Q&A: Recognize your hard workers


Other than bonuses or financial incentives, how can I reward team members for a job well done?

People love recognition, says Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member Dr. Marty Becker, writer, speaker, and resident veterinarian for Good Morning America. One easy way to acknowledge a hard-working team member: Give him or her a title. You could promote a technician to “head technician” or make your bookkeeper the “office manager.” Even if it doesn’t come with a raise, the new title will improve the team member’s self-esteem, says Dr. Becker, who works as an associate at North Idaho Animal Hospital in Sandpoint, Idaho and at Lakewood Animal Hospital in Couer d’Alene, Idaho.

Also, think about the little things you can do to show team members you care. For instance, when was the last time you sent a team member a birthday card? “As you age, people tend to forget about your birthday,” Dr. Becker says. “Whether it’s the birth of a baby, an anniversary, or some other achievement, celebrate it. Let them know it’s their special day.”

Dr. Becker has also used “good job bucks” as a way to reward and motivate employees. Each person received five “bucks” with his or her paycheck. When an employee noticed a coworker going beyond the call of duty, he or she could give the team member a good job buck. At the end of the month, the team member with the most bucks was named employee of the month and given a prime parking spot right next to the staff entrance.

Make it your goal to constantly catch employees doing things the right way, then recognize them for it. “This will really pay off if you like being part of a winning team,” Dr. Becker says.

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