Author Topic: Appropriate way to thank employee  (Read 1974 times)

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MsMarjorie

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Appropriate way to thank employee
« on: February 27, 2014, 08:35:06 PM »
I have an employee at work (I'm the manager) who is paid above the going rate, sets her own hours and has bonuses etc - so quite a few benefits.  She is a very good employee and I would like to give her something, like an appreciation gift for the work she does, but without overstepping boundaries!

I was thinking of a new laptop, but she is a work from home employee and there is no way to determine if it will be used for work or if her husband will take it (I have private background knowledge that this is a possibility).

What would be an appropriate gift/gesture to give this employee?

alkira6

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Re: Appropriate way to thank employee
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2014, 09:32:52 PM »
Honestly, her bonuses are a gesture of appreciation. A laptop would be way too much in my opinion unless you bill it as a perk and keep it in inventory as belonging to the business.  A nice gift card or certificate would be appropriate, but I wouldn't go over $50.

veronaz

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Re: Appropriate way to thank employee
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2014, 09:38:21 PM »
Honestly, her bonuses are a gesture of appreciation. A laptop would be way too much in my opinion unless you bill it as a perk and keep it in inventory as belonging to the business.  A nice gift card or certificate would be appropriate, but I wouldn't go over $50.

POD

A new laptop would be way too extravagant.

NyaChan

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Re: Appropriate way to thank employee
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2014, 09:41:04 PM »
We get gift cards at my job.  I think I've read before that most employees would prefer having either a bonus or some monetary compensation and I know I'd prefer that rather than something that is different from my coworkers, but just for work anyways.

Ceallach

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Re: Appropriate way to thank employee
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2014, 09:53:04 PM »
My question would be what is your motivation?   I routinely do nice things for my staff but it's consistent and small things such as bringing in treats or shouting lunch.    Remuneration and bonuses are their reward for doing their jobs well.   Nothing in your post indicates to me what the reason is you want to buy her something - do you think she's unhappy?  Has she recently gone above and beyond in some way?  Because these things can start to become expected and taken for granted if you don't consider what your motivation is.

A laptop would be confusing as a gift as it's unclear whether it's a personal gift or a tool of the trade eg supplied for work purposes.   Also if it's a personal gift that is a high monetary value!    If you just want to do something nice a voucher for a spa treatment or something could be nice if you know what she likes.
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gramma dishes

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Re: Appropriate way to thank employee
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2014, 10:30:39 PM »
I have an employee ... who is paid above the going rate, sets her own hours and has bonuses etc. ...

It sounds to me like she's already very well compensated for being a good employee.  I think a gift in addition to being paid more than most people in her position, being allowed to pretty much determine the hours of her own personal work day and already getting presumably substantial bonuses, might be a bit overboard. 

I think going beyond that in any significant way would be overkill and set a precedent that might cause issues with other employees down the road.  I wouldn't do anything beyond letting her know verbally that she is a very valued employee.

If she's had to do something truly spectacular and beyond the call of duty, then maybe a gift card or something, but I wouldn't exceed $100 or so and frankly I think even that's too much.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2014, 10:34:14 PM by gramma dishes »

MsMarjorie

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Re: Appropriate way to thank employee
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2014, 11:00:34 PM »
My question would be what is your motivation?   I routinely do nice things for my staff but it's consistent and small things such as bringing in treats or shouting lunch.    Remuneration and bonuses are their reward for doing their jobs well.   Nothing in your post indicates to me what the reason is you want to buy her something - do you think she's unhappy?  Has she recently gone above and beyond in some way?  Because these things can start to become expected and taken for granted if you don't consider what your motivation is.

A laptop would be confusing as a gift as it's unclear whether it's a personal gift or a tool of the trade eg supplied for work purposes.   Also if it's a personal gift that is a high monetary value!    If you just want to do something nice a voucher for a spa treatment or something could be nice if you know what she likes.

OP here

Great points Ceallach.  I actually think she is perfectly happy and likes her job.  She is coming up for 4 years with the company and I had it in my head that if she couldn't get a pay-rise then perhaps another sort of gift/bonus would be appropriate.  I was also worried about the "start being taken for granted" angle, its a fine line isn't it?!

MsMarjorie

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Re: Appropriate way to thank employee
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2014, 11:02:11 PM »
I have an employee ... who is paid above the going rate, sets her own hours and has bonuses etc. ...

It sounds to me like she's already very well compensated for being a good employee.  I think a gift in addition to being paid more than most people in her position, being allowed to pretty much determine the hours of her own personal work day and already getting presumably substantial bonuses, might be a bit overboard. 

I think going beyond that in any significant way would be overkill and set a precedent that might cause issues with other employees down the road.  I wouldn't do anything beyond letting her know verbally that she is a very valued employee.

If she's had to do something truly spectacular and beyond the call of duty, then maybe a gift card or something, but I wouldn't exceed $100 or so and frankly I think even that's too much.

OP here, thank-you gramma dishes for this perspective.  I'm beginning to lean towards an email, praising an aspect of her work performance.

MsMarjorie

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Re: Appropriate way to thank employee
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2014, 11:05:41 PM »
OP here

I think I now agree with you Alkira6 and Veronaz :) you both just saved me a fair amount of money, thank-you!!

