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"You get what you reward." Bob Nelson, author of 1001 Ways to Reward Employees, described. He particularly stressed the value of positive feedback, immediate recognition, informal recognition, and effective program design.
Nelson emphasized positive feedback and said supervisors should remember that it can be a motivating force for some employees. He suggested that when delivering feedback or presenting informal recognition, supervisors should remember to use the "I" format:
Nelson suggested three different methods that supervisors or managers can use to give their employees immediate recognition:
While on-the-spot praise is an immediate and easy method of recognizing employees' performance, Nelson noted other ways that employees could be given informal recognition. He gave several effective, low cost, and easy-to-do examples: create a wall of fame by displaying photos of achievers, give certificates of appreciation, present balloons, display computer banners, give award pins, or create a special award. Nelson said that designers of low-cost awards programs should be creative, the award should match the achievement, and the award should be given as soon as possible after the achievement.
Nelson also gave some suggestions to follow when designing a recognition program:
Nelson highlighted that "While money is important to employees, what tends to motivate them to perform and to perform at higher levels is the thoughtful, personal kind of recognition that signifies true appreciation for a job well done."
This information comes from a presentation by Bob Nelson, during the TRANSFORMATIONS 1997 post-conference workshop, "Making Effective Use of Employee Recognition."