Great Ways for Managers to Recognize Employees

Episode 19

Episode overview

In this episode, Pete and Ricky discuss some unique employee recognition ideas. Listen to hear their thoughts on the various ways you can show your staff their hard work and efforts are appreciated, including:

46 minutes

View transcript

Ways to keep your employees engaged

1. Public recognition. When your employee goes above and beyond, make sure to recognize them for their good work and be thoughtful with it. Remember to be conscious of each employee individually and cater this recognition in a way they will feel most comfortable.
2. Financial rewards. The opportunity to earn more money is always a great motivator.
3. Time off. Give your employees time off from work to spend time with their family and to do the things they love. This is a great way to not only recognize your employee but reward them for their hard work as well.
4. Have a virtual party. Stray away from the typical virtual happy hours and get creative with it. Make these virtual get-togethers something your employees look forward to.
5. Giving gifts. Give your employees something that they probably wouldn’t get to experience otherwise. Whether it’s symbolic or an all-expense-paid trip, make it meaningful.

Additional resources

Unique Employee Recognition Ideas
How to Invest in Employee Development
Everything You Need To Know About Virtual Team Building
Attract Top Candidates With These 11 In-Demand Perks and Benefits

Pete Newsome

About Pete Newsome

Pete Newsome is the president of 4 Corner Resources, the nationally acclaimed staffing and recruiting firm he founded in 2005. His mission back then was the same as it is today: to do business in a personal way, while building an organization with boundless opportunities for ingenuity and advancement. When not managing 4 Corner’s growth or spending time with his family of six, you can find Pete sharing his sales and business expertise through public speaking, writing, and as the host of the Hire Calling podcast.

Ricky Baez

About Rick Baez

Efrain “Ricky” Baez Jr. is a published human resources professional specializing in strategically aligning HR competencies to business goals with a down to earth, common sense approach. Ricky is a four- year veteran of the United States Marine Corps and holds a Masters degree in Human Resources (MHR) from Rollins College and an SPHR certification from the Human Resources Certification Institute. Ricky is also a faculty member for the Master of Human Resources program at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida.


Ricky Baez 0:00
Hello, this is Ricky Baez and you’re listening to the Hire Calling Podcast.

Pete Newsome 0:11
Welcome, everyone. And thank you for listening to the Hire Calling Podcast, your source for all things hiring, staffing, and recruiting. I’m Pete Newsome, and I’m here on a Friday with Ricky Baez. Ricky, how are you today?

Ricky Baez 0:23
I’m happy Pete.

Pete Newsome 0:25
You’re happy. Good.

Ricky Baez 0:26
Ask me why.

Pete Newsome 0:27
I will. Why are you happy?

Ricky Baez 0:30
Thank you for asking. I really appreciate that. I was really thoughtful of you. It’s Friday, Pete. It’s Friday. There’s a weekend coming. Don’t get me wrong. I love what I get to do. But I also love some downtime. I love sometimes, I love some time with the family, especially being here in Central Florida.

Pete Newsome 0:46
Good. All right. Do you have any big plans then that you’re looking forward to?

Ricky Baez 0:49
I’ve got some plans you’ve never heard of. Are you ready?

Pete Newsome 0:52

Ricky Baez 0:53
I’m going to Disney. I mean, that’s where I go every other weekend.

Pete Newsome 0:57
This is what you do. So yes.

Ricky Baez 0:59
Yeah, actually. But you know what, we’re not going to the parks, we’re going, I think I shared with you, we own Disney Vacation Club contracts, which is Disney’s version of a timeshare. So, we own a couple of contracts. So, we’re just going to go to the Animal Kingdom Resort, and we got one of those rooms that you open up the back-screen door, you see the giraffes just hanging out right there with you. So, we’re just going to do that this weekend. Yeah, man. Can’t wait.

Pete Newsome 1:21
That’s a good deal. Good for you.

Ricky Baez 1:23
Love it. Yeah.

Pete Newsome 1:24
Have fun, I will not be going to Disney this weekend, so.

Ricky Baez 1:28
It’s cool. I’ll send you pictures and a bunch of videos, you’ll like it.

Pete Newsome 1:32
I did my time there with the four kids. We often had the annual passes. But we’re a little past that stage, they’re spread out a little more now. So, we can’t go as often as we used to. But you can send me pictures.

Ricky Baez 1:48
Roger that.

Pete Newsome 1:49
Of the giraffe.

Ricky Baez 1:51
Will do. And I wonder if the giraffe is looking for a job, maybe we’ll get him in here and see what happens.

Pete Newsome 1:59
There’s a little bit of that going on right now. But we’re going to today talk about once you’ve hired an employee, In the last podcast we ended with what you do to recognize or I’m sorry to make sure a new hire is comfortable, you know how to do as good a job as you can with onboarding. And then there’s life after that, which is its own set of considerations to apply. So, let’s talk about that today.

Ricky Baez 2:30
Let’s do that. So just to recap real quick Pete. So, we started off with helping a candidate get ready to research for their interview, how to put their resume together, how to interview, and what to do after the fact from the onboarding perspective. So, then we spoke to HR to kind of let them know what to do with the onboarding process. And now they’re done with onboarding, they’re ready to rock and roll.

