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Question for LJ Brain Trust [Jun. 14th, 2010|03:00 pm]

Lucky me, I'm on our internal team to review and revamp our recognition program here at work.

While yes, the whole gist of my input will be that it doesn't have to be a "thing" -- a gift, money, whatever -- as the most valuable reward to administer is to just let people know that they're appreciated, let them know that you know they've worked hard/improved/whatever, and that you let other people that person X is doing a good job/had a good idea. Give people credit for their good ideas, etc.

But still, they'll want to have some kind of material component. And the problem I have here is that the only "thing" that really has meaning for me is paid time off. Give me a an extra half day of PTO and I'm one happy camper -- you've recognized that I deserve to be rewarded and you're rewarding me with the thing I value most.

But I am a technical Baby Boomer, who actually tests out as a Gen-X'er, and has some very strange time-consuming hobbies. And my idea of office decor is not motivational posters or crap that has my name engraved on it. I'm looking at a dead cicada, a stuffed Salmonella, a plastic flamingo, a fossilized trilobite, a small rubber chicken and a brass plate from the Yarmouth zoo that says "This animal is DANGEROUS. Please do not feed or disturb". That's MY idea of office decor.

Of course, I don't know that you lot are any more normal. But seriously, a motivational poster. Hey, good job, here's some office decor that you are now obligated to post? Here's a paperweight with your name on it? Right now I have a purse with four movie tickets in it that I got as recognition rewards -- that I've had for months -- which I can't seem to use because the planets of "we have time to see a movie", "there's a movie we want to see that's playing", "it's at the theatre to which I have tickets" and "it's not sold out" never seem to align.

Is there any material object that you thought was a cool or sincere or meaningful reward? Cold, hard cash doesn't count.

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[User Picture]From: toxins
2010-06-14 07:29 pm (UTC)
Gift certificate to a unique place to go to dinner is good. People usually find time to eat.
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[User Picture]From: lady_foxchase
2010-06-14 07:46 pm (UTC)

Gift Certificate of choice

at a previous employer we got gift certificates to a restaurant.....but we got to decide the restaurant, which made it not only useful but personal. Almost everyone has that one favorite place they either always end up at, so wouldn't it be nice to have a meal paid for, or one they have always wanted to try but haven't gotten around to it yet. That worked for either option, however it was decided.
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[User Picture]From: chellebelle74
2010-06-14 07:50 pm (UTC)
Gift certificates to something not tied to specific times - like a restaurant or some ubiquitous retailer (like Target) - if it really has to be something physical. But I'm with you, babe, pump up my leave balance if you really want to make me feel appreciated.

If they absolutely insist on a physical object with the company logo or something - for the love of all that's good and holy, please make it something useful. Paperweights, pins, posters, polo/tshirts, and non-travel coffee mugs make me feel like I'm being punished (I've got something I can't use, yet I can't throw it away and I'm supposed to act excited over it? Thanks). When it comes to logoed office gear the things I've actually used and appreciated are a nice sized messenger bag, a travel coffee mug, and a soft insulated lunch tote. They all see regular use, whereas all the non-travel mugs, pins, paperweights, and logoed polos/tshirts got ditched as soon as possible.
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[User Picture]From: sestree
2010-06-14 10:32 pm (UTC)
Every incentive/recognition program I've worked with, worked best with PTOs. We've even had people ask if they could trade a gift card for paid time off.

Is that really not an option? Nothing says love like hookie (cept for nookie and there's laws against that as a reward I bet)
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[User Picture]From: dawntreader90
2010-06-15 02:18 pm (UTC)
PTO doesn't work with people who don't take PTO, so maybe there should be an option. PTO or.... [X]. you'd think those people don't exist but they do! i live with one. if he earned a free day he would be, "ho hum. just add it to the pile."

he's getting better, but mostly he doesn't take vacation time unless i practically make him.
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[User Picture]From: warriorsway
2010-06-15 04:31 am (UTC)
Honestly, if it's someone whose opinion I really care about, my favorite reward is 'thanks - you did a good job there'. But other than that, yeah, I'm with you - gimme time off to spend how I please, not crap that I'm either obligated to display or otherwise take care of.
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[User Picture]From: dawntreader90
2010-06-15 02:11 pm (UTC)
around here, we get a dinner out on our five-year milestone anniversaries up to $75. we choose the place and get reimbursed up to that amount.

i think that's kind of cool because rather than having to go to a place chosen FOR us, we get to choose where WE want to go. maybe we go to our favourite spot; maybe we try someplace we'd never go to if we were paying for it.
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From: kudrasslipper
2010-06-16 01:39 am (UTC)
I don't know how much travel your folks do business wise, but we usually get a bunch of "free tickets" that we give away to our folks. Aside from time off, that's about as good as it can get.
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