Four Habits to Maximize the Effects of Recognition

Many of your employees, as much as we all wish this weren’t the case, take compensation and benefits for granted. After all, they can get competitive pay at any construction company, right? How then do you set yourself apart as a contractor that genuinely values employee efforts and contributions? How do you let people know that their work has significance and their contributions mean something?

Please tune in this week as Wayne talks about RECOGNITION as a competitive advantage and gives you four tips for how to use recognition correctly to inspire your people and maximize their engagement. What recognition ideas have worked well for you? Please share with us in the comments.

The Contractor Business Boot Camp starts up again on Feb. 9-10- 2023 in Raleigh. Don’t miss out! Enroll your high potential NextGen leaders now before the seats fill up. Contact Charlotte at for more information.

And FBI is hiring! If you know a seasoned construction executive who’d make a great facilitator and consultant, please let Wayne know at

  1. We started a program called Be An Owner Bonus, it encourages staff to think like an owner. Looking out for Safety, Security, Compliance and Community Appearance (we are a multi-family company). If an employee comes up with a great idea that improves any one of a number of targeted areas, we give them a $250 bonus after the idea is vetted by senior team. Then we implement the idea and publish the person in our newsletter. If the idea doesn’t make the cut, we give them a lunch on the company just for trying.

    • Awesome, Carolyn! Thanks for commenting!

  2. We recognize an employee at our quarterly safety meetings along with years of service, their interests, personal comments , and experiences they’ve had at the company. Always makes for good interaction at meeting to break up the more serious issues that come up. We also publish a list of years of tenure on our quarterly newsletter.We have a section that is called benefit corner. Also we pick out a picture from the past and have a quiz which always makes for some comical moments. A company wide catered meal on a separate day to encourage camaraderie and communication. We also involve numerous people from the crew in our training program in our shop. Another perk is a new pair of boots every year to alleviate back and foot issues.
    These little things yield good results. They evolved through efforts by numerous people on our staff which is now managed by Mary Slattery. Thanks again to FBI for bring these issues to light! Al Slattery. ASMI One more thing an old military man once told me “a good solder is a well informed soldier”

    • Great stuff, Al! Thanks.

  3. It is the times we are in I agree you have to kiss everyone’s a$$ basically and pump them up and keep morale up, which is great for production I get it. But at some point as owners when do we get recognized for what we do to keep the ship sailing day in and day out? It’s basically a thankless job. Seems like we always have to pat everyone else on the back, but as owners we get nothing. Gets old holding everyone else up in these times as everyone seems to be asking for more money or trucks to drive and holding you over the barrel. So you pat them on the back and three months later they reach for your wallet again wanting more. It would be nice every once in a while to be thanked for all we do, I won’t lie. We share the profits with our workers, so at the end of the day it’s a team effort, and the owner is part of that team. And yes we value our employees they are the ones in the trenches day to day, but why don’t they value us as owners? Just my 2 cents; a little off topic.

    • I’m sorry you’re discouraged, Paul. In business, “you know what” rolls downhill, and that goes for recognition and appreciation just as much as negative stuff. It’s a one way street most of the time. I’ll have your facilitator bring this up with your peer group for potential creative solutions.

      • I get it it does roll down hill for sure! It would be one thing if employees got all this, appreciated it, and then gave back/cared more. But it seems to be the opposite this year more than Any other of my 30 years. It is what it is, I’m used too giving everything to our crews and taking nothing. we do cookie outs , bring foreman out to dinner for monthly foreman meetings, let the guys use any tool or truck on the weekend, profit sharing bonus, company swag, Christmas parties, company trucks for them to get to jobs and pep talks well on the job on how great every is doing ( which they are ), I know the things to do to keep the TEAM motivated. but once it would be nice if it wasn’t a one-way street, we as owners are human also so why not ” what good for the goose, is good for the gander”.

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