Ricky Baez 2:55
How do we keep them engaged? So, engaging. What do leaders need to know, and HR needs to know, especially these days? Because these are trying times you know this, I know this. So, we got to be really, what’s the word, I’m looking for, creative, we got to be really creative, which that wasn’t a hard word to figure out. I don’t know why I was having a hard time. We got to be really creative in how we keep people engaged.

Pete Newsome 3:17
Yeah, there’s a need for that right now. Because there’s such a labor war happening. You could argue there’s a need for it, always, but now more than ever, and I do mean that more than ever because we have 11 million job openings right now in the US, we only have 8.3 million job seekers. So, employers need to be paying close attention to keeping their employees happy.

Pete Newsome 3:44
This is very simple, right now, simply to acknowledge, not as simple to execute, right? Because if you’re not used to doing that, you’re going to have to adapt pretty quickly and make those changes. You know, creative, yes, thoughtful, absolutely. Right. That, you know, for sure needs to be part of it right now.

Ricky Baez 4:06
And one size doesn’t really fit all, right. It’s you really have to know what kind of employee you have. So, you know, what motivates him or her. That way you get the best bang for your buck with that type of motivation device, right?

Pete Newsome 4:20
Absolutely. Absolutely. So, we put a blog up on this topic a couple of days ago, and we picked out five specific things from the list, I believe there were 20 tips on our blog.

Ricky Baez 4:32
Yep, there were 20 of them.

Pete Newsome 4:33
So please visit that, You can access all of our blogs there. But we picked out five that we thought would be interesting to talk about. And as always, when we do this, we’ll see how different perspectives may be on some of this, where I think we’ve established that I’m a little slower to adapt to some of these things, right.

Ricky Baez 5:01
I get you.

Pete Newsome 5:03
And that’s why you’re here, you’re here to make sure that that you do those things beyond just focused on the work at hand. So, let’s start, what’s the, HR guy, what is the number one, what is one of the five that you picked out that we wanted to talk about today?

Ricky Baez 5:23
Here’s one I picked out and I picked this one up for a reason because it opens up a larger dialogue about public recognition. So that’s my first one, public recognition. Obviously, if you have an employee who just knocks it out of the park, and is doing a really good job for you, you want to be able to recognize that employee. But the reason I picked up public recognition is that you’ve got to be careful with that one as well. You got to be really thoughtful with it.

Ricky Baez 5:52
Because it’s, you know, every team, every company has different personalities, different points of view, different walks of life, right? So, you get people who are introverted, you get people who are extroverted. So, recognition is key. But you got to make sure who you’re recognizing and when, right. So public recognition is a good one. Because that way, when that work shows, that work shines, and you want to be able to let that employee and anybody know that they did a good job. But let me. Go ahead.

Pete Newsome 6:27
No go ahead, keep going. Because I’m going to ask you to clarify something on that.

Ricky Baez 6:31
So, what I was going to say is, is that, but you got to be careful because if you publicly recognize somebody who’s an introvert, that will backfire on you. And I’ve seen that happen. I’ve seen that happen about 10 years ago. A quick little story here Pete, about 10 years ago, I was working for an organization that was sales-driven. So, we had this one project manager who was in charge of a project. And what he did was phenomenal.

Ricky Baez 6:58
He created this algorithm that really put his team ahead of everybody else. So, they knocked it out of the park for that quarter. I knew this project manager, the leader of that team, they didn’t know this person as well as I did. So, we’re at a quarterly meeting, right? 500 people. So now you can see what’s happening here. So, the VP of the region stood up and said, Hey, so and so did an amazing job, knocked it out of the park in the quarter, come up here. We’re going to give them a $1,000 gift card and brought him to the stage.

Ricky Baez 7:32
Everybody’s clapping, cameras are flashing. And he is about to pass out, Pete. He’s about to pass. He’s walking right, now he’s doing it right because he doesn’t want to let his boss down, his team down. But I’m watching this poor guy, and I’m like, he’s going to pass out on stage. And I’m like, please don’t ask him to speak. He asked him to speak. So, he’s like, no, I’m just, I’m not a hero. Just doing my job and went back, you know, back downstairs right? After that meeting, I went to him first. I’m like, Are you good? He’s like, it’s, I just need some time. I’m like, you want the rest of the day off. He’s like, can I? Go.

Ricky Baez 8:08
Because he was a nervous wreck. Right? I went to the leader, and I’m like Hey, you got two minutes from me, man. He said, yeah what’s going on? So, I told him what happened. Hey, when you called him up there, did you know that he doesn’t like to be in the spotlight? He’s like, No, I didn’t know that. And I’m like Yeah, next time, look, what we did today, we 100% solidified that what he just did, and what we recognize him for, he’s never going to do it again.

Pete Newsome 8:35
That’s right, he’s going to go the opposite way.

Ricky Baez 8:37
Because he doesn’t want to be recognized. So, I told him next time, just let me know. Or you know what, maybe take them out to lunch, so you can get to know him a little bit better, so you know how he can be recognized. Because I don’t think he’s going to do that again.

