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Every business, large or small, needs to optimize the performance of employees. No whips and chains. Just positive stuff.
People appreciate being appreciated. Deep down, all of us crave acceptance. And recognition. That's why a simple "Thank you" goes a long way toward creating renewed enthusiasm and enhancing performance.
Other ways to inspire your employees are effective as well, and they can be used in combination. Here is a laundry list of possibilities.
1. In very small businesses, handing out a $20 bill now and then for extraordinary effort can spur even greater effort and creativity in an employee. Or give a paid day off now and then.
2. Call everyone together and recognize superior performance in front of the group. If you have weekly or monthly meetings, you might do it then.
3. Set up a bonus system to reward superior performance. You can get creative yourself in how you do this, how you select the person getting the bonus, the timing, etc.
4. Set up an employee of the month program. Don't let it become routine. Make it a vital part of the on-going business. Use a plaque to which names can be added, inscribed on metal plates.
5. Make up company tee shirts and hand them out at company picnics or other functions. These can be for a stated reason, or they can be part of the way you run your business.
6. Go the extra mile. If your business is incorporated, consider giving out stock certificates to valuable employees. If parking is a problem at your place, consider putting employee names on parking places--yours should be at the end of the line, not closest to the door. If you don't have a company retirement plan, consider setting one up--you will need professional help with this.
Other options can be effective. Put on your thinking cap. Get creative. Little things that show your thoughtfulness and appreciation are often more effective than making a big splash.
Whatever you do, do it with a "Thank you" to the employee.
Keeping your employees happy keeps you on the road to success. And let's face it. Without the commitment and hard work of employees, your business cannot succeed.