Business Coaching | Employee Recognition Ideas that Work

Your employees are your biggest asset, and they’re human, so how can you recognize them to keep them engaged and productive? In my years of business coaching through Action Coach, I’ve found that employee recognition is a crucial component of any thriving business.

That being said, allow me the opportunity to introduce you to employee recognition ideas that work and what steps you need to take to implement them. 


Business Coaching Can Help Define Effective Employee Recognition 

It’s important to remember that your employees spend more of their waking hours at work than they do at home with their own families. So, if you want to be a great employer, you need to set up a work environment that allows your employees to feel a sense of purpose and belonging. Implementing an effective employee recognition process is one – if not the most important – way to go about this.

As your Business Coach, I can help you define and put an effective recognition process in place so your employees are in line with your business’ values (and feel appreciated!). 

Let’s Start With The Fundamentals…


These 6 fundamentals will assist in building an environment where peers recognize and appreciate one another. Subordinates and managers are also able to do the same. Now, let’s talk about an action plan…

Create A Plan For Recognition In 4 Steps

Developing a plan for regular recognition will help you establish consistency (so you’re not just picking and choosing when to acknowledge people for their talent and dedication).

Here are four steps you need to implement:

  1. Tune In: Ask yourself, “did I recognize any of my employees/co-workers today, this week, this month…?”  
  2. Identify Who/What: Who is deserving of recognition? If you have subordinates, ask them to identify team members that should be acknowledged and for what.
  3. Choose a Method for Delivery: Consider asking the recipient to help you decipher whether formal or informal recognition is appropriate. Additionally, consider whether it’s beneficial to have the recognition take tangible or intangible form.
  4. Anticipate Recipient Responses: People are unique and therefore, responses to the same action can vary dramatically from person to person.

Employee-Recognition-Business-Coaching-MilwaukeeKnow How To Recognize Your Employees

The way people are treated at work powerfully impacts the way they feel about themselves as individuals. My blog on DiSC Personality Profiles can be a helpful tool for determining the best recognition for the personalities on your team.

And, as a reminder, if you’re not sure how your employee prefers to be treated, just ask. One of my clients asks her team every time they set quarterly SMART Goals: how do you want to be recognized once you’ve achieved your goals? It varies from employee to employee.

For example, one might prefer a social outing at the Escape Room. The other may want some relaxation time away from the office. Knowing how to recognize your employees can be as simple as…


Can A Business Coach Really Help Implement An Employee Recognition Plan That Works?

Yes! As your Business Coach, I will not only tell you how to implement an employee recognition plan that’s right for your business – I will hold you accountable to it! It’s critical that your process remains sincere, consistent, and inclusive.

Moreover, when my clients have implemented a good plan, they immediately see the value. Acknowledging employees for their work helps to build your business culture, employee morale, and keep five-star employees long-term. Wouldn’t you want that for your business?


Let’s get a working employee recognition process in place for you as soon as possible – trust me, it’s worth it. I’ve seen it work. Email me today to get started.

The DiSC Personality Test: Build a Strong Team & Loyal Customers


Looking to Build a Powerhouse Team? Devoted to Keeping Positive Client Relationships?

Consider tapping into the DiSC Personality Test. It’s an incredibly insightful tool used by over 1 million people every year. In fact, I rarely come across a successful business owner who doesn’t benefit from taking the DiSC Personality assessment.


DiSC helps to identify four different personality types, which helps us better understand human behavior in various situations. It also pinpoints our strengths and weaknesses. Businesses can and should leverage this information as it improves communication, team dynamics, and productivity. Furthermore, it can enhance client and vendor relationships once you understand an employee’s DiSC style.

Start Communicating More Effectively

The DiSC theory proves that observing how your client communicates – and knowing how to adjust to their communication style accordingly – is an important step to solidifying any business relationship. When you increase your number of authentic customer relationships, you instantly have a more loyal customer base.

Let’s Use the “D” Profile as an Example


As you can see, this person is talented at taking charge and getting things done. If a client or vendor of yours leans heavily to the “D” category, it’s to your benefit to be clear, brief, and organized with an agenda. This style of communication saves you from wasting your client’s time on long meetings or lengthy emails.