Pete Newsome 8:49
Yeah, well okay, so you answered the question that I was going to ask, what about those folks who would prefer that that does not happen. The last thing you’d want to do is take what should be a really good thing and turn it into a bad one, but I can see it, I can see that it would happen. You know, public recognition is an interesting thing, because even some folks who may not be introverts may not see the value in that, right.

Ricky Baez 9:17
That may not, you know, but I know it is a big thing, worthy of doing for the vast majority of people who want that confirmation that they’re doing a good job, they want the recognition in front of their peers, their organization, I think that’s a really good thing to do. But to your point, might be worth just a quick conversation ahead of time with that individual. Right?

Ricky Baez 9:42
Yeah, because you know, somebody who’s an introvert, the best way to recognize them is just giving them a thank you note, a personalized thank you note. Here you go, thank you very much. I really appreciate it. They appreciate that. Extroverts, the opposite is true, right? If you give an extrovert a little thank you note, nobody else knows about it and they’re not motivated. You got some people who crave that spotlight.

Ricky Baez 10:02
So I guess the first tip is public recognition, but it comes with an asterisk, which means get to know your employees, build that relationship first, start to build that relationship, that way, you know, what makes each employee tick. And now you know how to motivate, how to design that motivation device specifically tailored for them, that way it works for them to get the ROI that you’re looking for.

Pete Newsome 10:26
Now, do you think that’s a realistic thing for a big company to do? You know, can you really, can you really get to that level of having such unique ways of recognizing people?

Ricky Baez 10:39
Absolutely. Now, do I expect the CEO of a Fortune 500 company to personally know the analyst that’s on the first floor? No, right. But if the CEO becomes aware of a great job, this person did, that CEO should be asking down the line. Hey, talk to me about Bob, talk to me about Susan, how did they do, blah, blah, blah, blah. How do you think they would like to be recognized? Right, what would they like? And if each level of leadership has done their due diligence to build those relationships, both up and down that chain of command? The answer should be blaring all the way up that chain of command. It really should.

Pete Newsome 11:18
What about individual rewards, right? Whereat, you know, at a large company, 5000 employees, 10,000, 100,000? We know that we’ve now identified, which of course we should, that some people aren’t going to like that public recognition.

Ricky Baez 11:37

Pete Newsome 11:39
How do you handle it? Can you handle it if you’re that large of an organization? Where do you get, to drill down that far is going to be really, really tough?

Ricky Baez 11:48
It would, right. But it won’t always come from the top right? I mean, especially if you get so big, I mean, let’s use a great example. What’s Amazon, a behemoth. Right? I highly doubt Jeff Bezos has any time to get off his rocket ship and go to all these other places, you know, all these other warehouses and this huge company that he built to personally thank everybody. I mean, he just doesn’t have that time. His leadership does, right.

Ricky Baez 12:17
So that can be done either at a corporate level and that executive level at the team level, at the, it really depends on the different layer, right? Because just because it doesn’t happen at the corporate level, it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t happen at the team or local level. But at the very least at the local level, that relationship has to be there too, I almost said hold people accountable. I got that in my head, I’m sorry. To recognize people into what they need to do, and holding them accountable as well, since we’re talking about it.

Pete Newsome 12:49
They probably were holding themselves accountable in order to get to the point of recognition. But yeah, I think you just gave the right answer, right? It needs to be done. It doesn’t need to be done from the very top. Now, for me, I’m going to throw out the next one here. Because when, you know, when I say that I’m a little old school with certain things.

Pete Newsome 13:12
I wouldn’t personally care as much about them, or in the past, when I was an employee I’ll say, I didn’t as much care about the public recognition as I wanted the cash. I would want, you know, great that you want to give me, you know, something, you know, a plaque. But there were dollars buying in that plaque, that I probably would have rather had that. So, you know, that, to me is a great way to recognize employees. What do you think about that one? Give them some money, show them the money.

Ricky Baez 13:45
Look, let’s be honest here, Pete. The reason I’m here and the reason you’re here, again, and I’ve used this term so many times, so you’re probably getting tired of me using it. We are not a non-profit organization. We’re a business. We’re here to make money, help our clients. That’s how we do this. We make money by helping our clients reach their goals. That said, money is always a great motivator. It really is, right?

Ricky Baez 14:12
To some people though. For other people it may not be right, because to me if you gave me money for a job well done, awesome, but you know, what makes a big impact, an even bigger impact instead of me giving somebody $1,000 or $500 right? Let’s say I know they love video games and they just love it right? And I get them a PS5 because I know that’s what they love. Here’s a PS5, here’s a TV to go with it, you know the equal amount of what you would have given them right?

Ricky Baez 14:43
So, to me, that sends a bigger thank you because not only that you do a good job and I’m appreciative, but I know what you like, I know you personally and I know this is going to resonate with you even more. Right? So, everybody’s different but yet monetary rewards work, they motivate people, right? But again, it goes back to building that relationship to see who you give that money to.

Pete Newsome 15:09
Yeah, and I’ll have to challenge you again on that.

