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1,500 Great Ways to Reward Your Employees

J.T.: It's time to pass along our recommendations for useful career tools, and this time we both agree on Bob Nelson's 1501 Ways to Reward Employees (expanded from the original, with its "1001 Ways"). It's a dazzling collection of techniques that others have used to thank, inspire, and delight employees. Every manager or team leader should have a copy and wear it out. DALE: Yes. Most managers have 1,499 fewer options. All the typical manager knows to do is reward employees with money or time off. And that sounds like enough, except when the company gets pushed and there's no time and no money, or when times are good and the usual rewards become entitlements and lose motivational power. Thanks to Nelson, managers instantly have plenty of options. Some of the ideas might be too cute for some - say, the bulletin board of employee baby pictures - and some might be too expensive, like weeklong group vacation trips, but that's the beauty of the 1,501, including suggestions that always work, like a handwritten note of appreciation for a job well done. J.T.: And speaking of appreciation, this new version features a series of helpful essays, including one on Millennials and how the "video game" mentality can be used to motivate them. Well done, Bob Nelson. Feel free to send questions to J.T. and Dale via e-mail at advice@jtanddale.com or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10019. © 2012 by King Features Syndicate, Inc. Reward employees image from Shutterstock