5 Ideas for Employee Recognition

December 14th, 2010

Handing your top performing employees a catalog in which to choose a variety of useless tchotchkes emblazoned with a company logo isn’t exactly the best way to recognize them for a job well done. That said, as a Houston staffing firm, we know that employee recognition is important to the success of your organization. When you recognize people, you reinforce the behaviors and actions you most want them to repeat. In addition, employee who feel appreciated, produce better results.

So how can you best recognize employees for their work at your Houston company? Here are some ideas:

1. Offer praise.

Praise is probably one of the easiest, most effective – and underutilized – forms of recognition. Be generous with your praise and offer it regularly. And don’t just praise your star performers who deliver on important projects or help you increase sales. Make sure you also praise those employees who are dependable and consistent team players.

2. Write a thank you letter.

Writing a thank you letter that recognizes the specific contribution an employee made will go a long way in making that employee feel appreciated. It may sound overly simply, but a letter will generate a feeling of goodwill and loyalty. Not sure where to get started? Here are some tips:

  • In your letter, describe the employee’s behavior or actions, and thank them for the contribution they made.
  • Make sure you give your employee the letter near the time the event you’re praising took place.
  • A handwritten note is great, but an email is also effective as long as it doesn’t come off like a form letter.

3. Give bonuses.

End of the year bonuses, attendance bonuses, or performance bonuses are great ways to say “thank you.”

4. Give gifts.

Know your employees’ interests enough to give gifts that will mean something to them. So if you know an employee is a foodie, give him or her a gift certificate to a hot new restaurant in Houston. Or, if you know your employee enjoys playing golf, a certificate for a free round will be much appreciated.

5. Present the recognition publicly.

Magnify the value of the recognition by naming the employee publicly, putting the employee’s name in a company newsletter, or sending out an email announcement.

What about you? Do you have an employee recognition program in place? If so, how do you recognize and reward your employees? We want to know!

Should You Consider Behavioral Interviewing?

November 2nd, 2010

Does past performance indicate future performance? That’s the theory behind behavioral interviewing. The logic is that by asking questions about how a candidate acted in very specific employment-related situations, you can gain more insight into a candidate’s track record and how their past behavior has contributed (or not) to their success.

With traditional interviewing, a candidate can get away with telling you what you want to hear. On the other hand, with behavioral based interview questions, it’s much more difficult for a candidate to dole out the typical interview rhetoric because you’re asking for specific examples.

That said, behavioral based interviewing isn’t your best option for every position you’re trying to fill. For instance, if you’re looking to fill an entry level position, candidates probably won’t have enough experience to draw on in order to answer your questions. That’s why behavioral interviewing is better for professional level and management positions.

So what are some examples of good behavioral based questions to ask? Here are 17, organized by category:

Problem Solving

1. Describe a time when you had to quickly assess the situation and develop a plan, or respond immediately to a problem.
2. Tell me about a situation where you missed an obvious solution to a problem.
3. Tell me about a time when you anticipated a potential problem and created and implemented preventative measures to deal with it.


4. Describe a time where you were able to motivate staff to achieve positive results.
5. Have you ever made a mistake when delegating work? Tell me about it.
6. Describe a project in which you took the lead and produced good results.

Team Work

7. Have you ever had to deal with a difficult co-worker? How did you handle the situation?
8. Describe a situation where you were able to achieve good results even though team members had different view points.


9. Describe a situation in which you were able to successfully sell your idea to someone else.

Work Quality

10. Tell me about project you were involved in that had positive results.
Tell me about a project you were involved in that did not deliver. What would you have done differently?

Decision Making

12. Tell me about a time you had to make an unpopular decision.
13. Tell me about a time you had to make a decision with very little information to go on.
14. Give me an example of a decision you made that you regretted.

Working Under Pressure

15. Give an example of a time you worked well under pressure.
16. Tell me about a time when you missed a deadline. What would you have done differently?


17. Describe an example of a time in which you were able to use your creativity to solve a problem.

If you’d like more information on behavioral based interviewing questions or techniques, or you need help with the interviewing and hiring process, please contact Murray Resources. With more than 20 years of experience as a Houston staffing firm, we can help you source, screen, and hire the proven people you need.

Murray Resources President Named Finalist For Woman Business Owner of the Year Award

August 11th, 2008

HOUSTON (October 23, 2007) – Marsha Murray, President of Houston staffing firm Murray Resources, Ltd., was recently recognized as one of eight finalists for the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) Houston Chapter Woman Business Owner of the Year Award.

The association recognized Murray for her ability to excel the growth of her business while promoting good community relations and supporting other woman-owned businesses.

“It is an incredible honor to be recognized as a finalist for this award,” Murray said. “The opportunities and support of other women business owners provided through organizations such as NAWBO have been instrumental to the successful growth of my business as well as the growth of myself as a business owner.”

Founded as a home-based business in 1988, Murray has grown her 100 percent woman-owned business leaps and bounds. Focusing on the quality of candidate placement rather than the quantity of placements, Murray has developed the firm to have a client base of more than 750 clients and 3,000 candidates on its roster today. The firm has earned a hard-won reputation among its client base for providing the most successful client matches than other competing firms – receiving a 95% match satisfaction rate versus an industry rate that falls somewhere in the 50-60% range.

Murray has made a tremendous impact on the community through the creation of new jobs and community service. She is also a devoted advocate of organizations that support women in business, serving on many of these organizations’ as well as other non-profits’ boards.


About Murray Resources
Murray Resources is a leading staffing and placement firm based in Houston, Texas, providing quality temporary, temp-to-hire, contract, payroll and direct hire administrative/clerical and professional-level placement services. Over the past 20 years, Murray Resources has developed a unique placement process to match candidates based not only on experience and skill set, but also on how well a candidate can put that skill set to work within a particular corporate culture. As a result, Murray Resources enjoys one of the most consistent track records in the industry based on client satisfaction surveys for delivering “best fit for success” staffing solutions. For more information, contact Murray Resources at 713.935.0009 or log on to www.murrayresources.com.

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