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Dr. Bob Nelson

Bestselling Author of 1501 Ways to Reward Employees

Bob Nelson virtually created the workplace "culture of recognition" in l994 with his bestselling 1001 WAYS TO REWARD EMPLOYEES. A leading authority on employee recognition and motivation to improve productivity and profits, he is the author of management books that have sold over 2 million copies, including 1501 WAYS TO REWARD EMPLOYEES, THE 1001 REWARDS & RECOGNITION FIELDBOOK and, for employees, 1001 WAYS TO TAKE INITIATIVE AT WORK. He is president of the San Diego-based Nelson Motivation, a management training and consulting company, and has given customized talks and webinars to more than 1,000 companies on six continents in the twenty years that he has been on the lecture circuit.

Strategies for keeping employees happy and tapping their hidden potential are never more important than in a recessionary economy, Nelson points out, and in an election year when jobs and the economy are leading concerns. He makes his case through examples, most of them low-cost or cost-free, rather than through abstract theory or philosophy, drawing on the practices of hundreds of companies throughout the country. Nelson is cofounder of Recognition Professionals International and worked closely for 10 years with Dr. Ken Blanchard, co-author of The One Minute Manager.

Along with Blanchard, Nelson had another important influence on his life's work: his father. When Bob was born, his father, an Air Force pilot, was away on a mission. His commander acknowledged the event before his squadron in cursory fashion, but a visiting general called Captain Nelson to come back up. "Whenever you present an award," he said to the group, "make it a big deal," acknowledging the fact that Nelson missed the birth of his son because he was away serving his country and praising his dedication to job and country. Bob heard the story and never forgot it.

Bob Nelson earned an MBA in organizational behavior from U.C. Berkeley and his Ph.D. in management with Dr. Peter F. Drucker, the "Father of Modern Management", at the Peter F. Drucker Graduate Management School of the Claremont Graduate University. He teaches organizational behavior at the Rady School of Management, University of California in San Diego. He has appeared extensively in national media including CBS 60 Minutes, CNN, MSNBC, PBS, and NPR, and has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Fortune, and Businessweek, among others, discussing how to motivate today's employees. He has consulted with or spoken to three-fourths of the Fortune 500 companies such as American Express, Costco, Disney, FAA, Giorgio Armani, IBM, Microsoft, Nissan, TVA, and the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Speaking Topics

  • 1501 WAYS TO REWARD EMPLOYEES: Creating a Culture of Recognition
  • 1001 WAYS TO TAKE INITIATIVE AT WORK: How Employees Can Earn Recognition and Get Ahead
  • Five Trends Shaping the Future of Work
  • Motivating the Millenials


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