Ricky Baez 15:11

Pete Newsome 15:12
If you’re a big organization, or if you’re not, if it’s not practical, and I think in many cases, it wouldn’t be practical to look at that reward. And even for a small organization say, Well, I know this is what Ricky would like. So I’m going to do this for Ricky, but I’m going to do something else for Pete. That becomes a challenge, I think, and potentially an unrealistic one, you almost have to pick your thing, whatever it is, and stick with it, or do you have a different thought on that? Can you really get to that personal level realistically?

Ricky Baez 15:45
I think you could, you know, the same thing with the last one, with the last point right, at different levels, how big the organization is, if it’s done at the local level, you should be able to figure out who likes what, right. Now, let’s say and I know, this happens quite a bit, these large organizations, right, they do have that end-of-the-year party, that end-of-the-year celebration, to see who the top employee is. The last company, I worked for, used to send people on these cruises, and these all-expense-paid cruises.

Ricky Baez 16:17
And Pete, people will literally throw other people under the bus because that’s how prestigious this award was. Right? So, another thing we can do above and beyond monetary reward, if you build some pomp and circumstance around it, right, it takes away that stigma, oh it’s just money or it’s just this. No, I want that ship trip, because that’s what they call it. A ship trip, making sure I say that right, S H I P. Right.

Ricky Baez 16:48
But I mean, if you build some pomp and circumstance around it, it builds more value with it. One of the students that I had about five years ago told me an amazing story, Pete. And this is perfect for this right here. Every time somebody hit a five-year tenure with an organization, the CEO would give them a $5 bill, just a $5 bill. And people will go nuts over it. And I did not understand why. And I figured it out. The reason people go nuts over because the CEO gives such reverence, to have such value to it, and to have this big, humongous presentation with a plaque because they didn’t use that $5 bill.

Ricky Baez 17:34
All the executive teams signed it. I know federally you’re not supposed to do that. But all the executive teams signed it. And he says thank you for your service. And it was this big thing. And one of the things people do when you go into the office, you see people put up pictures of their family or their achievements, or they got their doctorate. No, they had the $5 bill plaque up first.

Pete Newsome 17:53

Ricky Baez 17:54
And how much did that cost? 20 bucks, 15 for the frame, and $5 for the five dollars. Right. But if you give it some reverence, you give it some value, and you build some pomp and circumstance for the beginning on down for the CEO on that, that’s something organizations can do that is so big, that they create this, I don’t want to call it a facade, they create this, this environment that they value specific things that really motivate people to really move that needle from A to B.

Pete Newsome 18:20
I think that’s a really important point. So, you know, whether it’s a list of 20 ideas or five, how you present it, how you approach it, is probably more meaningful than any other component of the recognition. And it’s good to hear you say it, I kind of have to laugh at myself, because that’s not a natural strength of mine to do. I mean it when I say, hey, let me give you the money and show that that is the best way that I think, you know, for me, it’s meaningful, right? To give someone a financial reward.

Pete Newsome 19:04
But the way in which it’s done is really critical. And you thinking of those things is, you know, makes a difference. You know, I absolutely see it. So, in a situation where there’s someone like me who doesn’t match, is not naturally inclined to do those things. I recognize it. I’m trying to make myself feel better here. I recognize it at least and say, this is not my strength, let me make sure, you know, there’s someone who, whose strength who does it more naturally, who’s going to do a much better job, and that’s okay. But you make a really good point here. So, I’m going to pay closer attention from now on.

Ricky Baez 19:54
Thank you.

Pete Newsome 19:55
I am. I am. Look I’m just you know, I’ve got blinders on when it comes to business a lot of times, and don’t stop and enjoy and appreciate things along the way, where my mentality is, I expect to be successful, I expect our employees to be successful. So, you know, I tend to take that probably to an extreme. And stop and have to realize, gosh, we have to enjoy it along the way too, right? We do have to stop and smell the roses, so to speak. And so, it’s not necessarily about what the gift is, but it’s about the fact that you’re doing it. And, again, that’s why you’re here.

Ricky Baez 20:48
Thanks. Excellent. I appreciate that. We got three more, right?

Pete Newsome 20:53
We do. Okay, where are we going next?

Ricky Baez 20:56
Here’s the third one. And this one, this one Pete is as old as work itself, right? Time off. Just regular time off. I’m not talking about whatever you get for PTO, right, if somebody does an amazing job, above, and again, let’s be clear, I’m not talking about the people who perform what’s in their job description. That’s not what I’m talking about, right? Because the people who do exactly what’s in their job description, they are rewarded every single paycheck, right? I’m talking above and beyond.

Ricky Baez 21:28
So, if somebody just knocks it out of the park, and you’ll be surprised how many people will climb over other people, if you tell them we’ll give you a four-day all-expense paid trip to the Bahamas or a trip, whatever it is, again, you build some pomp and circumstance around that, but you give some time off. So, they can spend time with their families, spend some time doing whatever they really love, and it helps them with a work-life balance. That’s a hot topic these days.

Pete Newsome 21:55
It is, so much so that companies are offering it as a perk.

