Reward Employees before Economy Improves

November 8, 2012 Updated Nov 8, 2012 at 8:53 AM EDT

By WKBW News

November 8, 2012 Updated Nov 8, 2012 at 8:53 AM EDT

President Obama says the best is yet to come. If the economy is going to improve, now is the time to recognize your employees. That's the message from Dr. Bob Nelson who is considered one of the world's leading experts on employee motivation and performance. He has written multiple books and has worked with 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies.

I had the opportunity to talk with him at a recent Business First event. Nelson says if you want your employees to perform, you have to recognize and reward them for their hard work every day. As the economy improves, Nelson says many companies are set to lose key employees who will leave for new opportunities. "Wouldn't it be nice if just the deadbeats left," he said. "That's not the case. Usually it's the people who have the most skills, the most aptitude, and includes 25 percent of the top performers. They are planning to leave as the economy improves."

According to Nelson, 85 percent of employees say they don't get recognition at work. Nelson says people come to work for money, but they leave for recognition.

If big bonuses aren't in your company budget, Nelson says little acts go a long way in keeping your workforce happy. One national company learned that last winter. "They couldn't do bonuses and said, 'what could we do?' They agreed to keep all the snow off employees' cars in the winter. It's a silly token thing, but a way to say we're all in it together."

Business First is recognizing WNY's Top Private Companies with a special breakfast event on Tuesday, Nov. 13. It runs from 7:30-9:30 a.m. at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Buffalo. Tickets are $35. You can find more details at or at under News Links.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.