The Store Room: “What do you do to let your employees know they are doing a good job?”

Our monthly column is devoted to what works and what doesn't - for our readers, from our readers

"What do you do to let your employees know they are doing a good job?"

Mariah McKechnie
Party America
Duluth, Minn.
We reward our employees with $5-10 gift cards to from places like Starbucks or Subway during peak seasons when we see great work. We also try to praise them directly in front of customers, as it seems to really have an impact when there is someone there to witness and second the praise!

Maria McGuane
Impressions by Briana
Endicott, N.Y.
We feel it's very important to let our employees know how much they are appreciated, not just for a good job, but for their characters and kindness. Saying "thank you" is something we do every day for each employee. More than just bonuses, movie or basketball game tickets, we provide occasional pizza lunches and a really cool coffee bar.

And there are not just company gifts/perks: our managers and owners do many things on a personal level, from bringing in homemade cookies or lunch to share or picking up a few tasks to allow an employee to leave early on a special day to shoveling out someone's car.

It is who we are, not just to our employees, but we strive everyday to be that personal assistant to every customer as well. What we practice at home makes it easy to convey to our customer.

Meredith Abraham, Inc.
Ronkonkoma, N.Y.
We find the best way to let our employees know they are doing a good job is to tell them. All too often bosses are very quick to point out when an employee is doing something wrong and they neglect to point out when they do something right.

So we make a point of letting our employees know when they do a good job. For instance, if a customer service rep handles an upset customer particularly well, we'll say something like, "Great job turning that customer around. You really handled that situation well!" Or if someone comes up with a great new idea or lands a large order, we praise their efforts.

We feel it means a lot to an employee to know we recognize when they are doing a good job.

Kitty Thompson
Downey Party Rentals
Downey, Calif.
We get really busy at Christmas time, so I don't have time to do a party or luncheon before Christmas. But the day after, I make a big pot of chili and serve my employees lunch, complete with chili, cheese, crackers and a huge plate of homemade cookies. I think besides a big thank you for all their hard work, they appreciate that I do something specific to say another thanks.

Henry Miller
Captain Henry's Pirate Store
Portland, Ore.
Immediate feedback - be it praise, further direction or expressing disappointment. There's no formality, other than respect. No complicated corporate dictated processes. We just talk. We also give bonuses and hold parties as rewards, or dismiss anyone who is not measuring up to our expectations after repeated attempts to help them change. This has afforded us an excellent team of like-minded, talented crew members and a reputation for having a very friendly store.

Kathi Leiden
Zephyr Solutions
Avon Lake, Ohio
I simply wait for a time when we can have a private, uninterrupted conversation and I express my appreciation for their efforts and their contribution to our company's success. Zephyr Solutions growth can be directly attributed to the combined efforts of every person on our team. Their dedication, loyalty and creativity are the lifeblood of the company, so "thank you!" Two words I should say more often.

Adriane Brandenburg
Fun Party and Wedding Services
Shawnee, Kan.
Praise them verbally! I love when the opportunity arises and I can brag about them in front of customers or other co-workers. We are a small close-knit group, and it's like working with family. Our customers are also a lot like family and compliment the staff often. I feel very fortunate to have the team I do.

Brenda Fink
Party Magic
Godfrey, Ill.
I praise my employees, especially in front of customers. We do a lot of custom work and customers are always commenting on our creations. I tell them how great and creative my associates are and point out which associate created the design. I will also buy lunch on our busy days to treat all associates.



Originally posted Tuesday, Mar. 29, 2011