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Wow, these stories really put that time I had to juggle at a team meeting into perspective! And I completely support the no hospitalization rule of recognition.

Yes, Laura. I firmly believe not violating company health/safety codes and sexual harassment codes should be part of the guidelines for recognition!

People do have this annoying habit of wanting what pleases THEM rather than what you might prefer to imagine motivates them. It's called the Harvard Rule of Behavior, after B. F. Skinner's grad students formulated the rule: "Under carefully controlled laboratory conditions where all outside influences are monitored to prevent interference with the experiment, the experimental subject will do as it damn well pleases." Everyone is unique, just like everyone else.

Research has confirmed that the most successful supervisors are those who best understand the individual motivations of their direct-reports and who modify and appropriately personalize reinforcements.

This actually happened to me. The employee holiday gift was a lightweight red pocket knife. Not six months later, the corporation announced they were moving their headquarters from the west to the midwest. While packing up on my last day of work, I reevaluated the intent of the so-called gift.

Great (bad?) story, Kelley. That's exactly what I mean. A gift you don't want, won't use and oddly symbolic of precisely the opposite of what the company intended!

An amusing yet true post. Thanks for the insight and laughs Derek. We agree that opening the lines of communication first is the right way to go about recognizing employees in a meaningful, effective way.

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