Your employees work hard for your business, and for the past few years, they probably haven’t gotten much in the way of financial reward. If you can’t afford to offer your employees raises, bonuses or other monetary thank-you’s right now, it’s more important than ever to reward them in other ways. How can you make sure your rewards are effective?
Understand what motivates employees. You can’t create effective rewards otherwise. Different types of employees generally care about different rewards. For instance, young, single employees might be motivated by a Friday afternoon kegger or happy hour; older, married employees would probably be more motivated by getting off an hour early on Friday so they can get home to the family.
Know each person. Beyond these generalizations, you also need to know something about individual employees’ interests so you can tailor rewards accordingly. A small gift can have big results if it’s really in tune with the person’s hobbies and interests. Without this knowledge, you might end up, say, giving a teetotaler a bottle of wine.
Say “thank you.” Rewards don’t have to be tangible. Thanking employees for a job well done is something most of us don’t do often enough. For best results, make sure you do so in front of the whole team. And never combine praise with criticism (such as “You did great on the Warner project, but next time, let’s do such-and-such…”). Want to really make someone’s day? Write a little thank-you note. You’d be surprised how meaningful this can be.
Be detailed. Vague praise like “Great job” won’t have as much impact as specific statements like, “That infographic you created boosted our Web traffic 300 percent. Great job!” Whenever possible, state exactly what you appreciate about the person. This not only makes your praise more meaningful, but also gives employees guidance about what matters to you, shaping their future behavior.
There are plenty of ways to show employees praise and recognition. What works for you?
Image by Flickr user John Morgan (Creative Commons)Google+