Improving Your Management Skills 5/12: Learn to Praise Employees

Praise is a pretty powerful motivator for people, especially for employees that you want to perform at a high caliber. Whether you do it in private or publicly, praise can inspire people to take on new challenges and persevere after setbacks. One Gallup poll found that praise was responsible for a 10 to 20% jump in revenue and productivity. And employees who don’t feel adequately praised at work are three times more likely to quit in the next year. Here are ways you can praise your employees.

Be sincere

Whether you send a handwritten thank-you note or praise them in person, your praise should be sincere. People remember an authentic gesture for a long time, making them feel appreciated and valued. Your praise should match the scale of their efforts. If they’ve done something really above and beyond, then your praise should also be pretty over the top.

Be specific

A simple ‘good job’ is never enough. To be effective and sincere, your praise has to be specific. Show that you pay attention and you realize how valuable their contributions have been to the company’s goals. When they know that their efforts are tied to a bigger purpose, they’re more likely to keep up the hard work. And keep it positive—sometimes the mistakes your employees make are more noticeable, so you might have to dig a little deeper to find something you like.

Give a gift

Let’s be honest, a gift never hurts! If you know their favorite stores, restaurants, or hobbies, you can personalize a gift card. It doesn’t have to be much, but even something small will go a long way. The anniversary of their start date is a good time to give a gift. Just make sure your gift is still accompanied by sincere, specific praise and thanks.

Do something public

Some people like the spotlight, and others hate it, so be mindful of your employees’ personalities and how public your praise is. But a public show of praise is also a good way to show your other employees how much you appreciate solid efforts and might even inspire them to step up their games. You might recognize them in a large team meeting, put some accolades on your website, or blast it on your social media page.

Award special assignments

Sometimes the best reward for your top-performing employees is to give them special assignments and responsibilities. Not only will they appreciate the confidence you have in their work, but the opportunity will also give them the chance to shine, learn, and grow.

Recognize unsung heroes

Pay close attention to the inner workings of your employees and look for the unsung heroes. Sometimes they fly under the radar while an employee who’s louder or flashier gets all the attention. Make sure those unsung heroes—the people who are reliable, consistent, team players, and trustworthy—are still receiving adequate praise.

For more tips on praising your employees and keeping them engaged and motivated, contact our team today.

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