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a blog by Chris Barrow

Rewarding your staff

I was recently asked by a client “how should I reward my staff if they work beyond what is expected?” I told him the following story: A friend of mine works for Virgin Atlantic. One Christmas day an extra flight was scheduled at the last minute. None of the airline crew wanted to do it as it was late notice and the Christmas rota had been agreed months ago. The situation wasn’t ideal but my friend volunteered and worked the flight. It was just a regular flight but two weeks later, she had a letter from Richard Branson thanking her for working and as a thank you… he gave her and a friend of her choice a two weeks ALL expenses paid holiday to his personal island, Necker Island! The moral of the story is… truly committed staff don’t need reward to be motivated. So when reward is not expected AND it comes… it makes that member of staff extend their ‘roots’ into your business, just that little more! I believe you should reward your staff on two bases:

  1. Target the individual on the performance of the business to reach a goal. When the goal is reached – everyone is rewarded.

  2. Be spontaneous and do something special to reward them for their hard work.

Be sure not to overdo this, as your staff can become desensitised to it. What this approach shows is that you are aware and appreciate their hard work and that with hard work comes rewards. Imagine that your staff has a ‘loyalty bank’ and that by spontaneous actions you are effectively paying into it. The ‘bank’ concept will be explained in more detail with my next blog. You never know when you might have to make a withdrawal!

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