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What’s the best way to reward those employees who go the extra mile, particularly when it’s not always feasible to give large financial bonuses?
According to author and “recognition expert” Dr. Bob Nelson, the most effective employee rewards are also the least expensive.
In the vast majority of cases, he thinks a simple and heartfelt verbal or written thank you will make people feel appreciated. The reward can have extra impact when it’s accompanied by inexpensive perks such as gift cards, discount restaurant coupons, gas cards or a paid afternoon away from the office.
Personalizing the rewards by finding out what motivates your employees can make a huge difference.
Here are Nelson’s five secrets of recognizing and rewarding employees:
1. Be quick. Recognition is most effective when it is closely linked to the behavior being rewarded.
2. Be specific. It’s important to point out the specific behavior being rewarded, and to explain why you appreciate it.
3. Be personal. To build trust with your people, it’s best to convey praise in person and publicly, in front of the employee’s peers, whenever possible.
4. Be sincere. Don’t fake it when recognizing employees. Be sure your thanks are sincere and from the heart.
5. Be positive. Focus on the positives, and save negative feedback for another occasion. Don’t thank someone and immediately follow it with a “but,” as the employee will discount everything before the “but.”
Editor's Note: This is sponsored content