Social Exchange Theory looks at how
people in everyday life create and
maintain relationships. The theory assumes
that individuals are rational beings, and if
a relationship causes more negative than
positive, they will leave.
In business, good employee
relationships is a pivotal key to success.
If employees don’t feel appreciated,
social exchange theory suggests that
they, too, will leave and find a new job.
How can you make sure employees
feel valued? In a perfect world, a business
would financially compensate each
employee with bonuses, promotions, and
raises. That’s probably unrealistic!
So, how can appreciation be shown
without large monetary obligations?
The key is non-financial incentives.
These provide employees needed
motivation and show that their hard work
doesn’t go unnoticed.
Having unique rewards can energize
employees and set a positive tone toward
the work they put in.
Do something as simple as having a
“Bring your dog to work” day or sending a
handwritten thank-you note or postcard to
Have “traveling trophies” that your
people can pass to each other. One can
say “thanks,” another can say, “great job”
or anything else that you want to
Taking different employees to lunch
can demonstrate gratitude. If someone
works a lot of overtime, let them work
Showing simple appreciations goes a
There are limits to non-financial
Praise becomes washed out
Don’t always pick the same people or
show favorites for it can negatively shift
Don’t provide the entire office rewards
if only a few people deserve it.
Show appreciation appropriately and
they will stay!