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Employees motivating employees

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It's important that managers catch their employees doing things right — and offer praise and recognition. You can expand the impact of that motivation by helping employees recognize each other.

Here are some peer recognition ideas, from consultant Greg Smith of Chart Your Course International:

- A token of appreciation. At one firm Smith cites, employees receive three tokens each quarter. "When they spot a fellow employee or manager providing good customer service, they hand them a token," he writes. At the end of the quarter, the persons with the highest number of tokens receive honors. The tokens themselves can be used for incentive gifts each year.

- "You're magnificent!" Another company uses a recognition form, printed in triplicate and given to all employees to nominate others for outstanding behavior. "The top copy goes to the recognized employee. The second copy goes to the employee's supervisor. The third copy is posted for everyone to see on a bulletin board." Recognized employees are eligible for prizes. Many firms have variations of this approach — usually identifying specific behaviors the organization wants to encourage.

- Thank-you cards. One firm ties recognition and incentives together more directly; each employee is given seven coupons each year, redeemable for various gifts or perks, that they can give directly to fellow workers who they want to recognize. "Everyone in the company, from the president and vice presidents down, is eligible for a coupon," Smith writes. "A successful reward and recognition program does not have to be complicated to be effective," Smith notes. "A well-administered program allows people to celebrate success, have fun, and feel good about who they are and whom they work for."

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