On Labor Day or any day, what is the best way to honor and motivate your employees?

Bob Nelson author of the bestselling book, 1001 Ways to Reward Employees,  says  it’s not a raise that motivates an employee, and it’s not a promotion—what really sparks a person to perform are those unexpected gestures that say, “We appreciate you.  We value your work.  You are important to our organization.”

“The impact of a hand-written note from a CEO or highly esteemed leader is huge.”

My friend, Rodger, who is a Executive Coach says, “The impact of a hand-written note from a CEO or highly esteemed leader is huge.”

So consider writing notes to your employees.  To help you get started, Write Express.com gives an example of an encouraging letter to an employee:

Jane, we in management are well-aware of your personal contributions to the Doe project. Given a complex problem, you have a rare and enviable ability to find a simple solution. It is delightful to see how your eyes light up when you are working on new ideas. Thank you for the enthusiasm you add to the team. You are a great contributor. We hope you will be inspiring us with your innovative thinking for years to come.

Especially note in the above example:
* the employees name is used
* there is the acknowledgment of how important Jane is to the company
* specific examples are given which highlight the highly valued characteristics which Jane brings to the team and the company

Following are other ideas of honoring and motivating employees through the written note:  Examples from the book, 1001 Ways to Reward Employees by Bob Nelson.

“Writing notes to employees who have performed well at the end of the day is an effective recognition strategy, claims Steve Wittert, president of Paragon Steakhouse Restaurants, based in San Diego.  Wittert finds that his days are so busy that he seldom has time to personally recognize his staff.  Instead, he keeps a stack of note cards on his desk, and when the pace slows down at the end of the day, he takes a few minutes to jot personal notes to the individuals who made a difference that day.”

“At the end of each year (could also be on or near Labor Day), I write an individual letter to each of my employees, specifically listing highlights of their performance that I was proud of over the past year.  This takes less time than you might think, and the impact on employees is more significant that you can imagine!”

“I can live for two weeks on a good compliment.” – Mark Twain

At Sea world San Diego, team leaders give “Spotlight Cards” to employees when they see them doing something well.  They write down what they observed and what they liked about it. Then they get  at least two other leaders or supervisors to sign the card, and then presented the card to the employee.  A copy is also posted on the Employee bulletin board.

Employers: On Labor Day or any day remember to recognize and affirm your employees, and remember the wise words of Mark Twain:

“I can live for two weeks on a good compliment.”

Karen Mulder

Karen Mulder

Karen Mulder is the founder of the Wisdom of the Wounded ministry. She lives in Holland, Michigan with her husband Larry.

1 Comment

  1. Marilyn

    If only more employers used this. What a kind word/letter/note would do for my morale and my working environment!!

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.