A Brief Case: How do I reward my employees for great performance?

Last updated on July 1st, 2019 at 01:59 pm


Christine Specht

Chief executive officer

Cousins Submarines Inc.

“At Cousins, a career is a belief in better, an opportunity for growth and a place where teammates become family – franchise and corporate alike. We have chosen to focus on a culture of recognition, including the celebration of employee performance, birthdays and any major milestones our employees undergo.

“Additionally, Cousins offers a tenure program that celebrates our employees for their ongoing dedication to our brand. We recognize and award employees for their commitment to Cousins after one year, three years, five years and after every additional five years. Recently, we recognized a general manager for her 35 years at Cousins with a surprise limo ride to a champagne lunch in recognition of her hard work and devotion to our brand.

“Not only does Cousins offer a rewarding career for those who are part of our family, but we foster endless opportunities for those who are in pursuit of their dreams through an annual Employee Legacy Scholarship. Cousins awards four $2,500 scholarships to corporate or franchise employees who provide 100% guest service from the sandwich board and are following their goals of secondary education. Lastly, it’s important that our employees are celebrated by one another throughout all facets and that each team member becomes a part of our Cousins family.”


Jim Sajdak

President and CEO

Stan’s Fit For Your Feet

“As a local family business, it’s important to give back to our internal Stan’s family and recognize employee and team accomplishments.

“At Stan’s, we care about fun. It is important to keep employees engaged, goal-oriented and passionate. Stan’s hosts monthly all-store meetings with employees from all locations to offer educational opportunities and to recognize top performers and quality customer service stories. It is important to celebrate successes and learn from one another. Each individual who is recognized is allowed one ‘Spin of the Wheel’ on Stan’s Wheel of Fortune to receive prizes.

“In addition, each store participates in monthly sales contests with different themes, such as ‘March Pot of Gold’ or ‘Stanlympics,’ which is popular when the Olympics are airing. Those contests have individual and team rewards to promote individual goal-setting and teamwork. Employees can win a cookout where I cook lunch for the entire store. Stan’s also has a monetary performance-based rewards system, in which employees receive bonuses upon meeting and exceeding goals.

“Stan’s further incentivizes employees with generous employee discounts, health care benefits, 401(k) opportunities and being closed on all major holidays, as well as an Annual Family Picnic and Annual Employee Appreciation Party.”


Mat Lignel

President and CEO

Laughlin/Constable Inc.

“At Laughlin Constable, our mission is to produce award-winning creative work that takes our clients from now to next. To do this, we need to hire and retain the best of the best in terms of talent. Our goal in creating the Griffin Award was to reward one Laughlin Constable employee a year who has demonstrated that they exemplify our core values: working with pride, acting with integrity, always seeking better, thinking creatively and embracing change. The Griffin Award winners are rewarded for going above and beyond, not only within LC but with their clients, as well.

“When we first came up with the Griffin Award for our 40th anniversary in 2016, we didn’t just want to give out an ordinary trophy, we also wanted to provide a monetary reward. At LC, we want our employees to know that their hard work is recognized, appreciated and valued. In addition to the prestigious iron Griffin trophy and a MacBook engraved with the LC logo, we chose to give $10,000 to the Griffin Award recipient each year. Of that money, $5,000 is designated for personal and professional development and the other $5,000 goes towards a trip of his or her choice. There’s definitely a work hard, play hard balance at LC, which means making sure that the winning Griffin enjoys a well-earned vacation. Thus far, we’ve awarded $30,000 to three deserving employees.”

Sign up for BizTimes Daily Alerts

Stay up-to-date on the people, companies and issues that impact business in Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin