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Startup CEO: A Field Guide to Scaling Up Your Business, + Website by Matt Blumberg

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CHAPTER FOURTEEN

REWARDING: “IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS” THAT MATTER

The old adage, “It goes without saying …” should never be spoken inside the walls of a well-run startup. Communication—real communication, not implied communication—is the foundation for a successful business. Good CEOs know this but even the best CEOs often fail at one crucial piece of communication: rewarding good performance.

It never goes without saying because it's the little things that count. Have you ever finished doing something and thought, “Wow, that was a thankless task”? Right. No fun. Why should your employees ever feel that way?

IT NEVER GOES WITHOUT SAYING

We human beings live for “moments.” We mark time by observing regular occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. While religions and cultures differ on the details, we mark the cycle of life with things like baby namings, bar mitzvahs, confirmations, first communions, weddings, and funerals.

There's no reason the workplace should be any different. Think about a few examples where it could “go without saying,” but where you're so much better off creating a “moment”:

  • Publicly acknowledging a member of your team for reaching an employment anniversary (the bigger the number, the heartier the acknowledgment).
  • Marking the end of a project or a transition period with a celebration.
  • Meeting two weeks after the end of a project or a crisis to do a postmortem or after-action report, analyzing what went well and defining lessons learned for the ...

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