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Inspiring Tips

Low-Cost Ways to Inspire

A smile.

A simple, sincere thank you.

A personal letter to the employee, with copies sent to your immediate supervisor and to the employee's supervisor.

Public recognition in front of peers.

Public recognition in front of one's boss.

A letter of praise from a customer or vendor shared directly with the employee who delivered the service.

A letter from a customer or vendor praising an employee, posted in company bulletin board.

Listening to an employee who has an idea for improving efficiency and then acting affirmatively on that suggestion.

Arranging employee discounts from your vendors or customers.

Allowing the employee to work on an especially exciting project that he or she would not usually work on.

Asking employees what non-monetary rewards they would like to have and, if possible, providing them.

Issuing a "You Were Mentioned" certificate to employees whenever you hear something nice about them, whether from a customer, co-worker, or superior.

Electing a high-achieving employee to a company-wide task force.

Providing lunch or bagels for employees caught in the act of success by an appointed group of company-wide "catchers."

Rotating the "company flag" or other symbol of excellence from department or team to department/team on a monthly basis.

Creating a small slush fund. Mete it out to managers to do something nice for the employees of particular merit.

Adapted from Smart Moves, Sam Deep and Lyle Sussman, Addison-Wesley, Reading MA, 1990

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