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Submitted by bteachman on


I am trying to find some new ways to show my appreciation for my directs that go above what is expected of them. The problem is I have no budget. In the past I did thank you notes and when we finish a project in budget and on time I have done creative certificates of appreciation. For example, our last project was to build a conveyor system to feed a vertical wrapper. Some of the people referred to the as a "Star Gate", so the award was the certificate was the "Star Gate Award" and there were some pictures from the TV show on it.

I am out of ideas on what I can do that would be inexpensive and would not break a company rule. Does any one have any ideas?

jhack's picture

Can you arrange for a senior manager or executive to publicly acknowledge their contribution? Maybe at a company meeting, or in a newsletter?

How about some informal "comp time" that never shows up on the books?

And don't forget to integrate this with their career development and show them how it helps them move forward.

Finally, use the DISC model to determine what kinds of rewards work. High I's love lavish public praise - C's maybe not so much.


eagerApprentice's picture

This made me remember Maslow and his famous triangle (url='s_hierarchy_of_needs).

Some people don't even want more money, they just want more interesting work, more public praise, private praise, a moment of appreciation, a sense of doing something important, etc etc.

Of course nothing talks like money, but in IT I've found that a close second is letting someone who's earned it "play" with some of the bigger, more expensive "toys" and see if they could come through with something grand.

So I guess my advice would be to learn what motivates them, and reward appropriately (with anything besides cash). :) jhack's idea of giving someone a day or two off sounds wonderful.


bflynn's picture

You could always try asking your people what is valuable to them. You might not get answers that are inexpensive, but at least you'll know the truth.

Think of it this way - you would like A, B or C from your boss. If your boss didn't ask you and gave you inexpensive option D instead, are you happy? Or is it just cheap? Why would your directs be different?