Every leader should have an emergency gift card: a gift card to Amazon, or to a favorite restaurant. A gift card that shows your team member that you appreciate them when they’ve done an excellent job. It might be during a busy period, to celebrate a birthday, or general appreciation for consistent hard work.
Keep a few extra in your desk drawer. You should follow your instincts as to when it is right to give these cards. It’s not always at a defined period such as the holidays, or at a performance review.
Sometimes people need to be thanked outside of the normal borders of expectation. Keep those gift cards close in your desk and close in your heart. You’ll know the right time when they need to be given.