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  • Richard Hall

Treat everyone fairly, not equally

People love to be recognized for their part in a successful endeavor. Just make sure and get the recognition part right!

We blew away the numbers that year! Revenue, profit, and customer satisfaction numbers were way above target. Everyone received their incentive bonus right before Christmas. What a great way to wrap up the year.

Then the owner went and did something.

They wanted to give a "Harvest bonus". That means a designated dollar amount was identified and everyone got the same thing. The mail room clerk received the same bonus as the employees that just spent their holidays away from family working on IT projects. Same for the recently hired college graduate and the sales engineer that traveled 90% that year.

Much of the goodwill that was provided by the incentive bonuses went right out the window. People that contributed the most felt marginalized. Those that did not contribute much at all were smiling because they received their "participation bonus" for showing up.

Even though the owner's intent was sound, the execution was horrible.

I believe in sharing successes with employees as often as possible. Success can breed further success.

Just make sure you treat everyone fairly, and not equally.

If you'd like to discuss further, contact me at

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