In this tight economy, every day we are asked to do more with less, more with less, more with even less. But as a manager, you don’t need to feel entirely enslaved to this tiresome mantra, when you want to reward and recognize your employees’ efforts.  You can do a lot with a little, if you just pay attention to how your direct reports would like to be recognized.

In my new book, Success Simplified, I explain how to bring out the best in four personality styles, whether you’re leading them, teamed with them, or selling to them.

Last month, I discussed recognizing employees who may be somewhat quiet.  Today, let’s turn to those who are more outgoing.

People I call “Persuaders” are lively, optimistic, and creative “people people.”

Recognize them in a public way – at meetings, in the company newsletter, or on your intranet site.  Offer them “face time” with higher-ups, via a meeting or reception in their honor. Inviting them to lunch with you and/or your boss to discuss some of their ideas would be a great way to recognize their capacity for innovation.

Allow them to attend conferences, workshops, symposia, and seminars of their choice. Or give them a change of pace, such as work on an exciting future project.

Persuaders also like “portable” awards that will attract attention everywhere they go, such as high-quality pins and personalized pens. Or give them a conversation piece for the office, such as a signed work of original art.

You can also recognize them in a light-hearted way with a framed copy of Time, Sports Illustrated, Fortune, or another magazine featuring their own (digitally added) photo on the cover.  Or give them a caricature – their “cartoonized” portrait– commemorating their work on the project.

People I call “Commanders” are direct, ambitious achievers, focused on goals.

Commanders would like tickets to coveted sporting events, payment for a round of golf at an impressive course, a year’s membership at a fitness center, personal coaching (from either a fitness coach or a business coach),  or inclusion in a special-status club within your organization, such as a “Champions Club.”

And because mundane tasks frustrate their desire to achieve great things, they appreciate time-saving services, such as house-cleaning for a period of time, or a personal errand person to take care of dry cleaning, shoe repairs, and other necessities of life.

Good tangible rewards include high-quality plaques, watches, rings, business card cases, the latest electronic gizmos, and other status items.

You may not be able to offer sought-after promotions to Commanders, but at least recognize their achievements in a public way and continue to offer them interesting and challenging assignments.

In short, whether you lead paid employees or volunteers, take the time to find out about people’s needs and desires, so that you can reward them in Platinum (vs. Golden) Rule way, with something they’ll appreciate.

If your organization would like a keynote speech or training program on this or other topics, contact Jeanne Baer at  (402) 475-1127 or visit me on the web at or via email at
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