David Olson and Dr. Bob Nelson, co-founders of Recognition PRO, have spent years tracking incentivized behavior and corporate rewards, and they say employers have overdone it with perks, awards and gift-cards. What they recommend is more of “a systematic behavioral approach” toward how an individual is integrated into a company and how they’re treated within the organization.

People want to be thanked personally for a job well done; they want to be involved in communication and decision-making. These approaches make them feel far more valued, and, Nelson says, “it’ll make this a place where they’re going to keep giving it their best shot.”

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