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Two Very Powerful Words: Great Job!

By: Dave Berkus


The best managers we all know are the ones who take the time to praise good work in public, before an employee’s peers. Most of us have a monthly award for the top person in a group of employees. And if we are big enough to formalize the process in a regular meeting, we make it a regular part of that meeting.

If you haven’t already discovered this fact, such a process quickly becomes routine and predicable. Small companies have trouble finding new people to honor after a while. Some employees even disingenuously consider the process an exercise in pandering, discounting the effectiveness of the award, and disenchanting those very managers who thought they were reaching out to do a good thing.
For all of us, we should remember that the best possible way to honor great work is to do so immediately. A “Great job!” coming at the right moment from the boss is valued as an honest recognition of good work, especially if done in front of an employee’s peers.
At times, it is an entire team that deserves the recognition, again immediately after doing a great job. I found a formula that worked for me where most of the employees were in several buildings on the same campus. First arranging for my assistant to obtain the appropriate amount of hundred dollar bills from the bank, and then to follow me around checking off names, I had my own personal holiday celebrating each individual in the team with a handshake, words of thanks, and a C-note. With lots of laughter and thanks, the celebration and words “Great Job” made for a completely memorable event. And those pop-up thank you visits from the boss certainly contributed to the culture of the company. Word does travel.
Remember to reward those not present at the moment, and remember that the amount should be grossed up to take care of taxes and be entered onto the payrolls of the employees so rewarded.
I’m sure you have your own way to making “Good job!” work for you and your team.
This article was originally published by Berkonomics
Published: November 5, 2014

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Dave Berkus

Dave Berkus is a noted speaker, author and early stage private equity investor. He is acknowledged as one of the most active angel investors in the country, having made and actively participated in over 87 technology investments during the past decade. He currently manages two angel VC funds (Berkus Technology Ventures, LLC and Kodiak Ventures, L.P.) Dave is past Chairman of the Tech Coast Angels, one of the largest angel networks in the United States. Dave is author of “Basic Berkonomics,” “Berkonomics,” “Advanced Berkonomics,” “Extending the Runway,” and the Small Business Success Collection. Find out more at Berkus.com or contact Dave at dberkus@berkus.com

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