A Trophy!

Wow, I got a trophy from Maria at CustomersAreAlways for telling a customer service story (Headsets.com should get the trophy for doing the actions in the story). However, more importantly, it gave me the idea for today’s topic – how to award employees.

It seems to depend on the employee. Some employees like to be publicly recognized for achievements, other do not. Either way, when an employee does something well, as a manager, you should go up to them and say “Job well done.” Some companies have formal systems in place for doing this, and whatever works, should be done. Everyone likes to be appreciated and when employees do something well, they should be.

Another point that comes up often is whether or not to give employees monetary awards. It seems to be depend on the company’s culture – some are strongly against it, while others are strongly for it. What companies should try to avoid, though, is bribing employees to do their jobs correctly. Their salary and work ethic should be enough – monetary compensation for jobs well done is something extra for when employees do something amazing.

Some good ways to balance effective monetary awards and bribing:

Cards and raffles.
When you notice an employee doing something well, give them a little card stating the time/date, what they did, their name, and your name. Then, at the end of the month or quarter, have everyone put their cards in a bowl and pick one randomly. The owner of the random card gets a prize (money, prizes, time off, whatever). This way, cards don’t directly equal money, but the more cards someone has, the better chance they have of winning.

Consistent service.
Award employees who provide consistently great service. For example, award an employee who got at least one card from a manager 75 out of 90 days. This way, you know the employee is consistently a top performer and isn’t just trying to gain cards at the end of the month or the quarter.

(Slightly) Random.
Give out a prize randomly to a ticket that was marked as “Excellent” (by the customer). This way, the more excellent an employee gets, the better their chances of winning. It provides another motivation to provide consistently great service. Be sure to have rules for your employee stating they can’t ask customers to rate them except for something standard like “Please rate our service: [link to survey].”

Hopefully some interesting ideas on how to award employees. Making employees feel important is extremely important, so be sure to make it a part of your company’s culture. Happy employees almost always perform better than unhappy ones.

2 Responses to “A Trophy!”

  1. Glenn Ross said:

    Jun 26, 06 at 8:13 pm

    Excellent ideas! Let me also suggest that you take some time to make sure that the rewards are appropriate. For example, my wife was given a gift card to Starbucks as a reward. But she doesn’t drink coffee.

    If you’re going to give out gift cards (and your employees all have computers) you might consider Amazon.com. They sell much more than books, and even if your employees live in a small town, they can access them.

  2. Meikah said:

    Jun 27, 06 at 4:21 am

    Congratulations, Doug! I agree with you. A good rewards system both for your internal and external customers is definitely a good thing for your business.