Ricky Baez 21:59

Pete Newsome 21:59
To come work there, unlimited time off. Now given everything I just admitted to about myself and my mentality, that’s one that’s really been hard to sort of wrap my brain around, even though we’ve incorporated that ourselves into our benefits where you can earn, earn not just granted, we’re not there yet and I don’t think we will be. But you can earn unlimited vacation days.

Ricky Baez 22:25
That’s right.

Pete Newsome 22:26
Effectively through performance. And that, to me is sort of a really nice way to combine the recognition and the reward together in the form of time off, which really, I think has become as important as compensation, as important as anything you could give an employee is a time. Give them freedom of time.

Pete Newsome 22:32
We, you know, yeah, I think that’s a really important one. Now, from the company’s perspective, though you know, that one is, I always have to think, well by giving them time off, you’re giving the person who was doing such a great job for you, time off. Well, who’s going to do a great job while they’re not there?

Ricky Baez 23:15
Good point. Good point.

Pete Newsome 23:17
It’s on some level.

Ricky Baez 23:19
So, you know, so can I add a bonus to that one, can I add an extra oomph to time off. So right now, I’m talking to HR and I’m talking to the business leaders that actually award this time off. The last thing you want to do, if you award somebody time off for a great job that they did, the last thing you want to do is to devalue that time off. And here’s what I mean by that.

Ricky Baez 23:45
When they go out, go the extra mile to make sure that great work is being done. And nothing stays stagnant and builds up when they come back. Because if their work isn’t done, when they’re out when they come back, not only do they come back to their plate, but they come back to a week’s worth of plate that just wasn’t touched. And it takes away the oomph, it takes away the joy out of it.

Ricky Baez 24:10
Because if they know they’re going to come back to even triple the work than what they left before then what’s the point of going out, to begin with. So, when you give that time off, make sure that leaders, do everything possible to make sure when they come back, they don’t come back to an accumulated plate of work. That way they can really have a great time coming back to work.

Pete Newsome 24:32
So, man, I’m just Scrooge today apparently because now I’m thinking, how? I mean that sounds wonderful, it does. But I also, as a business owner, and as someone who makes a living off of staffing and understanding hiring, and at a very deep level, that is a very noble thing to shoot for. It’s, it sounds wonderful. But the practicality of it is, I don’t know that it’s there, it’s much easier said than done.

Pete Newsome 25:15
When we think of our top employees, the ones who should be rewarded with that extra time off, it’s not so easy to replace them, it’s not so easy to pick up the slack. Now I’m someone who’s very sensitive to respecting that time off and not doing it in a way where you say, here’s your time off, but we’re going to bother you all day anyway. You know, we’re going to still expect you to work while you’re off. But I don’t know that in most cases, or maybe in many cases, it’s what you just suggested is, is going to be easy to do by the employer, because now you’re putting a burden on someone else.

Pete Newsome 25:56
So that’s sort of a weird thing, right? If you think about it, Ricky gets all the time off. Now Pete has to make up the slack for Ricky. Oh, now maybe you go well, Pete, work a little harder. And you’ll get the time off as Ricky did, maybe you’re sending a real kind of different message with that. But I think a lot of times, these things, I think it goes without saying that any employer wants a happy staff, wants happy employees, I can’t imagine one that would not. We see employers criticized a lot right now, because of the labor shortage that exists in the restaurant space in particular.

Pete Newsome 26:41
And I say in particular there because we all are seeing that, you know, firsthand. You want to go to a restaurant. Well, half the tables are empty, because they don’t have staff. One of the popular restaurants here in Orlando, I heard just yesterday, my wife told me they had to temporarily close because they couldn’t find any staff. That was the sign on their door. And we all have those, you know, those stories lately. And it’s easy to criticize the restaurant owner. And you see that on social media, they need to pay more. Maybe, I don’t really have much insight into the restaurant business because we don’t operate at that level.

Pete Newsome 27:20
In the podcast I did by myself a couple of weeks ago talking about the labor situation, I did mention the same thing. But we in the staffing business see it across companies of all sizes, we see it across all verticals, across all industries, across all department types. There is a labor shortage. And I promise you, every company I know of wants to keep their employees happy, wants to pay their employees as much as they can. And something’s got to give at some point in those situations.

Pete Newsome 27:52
So, if the restaurant pays their employees, significantly more than they had in the past, odds are they’re going to raise their prices significantly. Now, I have to question why that’s not already happening. Why aren’t they paying what they need to and then operating accordingly? But it’s not my place to have an opinion on those decisions of others because I don’t have enough insight to have that opinion. But I know from what we’re seeing in the market right now, companies are paying more and, you know, to a significant degree.

Pete Newsome 28:29
So, they’re trying to keep their employees happy. But there’s always another side to these stories is really the point that I wanted to make a little, you know, 10 minutes ago, when we started talking about this. But that time off is a good example, when someone is out, something is not being done, right, assuming that job was important and necessary. Is there less customer service taking place? Are there fewer sales taking place? The work is piling up. So yeah, it’d be great to have them not come back to it. But I don’t, I don’t know that that’s always realistic.

