Ask Dr. Job’s chief contributor, Sandra Pesmen, is a member of the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and author of “DR. JOB’s Complete Career Guide.”

Winner of several journalism awards, Pesmen is a graduate of the University of Illinois Media College at Urbana, and is listed in several Who’s Who editions. She also has been Corporate Features Editor of Crain Communications Inc., founding Features Editor of Crain’s Chicago Business and a reporter/features writer for The Chicago Daily News.

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Saying Thanks Without Bonus

Q This hasn't been a great year for our small company and I'd like to do something for my employees even though I have to really cut back on the holiday bonuses. Any suggestions"

Ans. While money is the most important reason for working, and during this recession it's become even more so, most employees who still have jobs realize they can't expect the same kind of cash rewards they received in boom years. But you still can say "thanks" in many other ways. Todd Patkin, author of Finding Happiness: One Man's Quest to Beat Depression and Anxiety and-Finally-Let the Sunshine In, says start with notes to individuals each time they do something special. Institute a program to celebrate the outstanding employee (or employees) of the week or month" Also, when you compliment someone, pick up the phone and call his home and leave a message telling his family how well he's doing. All that goes a long way toward making people feel better about getting up and going to work each morning.

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