Soft art

Rewards are necessary in any organization.

We give out employee-of-the-month parking spots. We send Jim a Starbucks gift card for going above and beyond with a customer. We hand out bonuses at the end of the year for splendid service.

But these rewards are all forms of reactive gratitude.

Jim shouldn't help the customer because he will get a reward. Jim should impress the customers because he feels committed.

Instead, send Jim flowers for being a team member. Take him out to lunch. Show him he matters. Show him that he's not just a person in a chair with a company email address.

The "soft art" of proactive gratitude matters far more than the bottom line, more than the ROI, more than any amount of growth.

Without Jim, you've got none of those. Make him feel valued.