Make Someone Happy

A verbal thank you is a good reward for quality work, but respondents to American Express Incentive Services survey would prefer a trip to the destination of their choice. Verbal pats on the back, job satisfaction, letters of commendation and good evaluations are considered much better rewards than food gift certificates or T-shirts, according to the 1,000 American adults surveyed. If you're dipping into the cash drawer, the survey also asked which of five noncash incentive rewards, each worth $1,000, would most motivate them to improve their work performance. Their answers: a trip: 40%; a shopping spree: 23%; home improvements: 19%; season tickets to a favorite entertainment venue: 10%; and electronics: 4%. (American Express Incentive Services, www.aeis.com.)