NyaChan, she gets $300 of gift certificates as part of her bonus already and they are always well appreciated.

sweetonsno

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Re: Appropriate way to thank employee
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2014, 01:30:20 AM »
I agree that too many gifts, or something very extravagant, may be seen as strange.

Is there something in particular that she has done well lately? If you want to give her another bonus for a job well done, then send her a gift card for something that she likes. If her husband sometimes requisitions things like this for his own use, then make sure it is a gift card to something that he wouldn't like. Maybe an eatery that he isn't fond of?

camlan

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Re: Appropriate way to thank employee
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2014, 08:10:41 AM »
One thing to consider is that whatever you do for one employee has the potential to get around to other employees, no matter how much you or this one employee keep your mouths shut. So you want to give something that, if another employee does as well in the future, you wouldn't mind giving to other employees who achieve the same level of competence.

Then you run into the problem of employees who are almost but not quite as good expecting similar bonuses or gifts, and those who aren't nearly as good but who think they are demanding similar bonuses.

So whatever you do for this one employee, you need to be willing to do for any employee who shows a similar level of dedication to the job and work ethic and results.

I read a study somewhere that what most employees want, up to a point, is more money. After that point has been reached, they want more paid time off.

So, my first thought on reading the OP was to give this employee a promotion and raise, because that is the typical way US companies show appreciation.

If that won't work for your company, then maybe a special bonus, cash or gift card.

Or maybe "bonus" days off. Not a permanent thing, but a one-time deal where she gets a few more paid days off this year.

I'd tie whatever you decide to some specific achievement she's made--certain amount of sales, increased productivity, an innovative idea--so that if you get complaints about how Sally got more days off, you can point to specifics as to why Sally got a special bonus this year. "Anyone who can bring in $XXX,XXX in sales/complete XXX,XXX gizmos per month/other outstanding *measurable* achievement will get exactly the same bonus." Gives the other employees something to shoot for.

Other ideas you could consider might be paying for her to attend a conference in your field, or paying for a course in a related subject, or sending a masseuse to her house every week for a month for a neck/shoulder massage.

You could even give her a choice of two or three options that are roughly equal in value. Could be two extra paid days off, tuition reimbursement for a short course in her field, or a gift card to her favorite place (you give a specific dollar amount for the card).



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shhh its me

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Re: Appropriate way to thank employee
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2014, 08:31:28 AM »
     I think extravagant is based on the people involved incomes.  For example I spent about 2 weeks salary total on gifts, treats , lunches for my staff(all of them)  I wouldn't single one person out unless there was a specific reason and unless in theory others could qualify for that reason or the reason is the position not the person ....ie I only give my direct assistant/protege a gift but I would give a gift to anyone who was my assistant/protege ,I give the most helpful person that month/year a gift every month/year or if they did something so extraordinary or something extraordinary happened that it "demanded notice".   Otherwise I'd stick with a token gift and/or letters of appreciation for the good work. but I would do the same thing for everyone who worked hard

Hmmmmm

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Re: Appropriate way to thank employee
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2014, 08:53:37 AM »
We don't do employee "gifts" except for very small amounts because it is still considered taxable income and the taxes on the value of the gift have to be subtracted from the employees next pay check or they have to report them end of year. It can be challenging.

Since she is over her pay range and can't receive another raise I do understand your desire to show her some monetary compensation. But that is what bonus's are for and it sounds like she gets them. 

meronym

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Re: Appropriate way to thank employee
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2014, 10:19:18 AM »
I have an employee ... who is paid above the going rate, sets her own hours and has bonuses etc. ...

It sounds to me like she's already very well compensated for being a good employee.  I think a gift in addition to being paid more than most people in her position, being allowed to pretty much determine the hours of her own personal work day and already getting presumably substantial bonuses, might be a bit overboard. 

I think going beyond that in any significant way would be overkill and set a precedent that might cause issues with other employees down the road.  I wouldn't do anything beyond letting her know verbally that she is a very valued employee.


If she's had to do something truly spectacular and beyond the call of duty, then maybe a gift card or something, but I wouldn't exceed $100 or so and frankly I think even that's too much.

I agree with the bolded points. It's great that you want this employee to feel appreciated - so many managers fail to do this. But it sounds like this particular employee is already compensated quite well for a job well done. It seems a bit inappropriate, although well-meaning, to start giving her straight up gifts. And this will get back to the other employees as well.

In your shoes, I'd probably just express my appreciation in words (either face to face or by email). Also, make sure those above you know she's doing a great job (if I'm performing above average, please, tell the higher ups!). The most I would do would be to give her a day off. I've seen bosses say something like "I really appreciate all the hard working you've been doing, why don't you take Friday off on me." This works especially well if you know the person is working more hours than necessary.

I think you're trying to drag social convention into a work situation. In our personal lives, if someone's done something really great for you, you might send them a gift. In a work situation, you show appreciation through salary, benefits, and work-approved bonuses - not gifts.

TootsNYC

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Re: Appropriate way to thank employee
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2014, 10:25:13 AM »
I like the "we'll pay for some extra training for you" idea--since theoretically your company benefits, it's not taxable income.

And it can be presented as something that will keep her ahead of her peers, since she apparently is good enough now to have qualified for a very high pay grade.

Though, of course, she'd apparently have to leave your employ in order to realize that benefit.