I recently read an article--[url]http://www.stickyminds.com/manage.asp?Function=FEATUREDETAIL&ObjectId=13... Better Software Magazine in which the author stated that he worked for a manager who gave specific personal gifts as a way of rewarding employees. For instance one employee might receive a Starbuck's gift card because the manager knew the employee is a big Starbuck's fan. Another employee might get tickets to the theater because the manager knew the employee loved live drama.
I have two questions:
1) Is it appropriate for a manager to reward employees with individualized gifts?
2) If it is appropriate, how can a manager reward employees when the company has a policy against giving any gifts of "substantive" value? What other types of rewards would be appropriate--i.e., no "substantive" value (key chains, pens, water bottles, etc.), but yet individualized enough that the employee appreciates it?