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Activate Human Capital Group Blog


Hiring, Firing, Recognizing and Rewarding: Our Top 10 Tips

Hiring (and firing) mark the bookends of the employment life cycle, but recognizing and rewarding in the midst of the process can help you as a manager avoid unpleasant endings. To carry out these essential business practices effectively, we’ve compiled our top ten tips for managers who hire, fire, recognize, and reward their employees.


  1. Cater the role to them: It is key to understand the natural drivers and interests of the potential new employee. Activate Human Capital Group knows creating roles which cater to employees' interests and talents keeps them happy and invested in their own and the company’s success. To ensure you’re curating a team of motivated, skilled employees, work with them at the start of their employment and throughout their time in a role to make sure it is catered to their natural talents and professional needs.
  2. Center your values: Every addition to your team should emphasize the core values you’ve set as an employer. When hiring, incorporate questions that touch on company culture to ensure all potential employees share your foundational values. If values are not aligned, no matter the skill set - it’s not going to be a good fit.


  1. Apply the “3 strikes” rule: Managers know that every employee slips up from time to time. And it's important to have grace in those moments–but three documented violations, dependent upon the severity, could warrant reconsideration of employment.
  2. If you have to fire someone, less is more: In the instance you do have to fire or let someone go, be as succinct as possible. Role play with a supervisor, if needed. Be honest, summarize the situation correctly, and remember you are there to conclude their employment only.


  1. Learn their recognition language: How do they want to be recognized? If you don’t know - ask! Some employees may prefer a private note on their desk, while others may feel a sense of achievement by receiving a cash-value gift card or an employer-wide shoutout. It is important to recognize and reward employees by their preference so they feel understood and appreciated.
  2. Update and review the People Analyzer every 90 days: According to Next Level Business Planning, “A People Analyzer is a form which lists the 3-5 core values of the enterprise across the top of the page.” To recognize your employees’ commitment to your company and core values, we recommend updating and reviewing your People Analyzers every three months.
  3. Create values-based employment branding: Centering your core values in your branding attracts talent that shares them. Create videos, social media posts, and advertisements that communicate these values directly from your existing employees.
  4. Be timely: Tying the recognition in a timely manner to the rewarded output, will keep the positive feelings high and the employee will feel a sense of commitment to repeat their behavior. Keep in mind the audience for this timely recognition – directly to them, to their management team, or your entire company (based on the employee’s comfortability). Consistent, positive reinforcement goes a long way in keeping employees engaged and motivated.


  1. Give spot bonuses: Creating a values-based work environment is crucial–but at the end of the day, your employees are working to get paid, and small bonuses never hurt. Don’t reserve bonuses just for the end of the year or holidays–consider giving out smaller bonuses when employees have done especially good work.
  2. Encourage time off: Chances are, if your employees have been working hard, they could use a break to rest and reset. Encourage taking time off and create a management system where they don’t have to worry about being gone when time off is taken.

By incorporating these tips into your business practices, you will discover the benefits of a talent-optimized team. To help you further, Activate Human Capital Group’s engagement offerings and talent-based assessments bolstered by the EOS and PI can help you define organizational roles and identify the best people who can fulfill them.

We welcome the opportunity to help you realize the impactful results of an engaged workforce. Activate Human Capital Group works to help employees realize their potential, and help employers create workplaces that help their workforce do so. For more information about Activate Human Capital Group’s Employee Engagement Offerings or to schedule a demonstration of our tools, contact us today.