A: Don’t even dream of asking them to pay a penny.Presumably you didn’t set a figure before they set off so, as you gave them a blank cheque, you are obliged to sign it. If you were only expecting to pay one-thrird of the cost of what they obviously decided was a good time, your approach to tangible praise is probably far too mean. Good managers never try to save money on celebration. We tell our area team that their top priority is to amaze their branch colleagues and, to help, they have an unlimited budget. They have the freedom to praise top people with anything from extra days off, and free football tickets to a special meal out for two (we want them to spend at least ?50). Even the most extravagant celebration will cost less than a one-quarter per cent increase in salary and is bound to do much more good. John Timpson runs high-street cobbler Timpson, which has 800 branches nationwide and sales of ?150m. Got a question for him? Post it in the comments box below.
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