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I think we can agree that most people work to make money.  Of course, there are a few rare people who work because they enjoy it, but, most of them also use that money to further their personal interests.

But, beyond money what else motivates your employees? In his article, “The Ten Ironies of Motivation,” Bob Nelson stated “more than anything else, employees want to be valued for a job well done by those they hold in high esteem.”

The sad reality is that very few people work for good managers who understand the importance of providing feedback and recognition.  We all have our war stories of a terrible manager we worked for, but, what about a good manager?  What made her so good?

I’m confident that the answer to that question was that he truly cared about his employees and took the time to hear their concerns and give feedback on a consistent basis.

So, as 2016 comes to a close, think about ways you can provide more recognition and appreciation for your employees.  It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, in fact, I’ve put together a few ideas that don’t cost much at all:

  • Write a note to one employee each week thanking them for their hard work
  • Feature an employee in the company newsletter or meetings
  • Ask the company president to reach out to an employee thanking him for a job well done
  • Give out gift cards to employees who have gone above and beyond, or maybe “just because”
  • Read positive letters from customers or clients in your staff meeting
  • Allow employees to nominate each other for recognition

With Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas looming right around the corner, now is a perfect time to show appreciation for your employees.

About Julie Markee: Julie Markee is a highly conscientious, detail-oriented consultant working directly with manufacturing companies as a part-time Process Efficiency engineer or a full-time Interim Operations Manager. She utilizes tools from Lean Manufacturing and 6 Sigma, along with her extensive process experience to reduce complex challenges into manageable steps resulting in stream-lined processes, enhanced employee involvement and increased profitability. Learn more at