The “by-the-book” management style warns against any kind of rewards structure to be practiced outside of what employees get by way of their salary. The justification for this is that professionals are rewarded for the time exchanged through their work via the salary they get, which should be more than enough to keep them motivated to keep producing professional work.
On the basis of fact this may be correct, but we’re dealing with complex beings in humans, especially humans who are fully aware of the power-dynamics inherent in economics. We all know that the hardest working of the “workhorses” ultimately get the smallest piece of the pie represented as company profits. The employees know this too, which is why the typical employee will only produce the bare minimum of what’s required of them to keep their job.
Consequently, who still wants to deploy “by-the-book” management principles in this day and age? In a time when the traditional corporate structure as we’ve known it for a couple of centuries now is under direct threat, you want to make sure to keep your employees on your side. As much as there are some martyrs of the likes of the Digital Nomad revolution championing a course which seems to directly threaten your traditional corporate structure, these are in the minority and all you can do is work with what you have. Work to keep your employees wanted and valued.
It doesn’t take all that much to do that and it certainly won’t cost you the kind of money which will hurt your bottom line. The simple deployment of matched corporate gifts every now and then will more than do and it doesn’t have to be an event which is formalised and set in stone.
Reinforcing the spirit of togetherness
The best place to start in keeping corporate spirits high is in your attempts to reinforce the spirit of togetherness. You need to reward as many employees as possible in one go, provided they demonstrate that much-needed spirit of fighting a common cause together. A gourmet gift basket perhaps does this best, particularly one which can be shared out somewhat equally via what resembles something of a ritualistic manner.
Not only are you as management or ownership rewarding employees for their good work, you’re rewarding the unified manner in which they’ve gone about their work as well, ideally if they’ve gone beyond what they ordinarily need to do.
Encouragement to keep going
The aim is not to alienate employees who may have had a hard time pulling their weight though, but rather to encourage them to do better. So as far as matched gifts for employees go, it is indeed all about matching the gift to the effort. A gourmet appreciation basket will do for someone who has really been trying, while an impression gift basket might do well to let another employee know that you’ve noticed their effort and you like what you’re seeing by way of progress or results.
It should be apparent then that it doesn’t take all that much to keep the corporate spirits high or raise them whenever they seem to be sinking.