Use guerilla tactics for performance

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 20, 2007

Employee recognition doesn’t have to be a formal process that involves expensive awards and all-company banquets.
In fact, some of your best opportunities to build morale through recognition will be last-minute, “catch-employees-doing-something-right” tactics.
Here are some simple things you can do that your employees will appreciate:
– Create “Freedom Cards” that you give for superior performance. It’s entirely up to you what these cards offer employees. Basically, they’re a way to say, “Thanks for the great work, now get the heck out of here and relax for a while.”
But here’s the catch: you don’t have to give employees a week off or even a day.
Maybe the card is good for only a couple of hours or a half-day.
This tactic works best when the employee has just finished a difficult task or has been putting in extra hours in order to bring a project home in time.
– Have key leaders sign a “Recognition Memo.” One of the biggest frustrations workers experience is not knowing whether people at the top of the organization recognize their good work. That’s why these Recognition Memos are so powerful. When an employee is handed an official memo, signed by key leaders up to and including the CEO, it sends the strong message that their work is not being ignored.
– Pass out “Recognition Business Cards” to employees who do something right. Do it on the spot to reinforce the positive behavior immediately. Again, these don’t have to be fancy √≥just a simple business-size card with three elements:
1. A blank space to write the employee’s name.
2. A blank space where the manager can write down what the employee is being recognized for.
3. A written note on the back reminding employees to bring their cards to their next performance review.
Once again, it won’t be the card itself that blows the employees away. It will be the fact that you thought enough of their work to give them the card in the first place.
Robert Garrison’s company based in Rowan County is called The Garrison Group, which offers import/export support, help in obtaining capital and mentoring/consulting services. Contact him at