When the Harvard Business Review talks, people listen.

Especially when it’s Rosabeth Moss Kanter.

Professor Kanter is the author or co-author of 17 books, including a Business Week #1 Bestseller. Her work is dedicated to developing peeling-the-onion insights for high-performance organizations, turnarounds and individuals. Her next book will appear in June 2009; the title speaks for itself: The Vanguard: How Principle-Led Companies are Changing the World of Business (and Maybe the World).

In a 1986 issue of the now-defunct Management Review, Professor Kanter authored “Holiday Gifts: Celebrating Employee Achievements”.

The bottom line? “Celebration and publicizing employee achievements is a low-cost, potentially high-payoff strategy for inspiring people to do their best”.

Here for your holiday employee gift giving planning are her 7 Principles for giving “praise and celebrating achievements”:

Principle 1: Emphasize success rather than failure. You tend to miss the positives if you are busily searching for the negatives.

Principle 2: Deliver recognition and reward in an open and publicized way. If not made in public, recognition loses much of its impact and defeats much of the purpose for which it is provided.

Principle 3: Deliver recognition in a personal and honest manner. Avoid providing recognition that is too “slick” or overproduced.

Principle 4: Tailor your recognition and reward to the unique needs of the people involved. Having many recognition and reward options will enable managers to acknowledge accomplishment in ways appropriate to the particulars of a given situation, selecting from a larger menu of possibilities.

Principle 5: Timing is crucial. Recognize contribution throughout a project. Reward contribution close to the time an achievement is realized. Time delays weaken the impact of most rewards.

Principle 6: Strive for a clear, unambiguous and well-communicated connection between accomplishments and rewards. Be sure people understand why they will receive awards and the criteria used to determine rewards.

Principle 7: Recognize recognition. That is, recognized people who recognize others for doing what is best for the company.”

If you’re looking for an affordable, high-impact all-company employee recognition gift this holiday season, we suggest our Turkey Gift Certificates and Ham Gift Certificates. And suggest Professor Kanter’s Principles for effective giving.

Rick Kiley is President of gThankYou, LLC, a Madison, WI based seller of employee gift certificates best known for gThankYou™ Turkey Gift Cards and Turkey Gift Certificates.

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