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Stephanie Cook


Executive Marketing & Leadership Coach

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Observation & Leadership

Leaders are observers. Here are three tips on how your observation skills can help you as a leader. 

  • First, watch your workers and take note of who produces and who doesn’t. Look for weakness and strengths so you can capitalize on them.
  • Second, look for progress. You want to see what works and what doesn’t. You should be alert to overused methods and be able to value new routines for accomplishing tasks at hand. New production methods will in-turn result in new products.
  • Third, be able to determine the future leadership of the organization. You need to pay attention to those who have the passion for excelling. Leaders notice the interaction of skills and personalities. Your outstanding team members will evolve with the potential to take the organization to the next level.

Defining Your Company

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Defining Your Company

What defines your company? When you describe your company, you shouldn’t just be listing your services. What does your organization stand for? How does it contribute to the community? Establishing these core values is essential. According to Fortune magazine, core values are the “…fabric that guides employee behavior, company decisions, and actions. They’re what gives a company soul.” When you are establishing your company’s core values don’t just pick things that make you sound good. Make sure you are picking values that line up with your business. For example, if you say that your company values work/life balance, you would need to reexamine requiring mandatory overtime or weekend work. Once you have established your company’s values you can make sure you stick to them by referencing them in meetings, employee reviews, and decision making.

Why is establishing core values so important?

Stand out: Your core values describe your identity as a company. This is a way to set your business apart in your industry and community! Your values are part of your branding. Educate your customers and potential customers on your company values by putting them on your marketing collateral like business cards and brochures!

Ramp up recruitment efforts: Core values tell potential employees what it’s like to work for your company. They describe the beliefs, culture, and behavior of your organization. By using your core values in recruitment, you can find employees that are a good fit for your company and help reduce turnover. Make sure you post your core values on your social media, website, and recruitment materials.

Guide employee behavior: Your core business values are most likely what influenced your employees to join your staff. Keep these values in mind by posting them around the office by posting them on posters, mousepads, pens, and notepads.  

20 Ways to Reward Your Employees

January 9th, 2018

      When was the last time someone told you what a great job you were doing? You probably remember exactly who it was, what you were doing, and how wonderful it made you feel. Just a few simple words can have a lasting impression. That’s why it’s imperative that you make time to recognize your employees for a job well done. Your employees are your company's most important assets. They are the face of your company, and positive reinforcement helps create a happy, hard-working atmosphere. Make sure you add a few of these ideas to your Internal Marketing Plan!

1. Lunch with the boss
Take your employees out to lunch! Instead of talking about work, use this time to get to know your employees on a personal level. When you know your employees well, it's easier to motivate them.

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2. Themed team lunch

Host a cookout or picnic for your employees on their lunch break. Employees will love the free lunch and the bonding opportunity it provides!

3. Provide company “swag”

Who doesn’t like free merchandise? Providing t-shirts, hats, bags, or other branded merchandise is a great way to promote company pride. 

4. Service projects

Get involved in your community! Participating in a service project is a great team-building experience. Let your employees choose the event that you will take part in.

5. Thank you meetings

Call an employee into your office just to say thank you! Thank the employee for a particular job or task that they did exceptionally well on. Make sure that you use this only for thanking the employee and don’t use the meeting to segue into a discussion about the areas that they need to improve. The employee will remember the negative feedback over the positive if the information is presented at the same time. 

6. Certificate of achievement 

When an employee goes above and beyond and a simple thank you isn’t enough, get them a certificate for a job well done. It is tangible recognition that they can display and be proud of for years to come. 

7. Recognition in front of coworkers

Spotlight your star employees by recognizing them in a team meeting, a newsletter, website, or social media. 

8. Have a casual day

The casual Friday tradition has stuck around for a reason, let your employees have a day where they can dress more comfortably! 

9. Employee parking spot

Having a dedicated parking spot for a star employee is an excellent motivational tool, just make sure it’s close to the building!

10. Give them a hand-written note

Writing a thank you note or recognition letter by hand is so much more meaningful than just writing an email. It adds a personal touch, and the employee will feel flattered that you took the time to write it yourself. 

11. Time off coupons

Time off coupons are an excellent motivator! Give out coupons for 15-30 minutes of time off. Employees can collect them to add up to leaving early one day or coming in late. These are great for on-the-spot rewards or prizes in a contest.

12. Breakfast treats

Show up with your employee’s favorite breakfast treat! It’s a great way to start any day on a positive note. 

13. Birthdays and work anniversaries 

There are a ton of ways to make your employees feel recognized on their special day. You can throw a small party, pass out cupcakes, or have a team lunch! If you have a lot of employees and feel overwhelmed with the idea of throwing a party for each one, a small monthly party or event might be easier. Make sure you do the same thing for each employee.

14. Points reward system

Develop a points system for a reward program. Employees can receive points for each task that they excel at and after collecting a certain amount, they can trade them in for a prize.

15. Coffee shop meetings

Hold one-on-one meetings at a local coffee shop, it will feel more casual and put the employee at ease. Make sure you pay for the employee’s drink! 

16. Employee competitions 

Not all contests need to be work related! Fun, friendly competitions such as college football team brackets are a great morale booster. 

17. Revolving rewards

Create a trophy or another type of reward that moves from employee to employee. 

18. Recognition bulletin board

Recognize a different department each month. Create a bulletin board that highlights their contributions to the organization. Spotlight employees and their accomplishments as well. 

19. Team trips

Arrange an off-site event for your employees such as bowling or another activity, this is great for team building! 

20. Post-it Praise 

Randomly post a small note on your employee's door, desk, or equipment to let them know that you appreciate their hard work! 

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