Miles sometimes separate the three field and three office employees of Almar Building & Remodeling, Hanson, Mass. But they stay in touch via “paycheck notes,” newsy pats on the back that owners Terry and Allison Quinn insert into each employee's weekly paycheck envelope.

“As office manager, I almost never get to see the guys in the field,” Allison says. “Stuff comes up that they need to know about,” such as upcoming meetings, training opportunities, or compliments from clients. The paycheck notes keep everybody in the loop, she says, as well as back up what's said orally in weekly managers' meetings and monthly team meetings.

The top half of each note is identical and consists of general office news, such as save-the-date announcements and reminders about reviewing product installation procedures. “Then everyone gets their own little message,” Allison says, including kudos that clients expressed in surveys or calls to the office.

Almar's field crew appreciates the feedback, she says. “And if they haven't gotten a specific note, they'll come in and say, ‘Is everything going OK? Is there something I need to do differently?'”