Open Loops: How Do You Say

This morning another workplace enlightenment from Open Loops: How Do You Say “Thank You”?

Other organizations, specifically the non-profits, face the same question as I do: How can I keep good employees when the state regulates the salary, I have no authority to provide bonuses, and I cannot even use my budget, due to state law and local policy, to provide monetary incentives for doing a good job? I can’t even set out a tray of bagels and doughnuts and a pot of coffee unless I have a meeting agenda, participant roster, and pretend its a meeting, so I wind up paying for this out of my own pocket.

Just read the whole post, there is a nice list of possible “thank you”s that will make feel people better about their work.

We have one more thing here: on completion of successfull projects some of the project managers throw a little (work-)party with a bit to drink and eat … but not all do it. Some create little souvenirs for the people who were in the project (T-Shirt with Logo or a mug with some quote or logo on it) and more often than not there is no budget for that either (and this is a big company and not a non-profit organization) …. but only half of them do it and I am rarely part in such projects. I know from my colleague though that she really enjoys these parties and souvenirs and that they are very important to her, because it shows her, how her work is valued by others.

One Reply to “Open Loops: How Do You Say”

  1. My stance on this: Parties good. Incentives evil. The kind of “than yous” in the original article are held in contemptheld in contempt by many in the industry. And with good reason, as far as I’m concerned. I certainly wouldn’t feel better if I’d got a thank-you letter by my boss.

    I suppose those parties are a good thing, though. I assume that they’ll create a sense of accomplishment and can bring the team together. (“We’ve been through this together”). This could very well create a SWAT-Team elite feeling, which I think is a good thing. This’ll only work if the team stays together after the fact, of course. (There are other things like this: A shop were I used to work had a number of whiskey bottles on the shelf, labelled with the future product versions. There were also empty bottles with the versions that had already shipped. You get the drift.)

    I don’t think this is a question of money either. Such events are typically very cheap (hey, everyone can bring in food and such). If there’s any budget at all, it should be possible – and a good manager should look after the team spirit in any case. (That’s his job, after all.)

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