How To Reward Team Members Or Employees Without a Budget

Many leaders would like to reward their subordinates, but don’t have a budget to do so. Liz Ryan at Forbes has some suggestions for leaders, managers and business owners in regards to rewarding employees without dipping into funds they may not have.

Allowing employees a work from home day can be a good way to reward them. If this doesn’t apply to your situation exactly, figure out how to reward your team member by allowing them to work for a day on their own scheduling or location terms.

If you have a dress code, ease up on it. It is no longer just the tech sector or other “young” businesses that have discovered that it is kind of absurd to pretend we need special clothing to get our work done in the business world. Ditch the white collars (at least on Fridays).

Find a way to give your team member a special project that suits their interest or under used skill set or find another job-related opportunity to give them.

Bring in one of the “big wigs” to have a sit down with your team and discuss the vision and future of the company and how they all fit into that picture. If you are the big wig (or not) you might consider bringing in a relevant outsider to lead your pow wow.

Take the time to write an honest and positive letter of recommendation for the team member. Talk to them about why you’d be happy to be a reference in the future, either for advancement within the organization or if they decide to move on.

The latter could be part of regularly scheduled one-on-one sessions with your teammates. Focus on the teammate’s needs and thoughts. Ask them questions. How can you help them?

Whatever you choose to do, a simple gesture highlighting the accomplishments and talents of your employees when monetary or material rewards aren’t an option is the best way to let them know they are appreciated.

What Makes Us Likable?

While leaders often have to make tough or unpopular decisions and deal with many types of uncomfortable situations, in which they might not be viewed in a popular light, likability is a pretty important leadership quality.

In a recent Forbes article, Travis Bradberry does some research to uncover what makes us likable.
Bradberry cites a UCLA study in which 500 participants overwhelming described likable people with descriptors such as “sincerity, transparency and capable of understanding (another person).”

The TalentSmart research Bradberry cites says these descriptors used by participants to describe likable people depict an emotionally intelligent person. Emotionally intelligent people are empathetic and actively try to anticipate the needs of others.

Bradberry then lists 9 traits or mistakes to avoid if you want to be more likable: sharing too much, too early; being closed-minded; gossiping; name-dropping; interrupting a conversation with your phone; emotional extremity (making someone cry or throwing something out of frustration/anger); not asking enough questions (not focusing the conversation on the other person); being too serious; humble bragging.

You’ll note that all all these unlikable traits make us the focus of an encounter instead of the other person—and making the other person the positive focus of an encounter is at the core of what makes a person emotionally intelligent.

Forbes Top Cities to Start a Business

Forbes has a list of top cities to start a business in. They are:

  1. San Diego, CA
    They say small enterprises ranked in the top five in almost every category.
  2. Denver, CO
    They see a trend specifically in real estate, computer design and related fields, personal household goods.
  3. Austin, TX
    This city ranked third only because the two previous ones rose to the top.
  4. Seattle, WA
    Amazon and Microsoft are already here.
  5. Portland, OR
    This city rose to number five because of the they are high in computer software and services, websites, Facebook pages.

For the full article, see

Is Bad Leadership Contagious?

In an article found by Jody’s crew, Forbes contributor Jack Zenger posits just that. He speaks of when he was a VP of Human Resources where there was a dictatorial VP of Administration whose subordinates were fearful of him and complained about him, but turned out to adopt some of his poor qualities as well. When he was terminated, the hope was that they would do well under new leadership but they did not and were ultimately terminated as well.

In the article he goes on to site some studies conducted between “alpha” leaders and their direct reports, “beta” leaders. Then looking at the engagement of the leaders to each other of the top 10% and bottom 10% in comparison, the lower percentile of alpha leaders had much, much lower engagement with their beta leader. This further impacted the next level down (below the the beta leader) as well in the same way.

Is your leadership style outdated?

According to the article “5 Signs Your Leadership Style is Outdated”, Glenn Llopis states “Many leaders in the workplace have lost their competitive edge.” He goes on to say that lack substance for leadership, have grown complacent or tired of improving their skills.

He asks you to define your leadership style in one word. These are his signs that you are behind the times in your leadership:

  1. You make bad decisions
  2. You grow complacent
  3. Your selfishness
  4. Your likability factor falters
  5. You stop reinventing

Has your leadership style become passe? Read the full article.

~ Jody Victor

How to spot great leadership had an article called “8 Ways to Spot Great Leadership”. Mike Myatt, the contributing author, starts out citing what leadership is not. Then he gives the list of things to look for in a great leader and expands on them.

They are:

  1. Not about the platform
  2. The art of and not or
  3. Ubiquity
  4. Not tone deaf
  5. Willing to take the hit
  6. Understand compromise
  7. No paralysis
  8. Alignment

You can read the article here.

~ Jody Victor