomed from the start because I was guilty by association (of some sort).

    When I started my MBWA program there, it was like a leaper was approaching, everyone scattered. They knew if they weren’t around, it was less likely that they would be written up, which was not my intention, unlike my predecessor.

    After thinking about my morale building challenge for awhile, I decided to try the “documentation for what you did right” approach. I had “I caught you doing something good” tickets printed–in triplicate.

    Long story short(er), it eventually broke down the barrier. It was fun, it was validating, and it was successful.

    Recognition works. ~Paul

    • Great story Paul. We all want to be recognized for doing good. It is hard sometimes when we get so busy at work, but I have to force myself to get out of my office and see what is going on so that I can catch them. For if I do not they will stop striving to go the extra mile.

  5. Pingback: Employee Recognition, Are there Better Ways? | North Jersey Small Business Forum

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