Get advice on how to deal with jerks at work Check out the book 'Jerks At Work' and other titles by Ken Lloyd Ph.D. Return to the homepage Learn more about Ken Lloyd, Ph.D. Submit a question to Ken Lloyd, Ph.D.

You asked, Ken answers ...

This item is filed under these categories:
Sales and Selling Food Recognition

I work in a call center, and almost every week our manager brings in candies, cookies, and bakery goods to reward us for our hard work. I have to lose weight, so I stay away from all of it, and this means I don't get an award. I don't want to sound like an ingrate, but is there a way to ask her for something different?

It sounds like you have an astute manager who knows the importance of rewarding her employees for excellent performance, so you probably do not need to sugarcoat your comments to her. Most managers who provide this type of recognition want to give their employees rewards that they will truly enjoy. If no one has expressed concern about the sweets, your manager has every reason to think they are a real treat.

In addition, managers like yours typically understand the importance of two-way communication. She probably manages by wandering around and has casual conversations with many members of the team. The next time she stops by to chat, ask her if she ever considered rewards other than cookies. This approach is neither criticism nor complaining.

She will probably mention a few options she considered, and then the floor will be open for you to make some suggestions. By the way, many managers today are revamping these recognition programs and adding fruits, movie tickets, supermarket coupons, and gasoline coupons. Your manager will probably want to discuss your question with the rest of the team, and she may well find that many will appreciate rewards that show some thinking outside the bakery box.

Comment on this item

Your name (optional)
If you leave this blank, we'll list you as "Website visitor"

Your comments
Please keep your comments focused on the topic. Thanks!