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The Unexpected Spif: A Little Goes a Long Ways

Doesn't matter what your department is, things are tough. Reductions in staff or stalled hiring plans and tough revenue environments make the current work experience hard for basically every employee. We all have to do more with less and a lot of times with less to show for it.

Wins are hard to come by but when they come you have to be prepared to recognize them.

There are a lot of creative ways to do this. You can use time in your all hands to call folks out and recognize them. You can send employees had written notes talking about what you are seeing them do and how you appreciate it. You can set up a Slack channel just to give Kudos to folks. It helps to recognize folks.

One of the tools that I love is to gift employees unexpected Spifs. Spifs are typically used on the revenue side to encourage certain behavior that isn't directly tied to their normal goals. Like selling a specific product or upgrade that has strategic value. Its great to set these up upfront with clear objectives.

But there is another spif that I think can be effective for everyone: The Unexpected Spiff. When a spif is unexpected, it doesn't need to be much. $100 to Uber Eats. $500 to Amazon.  Whatever you feel is appropriate and will be valued.

For this, its important that it comes out of the blue.  Just a email to their email box with the gift code and a short note on how it is a small token of appreciation for something they have achieved or a project they delivered on up and above.

Its not about the amount. Its about the recognition and show of appreciation and that you see them.

Work it in. Now is a great time to recognize folks for working hard in a hard world.

Trent Krupp

VP of Operations at Triplebyte. Founded an agency in my 20's, sold it to Hired and became employee 5. Recruited for Atomic (VC), Credit Sesame and MakerSights. Helped the founders of recruitment tech startups Shift.org, Terminal and Beacon in the early days.

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