But many managers struggle with this soft skill or do not give it enough credit because they feel threatened or because their low professional self-esteem prevents them from recognizing the work of others.
Very often, business leaders they insist on just telling people when they are doing wrong and pointing out mistakes rather than congratulating when something great is done. To reap the rewards of a kind word or two, here are five ways to incorporate the power of simple praise to incentivize your organization’s staff:
1. Take the time to talk to your employees
As you walk through your office, take the time to stop and talk to employees, thanking them for their hard work. It sounds simple, but this kind of unexpected recognition can be a good dose of energy and positivity for most employees.
2. Identify commendable acts
Encourage managers and employees to motivate team members and coworkers to commit to projects. Then write a note or add a point to personally thank that person right away.
Be specific, praise the behavior you want to promote, for example: “I was impressed by the way you organized that meeting. And it was done in less than an hour. It was very efficient.”
3. Reward good ideas
Employees who find ways to save money or improve operations build valuable assets and need to be recognized. If someone in your organization makes an improvement, that employee is contributing something beneficial that deserves recognition.
Thank the person publicly. Depending on the idea and the situation, an email of thanks or a small bonus might be appropriate, not forgetting the person-to-person appreciation. Also, let other employees know what kind of innovation is valued.
4. Don’t forget to praise productive failure
Sometimes there are tough battles that don’t go as planned, but they still deserve praise. If team members have given their all for a project that didn’t make a sale, or was lost to a competitor, it’s important to acknowledge those efforts. They probably feel defeated.
As a leader, it’s your job to lift spirits and motivate your employees to get back into the game with energy.
5. Recognize milestones
When an employee reaches the five or ten year mark in your company, do something. Keeping good employees is critical for any business to be successful. Thank the employee, and add a small recognition or incentive to show that you appreciate their loyalty.
With these simple but powerful tips I am sure that you will soon see a change in the attitude and results of your collaborators. And as simple as it may seem, words of recognition have great power over people’s attitudes.
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