Now, Let’s Use the “I” Profile as Another Example…


You’ll win over this client by creating an atmosphere of excitement, fun, and variety. Try inviting this customer out for a cocktail, or to an event to build a personal relationship. This may even be how you have your meetings. Even though they are a seemingly informal personality type, make sure you summarize in writing who is to do what, where, and when.

DiSC Improves Team Dynamics

Do you wonder how some business owners seem to hire – and retain – the best people? You can only assemble a “dream team” if you know what’s missing from your current team dynamic.  What type of personalities need to come together to feed your business goals? If you recognize this early on, you’ll be successful at managing your team (and any conflicts that come up!).

Here are some other benefits for your team:

  • Develop effective managers, supervisors, and leaders
  • Train a powerful sales force
  • Improve customer service
  • Help with change and conflict management

If your business partner’s personality leans toward “S”, you may find the following qualities in their communication style.

Action-Coach-DISC-Personality-Business-CoachingWith this personality, it’s important to support their feelings by showing personal interest and actively listening. While it’s not always possible, offering guarantees and personal assurances will satisfy their concerns.

What if you, the business owner, is a “C”?

Action-Coach-DISC-Personality-Business-CoachingHelp your team be successful at communicating with everyone on the team, including you. If you lean “C”, you most likely need time to think, and need others to be comfortable with silence. You expect others to demonstrate with actions rather than words, so perhaps it’s time to get rid of unnecessary written forms of communication.

Using DiSC Puts You At A Different Playing Field


Utilizing your DiSC results means that you can stop wasting time with a communication style that doesn’t resonate. As a result, applying this knowledge to your business strategy allows you to play at a different level, which inevitably makes you a better business owner.

It’s important to note…

The DiSC model provides a common language everyone can use to better understand themselves and adapt their behaviors with others. Certainly, maturity, education, and life experiences are all factors in our leadership and work styles. And, depending on the situation, we can exhibit one style more than another, as we are all a blend of these four traits.

What I do I like best about the DiSC Personality Test? This information can change an entire business strategy, for the better. If you’re ready to see an improvement in communication, team dynamics, and productivity, book your Business Coaching session with me today. 

It’s time to raise your standards.

ActionCOACH Clients Fall 2017 GrowthCLUB


I’m always excited for our quarterly GrowthCLUB sessions; this one had me feeling lots of gratitude and pride for the work that my clients have done over the last quarter. I’m eager to see how each business strives to reach their goals and close out 2017 strong. 

Here are a few of the incredible folks that I get to spend time with each week. I see part of my job as an advocate for each of them, and I encourage you to check out their businesses and see how you might be able to partner with them in the future! 

Business Owner Awards

I gave three awards this quarter, to extremely deserving owners. Read on to find out who and why!


The “Mindset” Award went to Gloria Ramirez and Mara Natkin of Artery Ink, for sharing their positivity and dedication to growth with everyone they interact with! (PSA: EVERYONE needs their product – from beautifully illustrated greeting cards to tee shirts, a calendar, and a coloring book, they’ll have something for your gift-giving needs!) These gals would also love for you to share their art on social media – you’ll find them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.


Light At The End Of The Tunnel

The “Light At The End Of The Tunnel” award went to Dave and Laina Johnson of Cabinetry by Artistic Design (Dave is pictured below with myself and BJ Parrott of Milwaukee Metal Products Co. and Laina is pictured below with Mara Natkin of Artery Ink). Dave and Laina are a father-daughter team who took their goals seriously in Q3 and have made super headway! 



Grace Under Pressure

The “Grace Under Pressure” award went to Jackie Steinmetz of Accelity Marketing for keeping her cool when a staffing situation went off the rails, which resulted in a win-win for her business and reputation. Jackie couldn’t join us last week, as she was in Boston for Hubspot’s Inbound conference – way to stay on the cutting edge of your field, Jackie!


GrowthCLUB Sponsors

I also want to take a moment to thank the businesses who sponsored Fall GrowthCLUB. These four organizations jumped on-board and shared some great info. throughout the day. Much gratitude to all of you!