Ricky Baez 29:07
I’ll tell you this, Pete. And I said, time off. I didn’t say it will be easy. Right. So, it’s going to take some work. And I’m going to give you some kudos because I don’t think you’re realizing this. So as soon as you started answering that about five minutes ago, I’m like, he’s not realizing that you did this, just about a month ago, Pete. And you know what I’m talking about, a key player of ours went on a well, he went on a good trip. It was, he was working really hard. It’s well deserved. And he stepped away, right? You stepped in and you’re like, you know what, I can’t let this fall apart.

Ricky Baez 29:47
I’m going to step in, and I’m going to do this because he deserves to be out. Right? So, you did it right. So, you didn’t leave it for anybody else, you stepped in and that’s what every leader should do. I mean, that’s what I do, right, because if my key player needs to be out for whatever reason, or even, I’m going to give them time off just because they did a great job, to me it’s worth my time to step in, do that person’s job, that way they come back to a clean slate. So, I don’t know if you realize it, you did that about a month ago.

Pete Newsome 30:17
I did. I do realize, I know what you’re talking about. And I insisted, it was kind of funny. But I was serious, like, you’re not allowed to contact this guy while he’s out, it has to come through me. And then I’ll decide if, in case of emergency, we need to contact him. And I’m happy to say we did not. And so, life does go on. Right, we know that. And so maybe work piling up can be relative. But the reality of that situation was that wasn’t an easy week for me.

Pete Newsome 30:51
Because assuming I’m already busy, or at capacity, to then take on the role of someone else is just something that’s not easy to do. But what we, back to the point, we know that time off, because we’re also busy, because it’s hard to be off ever right now with technology and cell phones and you mentioned cruises earlier, I used to love going on cruises, because it was the one time you couldn’t be accessible. And now those days are over. Right?

Ricky Baez 31:26
As soon as you buy the internet package.

Pete Newsome 31:29
Yeah, and it happens. And I remember years ago being when I was an employee, I came off of a cruise. And the first thing, I mean, I had so much anxiety, turning my phone back on, my Blackberry I think it was at the time, and then seeing what messages I had missed. And guess what, the world was still spinning, the sun is still rising, and life went on. Yes. Did I have some catching up to do? Sure.

Pete Newsome 31:53
But man was it worth it to have the peace and quiet and relaxation time along the way. So, while we may not be on entirely the same page, that having the employee come back to no more work than when they left. But if you’re going to give someone time off, give them the time off. We can for sure agree on that.

Ricky Baez 32:18
Absolutely. And it’s a perfect segue, you talked about the kind of an environment that we’re in, everything’s virtual. What do you do? What do you do when half of your team is virtual, the other half is in the office and you have these parties, these get-togethers, and not everybody can go because they’re virtual? Here’s the answer. So, tip number four, have a virtual party. And here’s what that means. Now, I know we’ve had virtual happy hours, a lot of people have done that in the past, right?

Ricky Baez 32:49
They do that every week. But I mean something special. I don’t mean, let’s log in. Let’s all drink something, you know, have some drinks. I’m talking about having good planning. So, for example, somebody hits their 10-year anniversary, right? Or better yet, they really knocked it out of the park with whatever project right. And I don’t know, they made the company 10 more million dollars, I’m pulling this number out of the air, right? So, a good way how to recognize that person who’s virtual, right?

Ricky Baez 33:17
Get them a gift card, get them a gift, if you know them well enough that you know what they like and what they don’t like if they love flowers, give them a big bouquet of flowers, ship it to them without them knowing and make sure you set up a meeting around the same time they’re about to receive it. Or if you know their significant other, you plan it with that person. Pete, my previous team did this for me a couple of years ago. It was Boss’ Day, and I am horrible. And I mean horrible at remembering Boss’ Day.

Ricky Baez 33:46
I remember to tell my boss happy Boss’ Day when my team does it for me, I’m like, oh my god, I forgot. That’s today. I got to let my boss know. Anyway, so they got together with my wife. They know I love Puerto Rican food. And Pete you see me, I love Puerto Rican food. Okay, so there’s this restaurant in Sanford, for those of you who don’t know, it’s about an hour and 20 minutes from Lake Nona. They went out of their way to order it and have it delivered to my wife. My wife came upstairs right when I was going on the zoom call. My wife walked in, the team is there, and they’re like, Where’s your wife?

Ricky Baez 34:22
I’m like, she’s right here. What is going on? And they all surprise me. Because of the time it took to plan it, how creative it was. That really meant a lot. And that was three, four years ago. I still remember, in the back of my mind, something special that happened to me at work. So, I guess my point here is if you do a virtual party to recognize somebody, make it memorable, make it special, make it unique for them and really plan it as if the virtual aspect wasn’t really there.

Pete Newsome 34:53
You’re right and that is where creativity comes in, that you mentioned earlier. I think that you can really apply it there and have fun with it, versus just doing the same thing over and over. And we fell into that trap a little bit, right? When we all went out for COVID, where we were having birthday videos that we would put together every time it was someone’s birthday. So, for our internal staff of, you know, around 25, folks back then, everyone would just leave a clip, and we’d put them together as a compilation.

