Dos and don’ts for rewarding employees

Do figure out your purpose in recognition. Do communicate. Don’t ignore your top performers. You’d be surprised how many organizations do that—to their detriment.

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Several years ago, Google, flush with cash and no doubt anticipating great PR, gave every staffer a $1,000 bonus and a 10 percent raise.

You might think that would impress Leila Bulling Towne, an executive coach who has made employee rewards and recognition her specialty. If so, you’d be wrong.

“To the top performer, what did that say?” Bulling Towne says. “I mean, think about it. You’re working really hard. The person next to you is just meeting expectations. You both get the 10 percent raise.”

(Some media reported that Google also offered additional merit raises, but you get her point.)

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