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Motivating employees: Recognition and rewards
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Motivating employees: Recognition and rewards

Want the secret to motivating employees, team members or volunteers?

Make them feel appreciated. It may not seem like a well-guarded secret, but according to the U.S. Department of Labor, the number one reason people leave their jobs is because they don’t feel appreciated. Turns out that it isn’t the bells, whistles and exceptional benefits that produce roll-up-your-sleeves-and-dig-in excitement in the workplace – it’s a sense of being valued.

What can you do to make sure your employees, team members and volunteers feel appreciated? Researchers suggest the following to help take recognition to the next level:

  1. Make it a daily affair. Thanking your team for a job well done is something you can do many times every day.

As Dr. Aubrey Daniels, author of Bringing Out the Best in People: How to Apply the Astonishing Power of Positive Reinforcement says, “Recognition and rewards should be a backup to day-to-day management. The main thing with recognition and rewards, the thing that bothers me, is that people think it’s just something you do occasionally. You can certainly do positive reinforcement many times every day.”

Highlight the positive, and you’ll find your team members strive to excel. As a token of your gratitude, hand out logo’d M&M’s 1 oz. Chocolate Candies or Fortune Cookies to let them know how fortunate you are to work with them.

  1. Make it personal. One of the best ways to make your ‘thank you’ stand out?  Instead of “Thanks, Jill!” personalize your message. Be specific. Say, “Thanks, Jill, for taking Mr. and Mrs. Smith on the tour and telling them more about our mission. You did a great job answering their questions and helping them see how important our work is.” Handwrite the note on a colorful thank-you card, and tuck a Music Download Card or a Star Soft Key Tag inside the envelope as an extra surprise for a job well done!
  1. Celebrate successes as a team. When one member of a team goes above and beyond, enlist the entire office to celebrate. If your team works in an office, treat the team to bagels and coffee in the morning as a thank-you for a job well done. Be sure to explain the purpose of the celebration.If members of your team work the night shift or can’t take a break all at once, make it a practice to tuck bags of logo’d Microwave Popcorn into the break room. When employees catch the smell of fresh popcorn, they’ll know something good has happened. Be sure to post a sign or attach a note inviting everyone to celebrate!

Members of your team make good things happen every day. Whether they are employees, team leaders, volunteers or co-workers, make sure they know their work is appreciated. Gratitude is a gift that keeps giving!

To learn more about the research behind employee recognition and rewards, check out our how-to Blue Paper® on the topic at http://info.4imprint.com/bluepapers/the-power-of-recogntion/.

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