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Spur excitement with employee awards

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Benefits consultant Ken Stahlmann spells out three keys to creating crowd-pleasing employee-recognition awards:

1. Add a dash of creativity to weekly or monthly awards. Combine time off with a second, noncash award. Example: An employee might get a half-day off and movie passes.

2. Make it personal. Rewards make a more powerful impact if they appeal to people’s interests.

Example: One company full of sports fans took top performers to a ballgame. Managers said it was the best $200 they’ve ever spent in terms of creating ongoing enthusiasm.

3. Hand out "good guy" awards: low budget, high impact.

Example: One business keeps a “goodies box” stocked by employees. A co-worker who spots another going above and beyond can pull out a prize and award it on the spot.

— Adapted from “Three keys to successful recognition programs,” Bill Meltzer, HR Morning.

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