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101 Inexpensive Ways to Reward Employees

101 Inexpensive Ways to Reward Employees

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Published by jaisharma1
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Here are the 101 Inexpensive Ways to Reward Employees.

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Hi,

Here are the 101 Inexpensive Ways to Reward Employees.

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jai

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Published by: jaisharma1 on Feb 28, 2010
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05/26/2010

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Getting Started with Employee Recognition“101
Inexpensive 
Ways to Reward Employees”
by Brian Mount, Executive Director, RARES
A number of years ago when I started my career in the field of marketing, I was fortunate to berecommended by a Professor of Management Theory to the then newly released book,
The One Minute Manager 
by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson. Although some of the material in that book isadmittedly somewhat dated and evolving theories of management philosophy and employee recognitionhave further evolved, some of the information contained in that book has stuck with me to that day.The key elements of
The One Minute Manager 
were relatively simple:1. Set goals and objectives
with 
your staff so that everyone knows what is expected of them;2. Make an effort to catch people doing something right and tell them, reward them, for doing it as soonas possible; and3. If they do something wrong instead, coach them in the right way of doing it. Don’t scold.I’ve continued to employ these simple elements in whatever I’ve done over the years – whether it wasrecognizing and rewarding the staff I managed, teaching college students, or in dealing with members ofRARES. Since RARES, as a not-for-profit, operates on a lean budget, it has become particularlyimportant at times for us to utilize some of these same techniques for encouraging and rewarding goodresponses on the part of our membership. At your request, I thought that the RARES Board and I couldtake a minute to share some of these ideas with you today – some inexpensive ways to help celebrateand reward your employees for a job well done.
What’s the first step that you or your supervisors should be employing?
Well, not surprisingly, Blanchard and Johnson talk about the “one minute praise.” Maybe we’ve evolvedin our thinking a bit to realize that we don’t have to limit our praise to just one minute and still be effective.But the praise can still be short and sweet. Some key elements include:
Tell people in advance that you are going to let them know how they are doing.
Praise people immediately for a task well done. Don’t wait for the weekly or monthly staff meeting.
Be specific in telling people what they did right.
Reinforce the fact to them that you personally appreciate their efforts and that their efforts benefit theentire organization.
Encourage them to do more of the same.It’s really the last step, encouraging them to do more of the same where the 101 ways to rewardemployees that we’ll be talking more about comes in. But first, it may be important to look at some of thereasons why people fail to do what would appear to be on the surface some relatively simple steps aswe’ve outlined above.First, many supervisors simply forget to tell people that they are doing a good job. When we’re hurried,it’s often easier to point out shortcomings than instill praise. Praise takes work for many of us to initiate.Second, we often learn how to become a manager from those people who first managed us. My firstmanager was great at doling out criticism. Short on praise. It took me a long time to unlearn that lesson.Third, sometimes we’re afraid that telling people they are doing a good job will result in them asking for araise.And fourth, sometimes we’re afraid that that if we tell people that they’re doing a good job that they willcome to expect praise for every little good thing that they’ve done.
 
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Yet the bottom line question remains: would you like to work for a supervisor who was afraid of offeringpraise for good work for any of the reasons cited above? I wouldn’t . . .Well, a few years ago an employee of the management company started and run by Ken Blanchard of
The One Minute Manager Fame 
, Bob Nelson, co-wrote with Blanchard a book entitled
1001 Ways to Reward Employees 
.Nelson points out that, while one of the most basic needs for managers and employees alike is to beappreciated, many organizations fail to recognize this need as a key to success. The book highlights theresearch that demonstrates the success found when managers praise, recognize and reward employees.Nelson also offers examples from companies across the country, including convenience store operatorsand petroleum marketers.Nelson covers three types of employee recognition: informal rewards, awards for specific achievementsand activities, and formal rewards. We’ll let you read about the awards for specific achievements andformal rewards. Let’s concentrate on the informal an inexpensive rewards here. While we haven’t thetime or resources to rework all of the ways Nelson outlines to reward and recognize employees, we canhelp you with 101 suggestions.
Informal Rewards: Recognition Can Be Spontaneous
According to Nelson, informal or spontaneous rewards can be implemented with minimum planning andeffort by almost any manager. He quotes a Wichita State University study noting that "simply asking foremployee involvement is motivational in itself."That Wichita State study also determined that the top five motivating techniques were:
personally congratulating employees who do a good job;
writing personal notes about good performance;
using performance as the basis for promotion;
publicly recognizing employees for good performance; and
holding morale-building meetings to celebrate successes.
 Nelson adds that informal rewards make more of a positive impact with employees and are cost effective.In most cases, the simpler the better. According to the "People, Performance and Pay" study by Houston,Texas-based American Productivity Center and the American Compensatory Association, it generallytakes five to eight percent of an employee's salary to change behavior if the reward is cash andapproximately four percent of the employee's salary if the reward is non-cash.Petroleum marketers have used informal rewards to recognize their employees' good works. Chevron(San Francisco, CA) keeps a large box, secured with a padlock, filled with gifts. An employee beingrecognized on the spot for some accomplishment is brought to the "Treasure Chest" by his or hersupervisor, who holds the keys. The employee gets to choose an item from the box, which could beanything from a gift certificate, to a coupon for lunch or dinner, to movie tickets.Mobil (Fairfax, VA) has formed a partnership with Carlson Marketing Group where employees can go onshopping sprees inside Carlson's distribution center in Dayton, Ohio. Mobil officials consider the programan exciting alternative to employees selecting merchandise from a catalog.Some of the most effective ways to reward your employees is to simply say thanks for doing a great job,giving them a birthday card, or keeping them posted on changes at work that directly affect them.Remember those gold stars that the 1
st
grade teacher put on your report? It may indeed sound childishon the surface, but people really do like to receive a gold star every now and then for a job well done.
Other Inexpensive Ways to Reward Employees
Say thanks
Drop them a handwritten note
Name a program after your employees
 
3
Promote from within
Praise staff publicly at staff & other public meetings
Keep the work environment fun (this doesn’t mean that business doesn’t get done, just that it’senjoyable to be there)
Create new training programs for your staff
Bring in food for your employees – encourage others to do the sameThe important thing is to get started. You can’t write a handwritten note on your computer and you can’tcatch someone doing something right if you’re seated behind a desk. Get up and out. That’s one of thebasic principles of
The One Minute Manager 
– get out from behind your desk and into the work lives ofyour employees.Reward praise profusely. And if you see somebody doing something wrong, and you will, offersuggestions on the right way of doing it. Try to avoid using the word “but” when offering such advice.This is a hard one for me. I tend to offer alternative suggestions in a less than flattering way and Iconstantly have to work at removing the word “but” from my advice. “Here’s another approach” or “Here’sanother way of looking at the situation” can be much more effective. It takes practice. So practice!We could go on forever but here are some of the 101 Ways that we promised earlier (actually there are108 – consider it a bonus):

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