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Rewarding great work? Don’t forget the fanfare

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in Your Office Coach

Question: “I have a small sales agency with only two employees. Both have been with me for more than ten years.  Last week, I learned that our agency had qualified for a substantial bonus, which I decided to share with the staff.  As they left on Friday, I gave each one a check worth about three months’ pay. I was disappointed when neither one called over the weekend to thank me.  Do I have a right to feel hurt or am I taking this too personally?"  —Ignored Manager

Answer:  Your question has me puzzled.  Why were you waiting for calls on the weekend?  Didn’t they thank you when you gave them the checks? If so, that should be sufficient. But if you simply handed out sealed envelopes as they walked out the door, without saying what was inside, then you missed a huge opportunity for recognition and motivation.
Major rewards ought to be distributed with some fanfare. Ideally, you should have met with your employees to thank them for their contributions and acknowledge your shared success.  Then, when you distributed the checks, they could have expressed their appreciation.

If you have avoided any conversation about this event, your employees may assume that you don’t want to talk about it. So instead of continuing to sulk in silence, take your staff out to lunch for a belated celebration. When you thank them for their hard work, I guarantee they will thank you for the generous bonus.

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