Law Offices of Rick D. Steinberg

Rick Steinberg of the Law Offices of Rick D. Steinberg (pictured below, between Cortney Ihde of Executive Women International and Kamal Irani of STAT Transcription) shared that he not only specializes in estates and probate, but can help business owners with debt collection as well. 


JDBC Tax & Books

John Leidey of JDBC Tax & Books (pictured below with Gloria Ramirez of Artery Ink) asked our group how many of us like paying more than we should to Uncle Sam – then shared how he can help us understand and structure our businesses to pay less! 



Kelly Andrew of Filament (pictured below with myself and Dan Trimboli from Pure Sound & Vision) hosted the happy hour following the event. Her team joined us to take pictures, and I can’t stop raving about their online marketing services (ahem…it might even be someone over at Filament writing this blog!) 


Wisconsin Bank & Trust

Wisconsin Bank & Trust was my only non-client to participate in the day, but I knew from testimonials from a number of my clients that they are a great organization who want to support business owners. Nick Pierce, Business Banker (pictured below between Richie Burke from GoGeddit and Kelly Andrew from Filament) talked about the importance of being able to get a line of credit to a small business. 


Great Clients = Growing Businesses

It’s a pleasure to work with all of my clients, and I’m eager to see what they produce in Q4. Until next time, here are a few more shots of this incredible group of owners. 


Mara Natkin & Gloria Ramirez from Artery Ink, Jaime Hayden of Flying Squirrel Pilates, Torrey Nagel of Better Partners, Joel Walker & Allen Cooper of Ancilla Partners, Inc.


Sadie Tuescher from  Wisconsin Health Insurance Advocate and Joel Walker from Ancilla Partners, Inc. 


To Discount, or Not To Discount

Many of my clients have been tempted to discount their service or product in order to get more customers – I encourage them first to think about the cost to their business. Owners should be apprehensive about discounting, and consider the long-term effects of their decision.


Cutting Your Prices Costs You Money

It’s simple math. You currently run your business at a particular profit margin (divide your net income by net sales to come up with your profit margin). When you run a discount and take in less money from your customer, you’re cutting your profit, which will force you to make some difficult decisions like: 

-using lower quality materials

-reducing the level of service you provide

-reducing the speed at which you deliver your service

-paying your employees (or your self!) less 

Consider this carefully: discounting not only costs you money, but risks your reputation. When you run a promotional discount, it sends the signal that having the lowest price is all that distinguishes you from competitors.


Let’s say your current profit margin is 40%. If you give a 10% discount, you would need to increase your sales by 33% just to maintain your current revenue! For a 20% discount, you would need a 100% increase in sales. A 25% discount? You would need to increase sales by 167%! As you can see, even a “small” discount can wipe out your margin.

How Discounting Dismantles Your Business Goals


All of my clients set impressive growth goals for their businesses quarter after quarter. I encourage each owner to consider whether running a discount will put them behind on their goals, both short and long-term. It’s likely that instead of getting ahead, they’ll be playing catch-up. Discounting is just a short-term fix which will likely have negative long-term effects on their business.

How To WOW Your Customers Without A Discount


We tend to think that potential customers only buy based on price – but in reality, perceived value is more often a deciding factor. It’s as simple as this: when you cut prices, your customers perceive your product or service as less valuable. Once you’ve started discounting, it’s challenging to stay out of the cycle of continuous discounts, as customers start to expect them.


Instead of opening the door to discounts (and lowered expectations and perception of value), wow your customers with flawless customer service and a reliable, high-quality product or service that will keep them coming back for more. And if you don’t believe you’re worth every penny you charge, I can help you change that mindset (email me to see if you qualify for a free coaching session!)

Think Before You Discount


As a business owner myself, I understand the lure of getting a rush of new customers through the door. However, I highly recommend that you consider the amount of money you’ll be giving away as part of a discount, and examine where it is better utilized. Perhaps what your business really needs to be successful is effective marketing, sales training, or upgraded resources to execute your craft. 

If you’re struggling to pinpoint what steps are necessary to see your business grow, working with me – an ActionCOACH certified Business Coach – can help. Take my Business Health Check Test here and gain clarity on your next step toward greatness!