Pete Newsome 35:29
And then we would play that on our Monday morning, or whatever day, their birthday was, we’d have a zoom and play it. But after 20 of them, you know, it sort of started to become, you know, you can only hear Happy Birthday some many times. So, we did start individually to get a little creative and try to make them funny, but even that becomes, you know, it’s only so much you can do. And so, we made the conscious decision to stop doing those. And I think everyone was.

Ricky Baez 36:01
Okay with it.

Pete Newsome 36:03
Other than the first person who’s the next person whose birthday it was, felt slighted. But.

Ricky Baez 36:08
Ah true.

Pete Newsome 36:09
It started off as a great thing. And then it was okay, should we, and then it was like, let’s absolutely stop these. And whoever brought it up first, I don’t remember the exact conversation or who was involved. But it was a collective quick, yes, thankfully, we will, you know, shoot this idea and not do it anymore.

Pete Newsome 36:30
But as a result, but on the other side of that, we need to continue to find other things and be creative. So, you mentioned that earlier, I’m glad you did. Because in a case like this, the more creative the better. Yeah, have fun with it. Because being virtual and having a virtual happy hour, as you said, everyone’s done it. It’s not that fun. Yeah, it’s kind of awkward, right?

Ricky Baez 36:55
It is. I’m like all right, I’m drinking at home. I mean, I know I’m not alone, because I’m talking to the TV. But okay, fine, but yeah, it’s you just got to get creative with it. I mean that’s the key.

Pete Newsome 37:08
I’m in, be creative. Okay, so we touched on this earlier. But, you know, the fifth thing we’re going to talk about is, is giving gifts. And that could mean a huge range of things from a $5 bill, which is more just symbolic, I think. And it’s still $5, I don’t mean to disregard that. I’ll take it, you know, just if it was on the ground, I’d pick it up and be happy. I found $5. Don’t get me wrong.

Pete Newsome 37:37
But that’s symbolic, versus a cruise, which is, you know, an expensive thing. And then companies give watches for anniversaries, as recognition. So, there’s a wide variety of things there. Now, the question becomes that I’ll ask you is, there’s a point where the gift stands alone, where it’s not just symbolic, right? Like you could give a gift that is meaningful in a whole different way.

Pete Newsome 38:08
And because even a cruise I would say is, okay, what I like about that is you may not pay for that cruise on your own, right, you’re going to get to experience something that you may or may not otherwise do. So that’s what I think if you’re going to give a gift, and it’s going to be more than something that’s just symbolic. I like the idea of giving employees something that they, you know, probably wouldn’t get to experience otherwise.

Ricky Baez 38:37
So, as you’re saying that I remember that clip from the office. And I don’t know if you remember this. It was a, you know, the show The Office with Michael Scott and everything. Yeah, I mean, some people don’t know, just saying, right.

Pete Newsome 38:51
There’s absolutely no one who doesn’t know.

Ricky Baez 38:53
I guarantee you, somebody.

Pete Newsome 38:55
Let me caveat that. There’s no one who has found this podcast that doesn’t know what The Office is.

Ricky Baez 39:00

Pete Newsome 39:00
There are people who don’t know, but they’re not listening. They’re not listening here.

Ricky Baez 39:04
Touché. You’re correct. But on this one episode, it was the Christmas episode, and they were having the gift exchange. And the rule was no more than $25. Right? If people are doing this thing, and Michael Scott gets the iPod, which is like $400. Everybody’s fighting over it. It’s the funniest, I love that episode.

Pete Newsome 39:32
It’s probably a top-five Office episode. Right?

Ricky Baez 39:36
Yes. We should have an episode, our episode talking about the top five clips from The Office because I have a bunch. I got the fire drill was hilarious. And the CPR one, but anyway, we’ll talk later about that. But it reminded me of that and hear you say about how it used to be meaningful. You are 100% right. It also has to be relevant. Right? Because you can’t give away a cruise just because somebody hit the metrics for the week, right? It just, it just doesn’t jive. Right.

Ricky Baez 40:11
But if you’re the Employee of the Year, right, obviously, the organization is going to dish out 5, 6, 7 grand, for a trip. So, it’s got to be relative to. Now, going back to what I said earlier, it’s all about getting to know the employees as well, getting to know who they are and who you have on your staff. Now, I’ve told you a bunch of stories. Pete, I got one more that relates to gifts. I was consulting with this one.

Pete Newsome 40:37
This doesn’t have anything to do with you in a CPR class and a CPR doll?

Ricky Baez 40:44
I know I come across like Dwight, but I would never do what he did.

Pete Newsome 40:47
By the way, that’s probably the single funniest scene in all of The Office episodes.

Ricky Baez 40:52
Yes, I’m going to watch it tonight now.

Pete Newsome 40:54
But go on.

Ricky Baez 40:55
So, there’s one client I had, a long time ago. Older gentlemen, right, but his crew was like in their early 20s. Right. So, he wanted to put a contest together, right, that he will get concert tickets, right. Now listen, this was from about 10 years ago. He wanted to get concert tickets. And he was promoting it. He was so excited. Pete, Hall, and Oates. He wanted to get Hall and Oates tickets. And everybody’s like, Huh, right. Nobody said a word. Right? And the matches are not going up. But he said what’s going on. So, he brought me in. I’m looking into it. I’m taking looking at the demographic that works for him. I’m taking a look at him.

