“A company is stronger if it is bound by love rather than by fear.” — Herb Kelleher
Have you ever worked at a company where managers gave little to no praise or recognition to their employees? No? Well, consider yourself lucky! More often than not, employees aren’t recognized enough for their accomplishments, and neglecting to do so can cost you. In fact, “disengaged employees cost the U.S. more than $300 billion in expenses”, due to attrition and then recruiting of replacement employees.
Motivated employees are an asset. Recognizing them for their efforts is important if you want to have a productive and engaged team in order to move your business forward.
A few thought-provoking statistics:
- 78 percent of US workers said being recognized motivates them in their job
- 35 percent of workers claimed lack of recognition as the biggest hindrance to their productivity
- 16 percent of employees left their previous job due to a lack of recognition
Clearly, recognition, or lack thereof, is prompting a fair share of employees to feel disengaged, less productive and in many instances, leaving their jobs.
In order to keep employees motivated and working hard, most need to feel that their efforts are valued. When acknowledged for making progress on a project or completing important tasks, it feels good and it encourages employees to stay productive. The importance of praise goes a long way!
In one of our recent posts we’ve mentioned that a small “you’re doing a great job” is important, and it is, but you should give specific praise as much as possible.
Building a culture of praise can take time, but if it is done correctly, the results can be beneficial. It is important to not mix constructive feedback with praise. On her The Brain Lady blog, psychologist Susan Weinschenk explains, “that the best feedback separates objective feedback from praise.” This helps the individual differentiate between what they can improve on and what was acknowledged as good work. Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson suggests praising the process and not the person. “Talk about his creative approach, his careful planning, his persistence and effort, his collaborative attitude…That way, when he runs into trouble later on, he’ll remember the process that helped him to succeed in the past, and put that knowledge to good use.”
Here are some quick ways you can praise your employees on the go:
- A “thank you” in front of a customer or co-workers
- Look for the small, thankless details and point them out to the person who took the time to complete them
All of this also goes for peer-to-peer praise and recognition, too. It doesn’t matter what level you’re working at. If you see someone performing well, let them know!
Employee recognition is highly sought by employees and does not require a lot of resources and the positive feelings will result in better relationships with customers and clients. A win-win for all involved.
To wrap up, here are some key points to keep in mind when praising your employees:
- People’s response to recognition will vary, but remember to praise the process
- Achievement is defined differently for everyone, but recognizing even small ones goes a long way
- Only praise behaviors that you want to see continued
- Be sincere. Employees and colleagues will know if you’re faking it
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