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50 Ways to Acknowledge Your Employees Before and After Labor Day

For most people, Labor Day symbolizes the end of summer, back to school, and another long weekend. Deep down however, when we stop for a moment and reflect as we often do on bank holidays, we all know that Labor Day is, in reality, meant to signify a time to recognize the achievement, struggle and determination of the working man and woman.

Here are 50 ways to acknowledge your employees in honor of Labor Day. See how many you are doing already, and which ones you could start doing better:

1. Ask them about themselves
2. Find ways to stay in an affirmative frame of mind, by saying yes as often as possible
3. If an employee makes a mistake, keep your emotions in check and mentor them to the make the right decision the next time
4. Be honest, ethical and forthright at all times. Stop yourself from stretching the truth about any issue that may arise
5. Listen to their needs and wants
6. Let them help you with your marketing plan
7. Listen to their stories about their families
8. Inquire if something is wrong if you feel an employee is acting different than usual
9. Remember the names of those employees in other departments you don't know
10. Find out the birthdays of your employees and remember to send each one a card when that day comes around
11. Present several options when they seek your advice, but also allow them to come up with their own solutions
12. Surprise them with an impromptu incentive, reward or thank you just for doing their job in the unique way that they do it
13. Stay with them a few moments after you've resolved an issue, just to make sure there aren't any lingering questions they were hesitant to ask
14. Have lunch brought in
15. Let them take the reins on a customer issue, giving them the empowerment they deserve
16. Stop by their work area just to say Hi
17. Let them vent
18. Discuss their higher aspirations
19. Let down your guard
20. Come out from behind your desk when they come to see you
21. Tell them they're doing a great job (you can't do this too often)
22. Learn something from them
23. Don't think with your mouth open
24. Make yourself accessible, answer your phone and return your emails
25. If you make a mistake, say you're sorry
26. Keep your promises
27. When you talk to them look in their eyes
28. Pass out their pay stubs and checks, and as you give it to them, thank them for the work they do
29. Acknowledge an everyday task they do, and tell them specifically how well they do it
30. Give them your undivided attention.
31. Ask for their opinion.
32. Encourage their creativity when faced with a challenge
33. Find out what they're best at, and help them become masterful at it
34. Be genuinely glad to see them
35. Bend
36. Allow them to find their own way, but give help when requested
37. Give them immediate feedback.
38. Include them in conversations with your peers, don't make them feel left out
39. Respect them.
40. Be patient when they're having a bad day
41. Send them to a meeting in your place, with their permission
42. Believe what they say
43. Laugh at their jokes
44. Encourage them to think outside the box
45. Let them look at the big picture with you
46. Share company goals with them, even if you think they won't understand it all
47. Encourage all types of feedback
48. Make sure your voicemail message is as friendly as possible
49. Introduce them to your boss's boss
50. Tell them if they ever have a question or concern they can call you at home, and give them your number

Andy O'Bryan is author of Incentive Toolkit 2005, the new ebook that gives employers creative and easy ways to motivate ttarget="_new" he great performance and reward the job well done, available at To book an employee motivation session, consultation or keynote send an email to for a menu of topics.

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