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Recognize and reward employees

|  April 22, 2021


A wise friend put his own spin on a famous quote, saying “People don’t always remember what you say, but they will always remember how you made them feel.” Although he has passed on, his words will always stick with me. They will serve you well when rewarding your employees.

Working in pest control is rewarding in so many wonderful ways. We see things firsthand that others only get a glimpse of on a TV screen or in a magazine article. We go backstage at huge venues, arrive at the tops of the tallest skyscrapers or dive deep into the underbelly of the earth four stories down where very few get to go. How many times have you passed an impressive home or business and said to your friends with pride, “That’s my account”? Pest control is very satisfying indeed.

So, do we even need to reward our employees since heck, they have the greatest jobs in the world?

Yes, we do.


Raises and a year-end bonus are always nice, but we can do so much more. Because raises and bonuses are somewhat to be expected, there is no lasting impact once they’re given. There’s a moment of excitement, but soon after, the clock starts ticking until next year’s payout. The satisfaction of the reward begins to decline, and it can show in their work.

There are a lot of creative ways you can reward an employee for a job well done, and it doesn’t require draining petty cash or an hours-long board meeting to decide what to do. It’s the little things that will go a long way and carry the most weight when it comes to saying thanks for a job well done.

The key is that the reward isn’t just about money. Rather, the reward conveys you appreciate them wholeheartedly and you value them greatly. This will last longer and have more of an impact than you’ll ever know.

For example, gift cards are available practically everywhere, and you can find one that will please just about everyone. My technicians love a certain local convenience store, and their faces light up when they find the store’s gift card clipped to their daily route sheet.

Other ideas to try include tickets to local sporting events, or a Sunday afternoon golf slot. Or how about a good old-fashioned handshake and a sincere thank-you? None of these options will break the bank, but at the same time, they express loud and clear that you are thankful for their efforts and that they are more than just a name on a payroll roster.

They say “it’s the little things in life that matter the most,” and I believe it’s true. Make sure you’re doing what matters, and your employees will make sure that you, too, are rewarded.

Scott Ballard

Scott Ballard

Tips from the Pest Cemetery crew

“I like giving money with handshakes and a sincere thank-you. I think recognizing employees lets them know we appreciate their hard work.”
— Scott Ballard, Owner, Ballard Pest Management, Opelika, Ala.

Launa Benson

Launa Benson

“We’re always recognizing employees and showing appreciation with little presents throughout the year. We also listen to their ideas to better the business, and give them full credit if we adopt their ideas.”
— Launa Benson, Co-owner, Xtreme Weed & Pest Solutions, Ronan, Mont.

Marty Jones

Marty Jones

“I personally call employees on their birthdays. Sometimes I meet them for lunch or dinner and tell them just how much I appreciate them.”
— Marty Jones, ACE, Co-owner, Prestige Pest Control, Pooler, Ga.

Richard Smith

Richard Smith

“The best way to recognize employees is to give them your time. I regularly have breakfast with each employee. I’ve found out most have never been shown that a company cared about them.”
— Richard Smith, Owner, Gecko Pest Contol, Chico, Calif.



SCHAPPERT is owner of The Bug Doctor, Ocala, Fla., and administrator for Facebook industry discussion group Pest Cemetery. He may be reached at

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