Ricky Baez 41:39
And I might look, I grew up in the 80s. I love Hall and Oates. I don’t think his crew knows who they are. So, I’m telling him, I’m like, Look, I’m sure you spend quite a bit on these tickets. Right. But I don’t think this prize is going to help you get the traction you’re looking to get. He’s like, Ricky it’s Hall and Oates. I’m like, I know, they don’t know who they are. Right? They really think it’s a cereal. So no, I think you should get something else. Anyway, and that’s a 100% true story. The reason I

Pete Newsome 42:15
Full disclosure, I’ve seen Hall and Oates.

Ricky Baez 42:17
So have I, Sherm 2010, San Diego, Hall, and Oates, were both on stage and you’d be surprised how many people were there with them. Quite a bit.

Pete Newsome 42:27
No, no, I saw them at Tampa stadium years ago in the 80s when I was in high school, and it was, Hall and Oates, Chicago, which was really cool. And Rod Stewart. It was a, yeah, it was a good gig.

Ricky Baez 42:43
How much, how much per ticket?

Pete Newsome 42:46
Not much, probably. Yeah, it was a cool day. It was at the stadium. I think it was like a, it was holiday like Fourth of July or something. And we went and I was in high school. And it was, we were out on the stadium field. And yeah, it was just a great day. And it ended with a firework show right above the stage.

Ricky Baez 43:07
So real quick Pete, how many people right now do you think are googling who’s Hall and Oates? How many people are googling that right now?

Pete Newsome 43:16
I think we’re pretty safe with that.

Ricky Baez 43:19
We are, yeah, I think so too. But yeah, you know, I guess what I’m saying is that and I’ve been saying this throughout this entire show is, get to know your people, get to know who your audiences. And this is common whenever you’re going to go speaking somewhere before you talk on the topic, you have to know who the audience is. Well, if you’re going to give somebody a gift for a job well done, for recognition, know who your audience are, know what they love. I mean, don’t give somebody right, I don’t know, I’m just pulling this out of the air.

Ricky Baez 43:51
You know, a $10 gift card, you know, to get cheese somewhere when they’re lactose intolerant, it’s just not going to work, right? You wouldn’t have known that unless you would have had that conversation with that person. But it really goes a long way when somebody sees Wow, they really thought about this and just the action to get that person that recognition sometimes has the same impact as the recognition itself, and that’s important.

Pete Newsome 44:13
I agree and I think that’s probably a good place for us to wrap up, is that it’s the thought that counts. The thought has to be there and so if you’re not inclined to do that naturally like I’ve confessed it to be. Figure out how to do it anyway.

Ricky Baez 44:31

Pete Newsome 44:32
Because even though I could let days turn into weeks and months and not have that thought, I understand the value in it and know that it has to be done. So, I have to take a different sort of course of action to ensure that it doesn’t go, you know, recognition takes place. Because those weeks and months don’t happen. But there are so many options.

Pete Newsome 44:55
Look at our blog, look at all 20 of the ideas if you have other suggestions, please let us know we would love to, you know, annotate the blog. If you have some great ideas that we missed, we want to incorporate those. So, email us please We’d love your suggestions of any kind. And of course, always ask questions and give us ideas for new shows. We have plenty, but we can skip the list that we have and put your idea to the front.

Ricky Baez 45:30
And if you haven’t done so already, wherever you download your podcast, whatever platform you have, whether it’s Apple, Stitcher, GooglePlay, whatever the case may be, subscribe, give us a like, let us know how we’re doing. We want your honest feedback. I think we’re awesome. I said this last show. I know you think so as well, just let us know. Download us. Subscribe. We’d really appreciate it.

Pete Newsome 45:53
All right, well, it is time for the weekend. Time for you to go to Disney and time for me to watch a lot of college football, I think.

Ricky Baez 46:01
Roger that. Well, thank you very much. Have a great weekend. Folks drive safe. Good night.

Pete Newsome 46:06
Thanks for listening.

Recent Episodes

  • Episode Overview On this episode, special guest Diane Prince shares her secrets of entrepreneurial success in the staffing industry. From her start as a temp to selling her thriving business, Diane’s story is all about vision, grit, and chasing your dreams. In our conversation with Diane, we explore her unique path as a solo founder,…

    Listen Here

  • Episode Overview Are you struggling to find and hire exceptional IT professionals? Sioux Logan is our special guest on this episode of the Hire Calling Podcast! She is the visionary founder and president of RedStream Technology, an IT staffing firm located in New York City. Immediately, you will be whisked into Sioux’s world, revealing the…

    Listen Here

  • Episode Overview Wondering how to build an effective team in today’s digital landscape? Kate O’Neill, CEO of Teaming, joins Pete today with an insider’s perspective on how their team intelligence software revolutionizes how managers foster high-performing teams. From providing personalized communication coaching to enhancing interaction within diverse teams, Teaming’s AI-driven platform is making waves in…

    Listen Here