If you rarely praise your employees, you are neglecting a key aspect of leadership. Praising your employees should be less of a “nicety” and more of an obligation.
As a leader, it is your responsibility to uplift others around you and create an affirming and team-oriented culture. A key way to do this is through praising employees for a job well done.
Praise, or recognition, is a debt you owe to people who are making an effort and performing effectively. Good employees need to know that you see their hard work and value it. If they don’t, their motivation to work hard may lessen, or worse still, they may start looking for a job elsewhere to get the appreciation they desire.
According to Glassdoor, four in five (81%) employees say they’re motivated to work harder when their boss shows appreciation for their work and more than half (53%) of employees admit they would stay longer at their company if they felt more appreciation from their boss.
Fortunately, praise costs you nothing but time and a little effort. It’s simple enough to do, but the benefits of praising employees for a job well done last far longer than the thirty seconds it takes to say “Good job!”"Praise, or recognition, is a debt you owe to people who are making an effort and performing effectively." @debrabenton in new blog on 6 Steps To Praising Employees For A Job Well Done Click To Tweet
How to Praise Your Employees
At its most basic level, praise is just a compliment, so naturally, you praise what you admire the most, adding your reason for it. You don’t have to write an essay, you just have to tell them what you (hopefully) are already seeing.
Unfortunately, more than one CEO has admitted that he or she wasn’t skilled at giving recognition. “I personally don’t need it, so I’m not very good at giving it,” they profess. That’s no reason not to give positive feedback to those who deserve it.
The following steps will help you to appreciate and praise people.
- Be honest and be specific.
- Be brief.
- “Note it” to others.
- Do it in a timely manner.
- Give kudos in a variety of ways.
- Back it up.
6 Steps To Praising Employees For A Job Well Done
1. Be honest and be specific.
Generic praise only goes so far when complimenting your employees. Your words should carry real meaning when you praise your employees – not vague statements with no thought behind them.
Express satisfaction with their work and the results they are achieving in concrete terms. This doesn’t mean you can’t give lots of “Atta-boys,” “Good job,” and “Glad you’re on my team” feedback. In fact you should, but do it as you see them deliver real, actionable results and as you see them exhibit the work and behavior you want. Follow it up with a description of what they did that inspired the praise.
2. Be brief.
You don’t have to be long-winded to give sincere praise. A short, thoughtful comment on a job well done is more meaningful than time-consuming, rambling flattery.
3. “Note it” to others.
Lifting up those around you should be second nature as a leader. When your employee does something positive, make sure you mention it to others too. Not only is it the right way to lead, but your subordinates will feel valued and supported when word eventually gets back to them (and it will). Sharing what your employee is doing well with others in the company will maximize the effects of your praise.Lifting up those around you should be second nature as a leader. When your employee does something positive, make sure you mention it to others too. Click To Tweet
4. Do it in a timely manner.
Don’t wait until the “perfect” moment to comment on a job well done. The best time to give positive feedback is as soon as possible. People feel valued when they know you made the time to give them praise rather than just slotting it in after you did more “important” work.
5. Give kudos in a variety of ways.
Be creative in your praise. A pay raise is one way a boss frequently thinks of as a way of providing recognition, but people need to be appreciated in different ways. One female executive told me, “I was ready to quit because I wasn’t receiving recognition. They just keep throwing more money at me. But that’s not what I work for alone.”
You might not even have the ability to give raises. I knew a Marine officer who explained he couldn’t give bonuses to top performers and couldn’t even reward them with time off. What he could do was give them recognition. He literally had a full-time engraver who he used to make plaques of praise for his people. Be creative! You can always find ways to give recognition.
6. Back it up.
Back up your praise with real concern and action towards your employees’ success. Give your employees credit for whatever is going well; take responsibility when things don’t go well. As one CEO told me, “You have to take any bullets yourself.”
In short, look out for people. It makes it easier to get things done when they know you care about them and their development. If you keep your employee’s interests at heart, they’ll take care of you. It’s up to you to make sure they feel recognized and valued, so praise your employees frequently, creatively, and authentically and then take care of them when it really matters.Give your employees credit for whatever is going well; take responsibility when things don’t go well. Click To Tweet
Praising Employees Is Worth The Effort
Try in every way to highlight and spotlight the accomplishments of others. If you reinforce the actions that you want to see, you will likely get more of the same. If you don’t acknowledge them, people won’t know your degree of satisfaction and will be more likely to leave. You’re the leader so your affirmation sets the tone for the workplace. To put it differently, your words have the power to increase morale, foster teamwork, and increase productivity. The time spent on genuine praise is a small price to pay for a better workplace for your employees.
Do you or your organization need help developing a leadership style that engages employees and creates a solid team? Contact me for coaching or speaking engagements.