What is the best reward for a difficult job well done?

Most managers struggle to figure out the best way to reward their team members when they have been given and accomplished a very difficult task or project. Should I give time off, a monetary bonus, a plaque, a promotion or something else? Maybe I don’t have the capability to promote or give monetary awards.  I know that each person in my team is unique and each is motivated by a different type of recognition  or award.

As a leader, have you explained fully the hopes and plans you have for each of your team members? If not, perhaps it would be a great idea to discuss  with each team member your expectations for the role he/she is tasked to perform. Your explanation that you want to give each person the opportunities to learn more, increase his capabilities, become more confident in the performance of new projects would be certain to “fire up” and inspire that person.

When your team members recognize that  you are preparing them for the future to be capable and ready to move up and assume greater responsibilities, the reward which they have been given will be obvious.

John Ruskin stated, “The highest reward for a person’s toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it.” As a leader, think about the reasons for giving a team member a difficult task.  The reasons should be to prepare that person for greater things in the future. A reward such as that is worth much more than money. When a person gains confidence, competence and capability, his value is increased immeasurably and the entire organization is better because of it.

Give this type of reward a try and see your people “on fire” because you gave them hope and increased capability for the future.  How much better a reward is that than a letter of recognition or a plaque of some kind?

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