When David Brown, president of Datotel, found out his employees weren’t enthusiastic about his employee-of-the-month program, he was dismayed. The program, which included a congratulatory e-mail and a $25 gift card, wasn’t improving morale.
According to a study by the International Association of Administrative Professionals and OfficeTeam last year, there’s often a disconnect between the type of appreciation employees want and what their managers think they want.
The survey showed that promotions and cash bonuses ranked by managers as the most effective ways of recognizing employee accomplishments. But administrative pros put two other appreciation tactics at the top of their list:
1. Delivering an in-person thank you. Now at Datotel, when an employee does something praiseworthy, Brown encourages his or her direct manager and someone else to say “thank you” in person.
2. Reporting excellent work to senior . Brown sets aside time during every management meeting to hear about praiseworthy work.
Would a less rigid approach to employee appreciation work in your office? Brown learned through informal conversation that his workers wanted more meaningful recognition.
— Adapted from “Building a Culture of Employee Appreciation,” Nadine Heintz Inc.
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